HAMPTON, VA-Despite leading with less than three minutes to go, the Hampton University men’s basketball team suffered its first MEAC loss of the season on Saturday, as Coppin State escaped the HU Convocation Center with a 71-68 win.
The Pirates are now 8-9 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Senior forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell led the Pirates with 16 points, going 6-for-6 from the floor, while junior center Emmanuel Okoroba came off the bench to add 11 points, and senior guard Ramon Mercado added 12 points of 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range.
Redshirt-freshman guard Lawrence Cooks hit a free throw with 1:23 left to tie the game at 66-66, but Coppin State went 5-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch – including two from Andre Armstrong with 14 seconds left to put Coppin State up 71-68.
Sophomore guard Deron Powers tried a buzzer-beating trey to force overtime, but the shot fell off the rim. Coppin State led 16-11 at the 12:18 mark of the first half, before the Pirates went on a 13-3 run to take a 24-19 lead at the 8:12 mark after a 3-pointer at the top of the key from Maxwell. Coppin State answered with a 15-4 run to take a 34-28 lead with 4:15 left in the half.
Armstrong hit a trey at the 1:40 mark to put the Eagles up 37-31, before the Pirates scored the last four points of the half to go into the locker room trailing Coppin State 37-35. Maxwell had 11 points at the break. Daquand Brickhouse hit a 3-pointer with 11:12 left in the second half to give Coppin State a 53-47 lead after a lot of back-and-forth play to open the half. Murray followed at the 8:33 mark with a layup to put the Eagles up 57-49.