Dropping the ball:

BALTIMORE, Md.-League-leading Coppin State used a hot-shooting second half to defeat the upset-minded Florida A&M women’s basketball team, 53-38, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest Monday evening at the Coppin Center.

FAMU (8-12, 4-7), suffered its third straight conference loss Monday, dropping a full seven games back in eighth place. Defending champ CSU (12-8, 11-0) maintained its four-game lead over the second-place trio of Delaware State, Howard University and Maryland-Eastern Shore, all 7-4.

The win also gave CSU a home-and-away sweep of the season series with FAMU, having bested the Lady Rattlers, 52-34 at Gaither Gym, Jan. 9.

Both teams shot in the 30 percent range (FAMU, 36 percent; CSU, 30 percent) in the opening half, with the home standing Eagles owning a 21-19 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Eagles went on a tear, outscoring the Lady Rattlers, 32-19. CSU shot a blistering 53.8 percent from the floor, while the FAMU went ice cold, shooting 19.2 percent from the field (5 of 26).

Freshman Denise Tate led FAMU with 12 points and four rebounds, followed by fellow first-year guard Deidra Jones, who finished with 10 points.

Sophomore LaKeisha Alexander led FAMU with six rebounds, followed by guards Evette Young and Q’Vaunda Curry with five rebounds apiece.

Coppin State was led by Sherrie Tucker with 17 points and Rashida Suber with 13 points. Tanezia Harden, Talia Sutton and Roniece Williams each added six points for the Eagles.

Florida A&M will host two games this weekend in Gaither Gym, facing South Carolina State Saturday at 2 p.m. and North Carolina A&T Monday at 5:30 p.m.