-- Freshman Michael Harper
scored a team-high 17 points and senior Tywain McKee
converted a crucial three-point play leading Coppin State to a 66-63 victory over North Carolina A&T in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday in the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
With the Eagles clinging to a 62-61 lead, McKee intercepted an Ed Jones pass at midcourt and then raced in for a layup while drawing a foul. The ensuing free throw increased the Coppin State lead to 65-61 with 24 seconds to play.
Jones then trimmed the lead to 65-63 with eight seconds to play and the Aggies fouled Vince Goldsberry
, the leading free throw shooter in the conference, intentionally.
Goldsberry made one of two free throws to give Coppin State a 66-63 lead with six seconds remaining.
North Carolina A&T was unable to get a game-tying field goal attempt as Dwane Joshua slipped while making a move towards the basket and lost the handle on the basketball.
Harper was 5-of-9 from the floor and made 3-of-6 three-point attempts to lead the Eagles to the victory. McKee finished with 14 points, eight assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Coppin State (13-18) advanced to the semifinals with the win where it will meet cross-town rival Morgan State at 6 p.m.
The Eagles overcame being outrebounded 45-27 by committing only 10 turnovers and shooting 43.6 percent from the floor. CSU also made 14-of-17 attempts from the free throw line.
The Aggies (16-16) were led by Jones who scored 22 points, while Thomas Coleman had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Eagles used a late run in the second half to pull ahead of the Aggies and then held off a late charge to post the victory.
After a layup by Coleman cut the Coppin State lead to 52-51 with 8:43 to play the Eagles answered with a 4-0 run.
Jones hit a three-pointer for North Carolina A&T to cut the lead to 56-54 at the 6:26 mark of the second half.
A dunk by Coleman and a layup by Buckley gave the Eagles a 60-54 lead with 5:54 to play in the game.
Tavarus Alston converted a layup for the Aggies cutting the lead to 60-56 before McKee hit a pair of free throws to up the lead to 62-56 with 2:39 left.
A layup by Robert Johnson and a three-pointer for Joshua trimmed the lead to 62-61 setting the stage for the late-game heroics by McKee.
The Eagles jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first half behind a pair of three-pointers by Harper.
NC A&T cut the lead to 10-9 before a layup by Eddie Hayden
and a jumper by Lenny Young
increased the lead to 14-9 with 13:37 left in the first half.
A layup by Young upped the Coppin State lead to 18-15 with 11:25 to play before the Aggies answered with an 11-2 run to take a 26-20 lead with 6:32 to play in the opening period.
The Eagles climbed back into the game from the free throw line by making six straight attempts and regained the lead at 28-27 on a jumper by McKee.
Coppin State took a 32-20 lead into the intermission on a buzzer-beater by McKee.