Eagles stop Rattlers and clinch MEAC’s second place

BALTIMORE, Md.-The Coppin State Eagles knocked down six three-pointers in the second half to help hold off the Florida A&M Rattlers, 68-57 at the Coppin Center Monday night.

FAMU (11-12, 7-4) fell from its second place perch with the loss Monday, while Coppin State (8-14, 8-3) gained sole possession of second place pending the outcome of the rest of Monday’s league schedule.

The Rattlers trailed 24-23 at the break, despite out shooting the Eagles, 40.9 percent to 31 percent from the floor.

But turnovers proved deadly to FAMU, as the team committed 16 giveaways in the first half, which CSU converted into 14 points.

In the second half, both clubs stepped up their shooting tempo, with Coppin hitting 51.7 percent clip to FAMU’s even 50 percent pace.

However, the Eagles’ edge came from three-point range, going 6-13 from beyond the arc to just 2-5 for the Rattlers, leading to the team’s 44-34 scoring advantage in the final stanza.

FAMU did own a slight rebounding edge over CSU, 34-32, but the Eagles were demons on the defensive glass, grabbing 20 defensive boards, while limiting the Rattlers to just eight offensive rebounds.

As a result, FAMU scored just eight second-chance points Monday night.

Junior center Rome Sanders continued his improved play of late, leading FAMU with 18 points, while senior guard Tony Tate finished with 15 point, six assists and four steals.

Junior forward Brian Greene, in his second game back from a fractured ankle, had a team-high eight rebounds, followed by senior Jonathan Kelly with six boards.

Freshman guard Joe Ballard added nine points, five steals and three assists Monday.

For the home-standing Eagles, freshman Tywain McKee led all scorers with 21, including three of six shooting from three-point range.

Teammate Talmadge Bell had 17 points and hit five of 11 three-point tries Monday. Forward Darryl Proctor added nine points and hauled down 15 rebounds for the Eagles.

FAMU returns home to Gaither Gym to host the South Carolina State Bulldogs Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and North Carolina A&T Monday at 7:30 p.m.