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Permiter game leads Coppin St. past Towson, 64-61

Coppin State hit 10 three-pointers and held the Tigers to only 23.5-percent from distance as they picked up their second win in three games.

Coppin State hit 10 three-pointers and held the Tigers to only 23.5-percent from distance as they picked up their second win in three games.

Towson, Md. — At the midway point in their seven-game road trip the Coppin State Golden Eagles picked up their third win of the season and second in three games with a 64-61 defeat of local rival Towson University in front of 1,018 at Towson Center Arena.

Coppin State used a tremendous effort out on the perimeter to lead their team to victory as they made 10 three-point shots and held Towson to only 23.5-percent from outside in the incredibly tight down to the wire game where neither team was able to get a comfortable lead.

Patrick Cole led the Golden Eagles with 16 points with three successful three-pointers while Andre Armstrong came off the bench and shot 4-for-7 from outside in a 14 points effort. Meanwhile, junior forward Michael Murray scored 15 points with nine rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

“Just the fact of our defensive pressure contesting a lot of their shots was key,” said Coppin State Head Coach Fang Mitchell. “We can hit the three and we got some opportunities. Andre Armstrong coming off the bench and shooting like he did was huge for us.”

Towson jumped out to an eight point lead midway through the first half but Coppin State was able to regain the lead going into halftime while the Golden Eagles’ largest lead was seven points with four minutes remaining but a great effort by the Tigers cut their lead to just one in the final 11 seconds.

Back-to-back three-pointers sandwiching a Sterling Smith layup cut Coppin State’s lead to three points with a few ticks of the clock less than two and a half minutes remaining in regulation and after about a minute of missed opportunities for both teams Jerrelle Benimon, who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards, got inside and made it a one points game.

Murray responded for the Golden Eagles with a mid-range jumper on the other end but Towson coach Pat Skerry called an immediate time out, set up and offense and with 11 seconds left Damas got inside to cut the lead to just one point again. The strategy: immediately foul Coppin State and either hope they miss one or run up the floor and take a game-tying three.

Murray was immediately fouled by Towson off the inbound and sent to the line and like a team needs their upper classmen to do, he came up with two clutch free throws to give Coppin State a three-point lead, forcing a tougher shot for Towson on the other end of the floor.

“We won today because of our defense but the key is getting big shots when you need them and we did a good job of that,” Mitchell said.

Freshman point guard quickly ran the ball up the court and despite a hard press by Coppin State he dished the ball out to an open Damas, who led Towson with 16 points with two three-pointers, in the left corner but his attempt hit the inside of the rim and bounced out as the clock expired.

“I think it was [a good shot],” Damas said. “Jerome did a great job of driving and kicking but it came down to a good shot [that just did not go in.]”

Skerry said that going into the game his goal was out-rebound Coppin State by 15 but while his team still managed to win the rebounding battle it was only by one board and with his team committing 17 turnovers, which Coppin State scored 20 points off of, and allowing 22 second chance points he said his team put themselves in a very difficult situation to win the game with Coppin State having 15 more shots in the game.

“We need to rebound the ball on both sides to be successful but we have gotten away from that,” he said. “We turned the ball over a lot and that is killing us. You shouldn’t lost games when you guard the way we guard but we are.”

While Coppin State did hit ten three-pointers many of them were defended well and they forced 16 misses while the team only shot 35.3-percent from the floor but too many second chance opportunities for Coppin State led to too many extra points.

“We’ve been down the stretch for a while with opportunities to win so we have these understandings of what to do and what not to do,” Mitchell said. “We even had a break down at the end when we allowed that layup but we pushed through that.”

Former Tigers Troy Franklin, who transferred to Coppin State for his senior season after Towson made a coaching change from Pat Kennedy to Skerry, played 22 minutes and scored five points with four assists and three rebounds.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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