Cephas, Eagles Pull off MEAC Tourney’s 1st Upset < All News
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NORFOLK, Va. – Taariq Cephas scored a game-high 24 points, 17 in the second half, to help No. 7 seed Coppin State upset No. 2 Hampton 83-77 on Wednesday night in a MEAC Tournament quarterfinal at the Norfolk Scope.

The Eagles (12-19) advance to an 8 p.m. semifinal game Friday against the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 Morgan State and No. 6 Florida A&M.

The Pirates saw their season end at 18-12.

Neither team led by more than seven points in an entertaining, back-and-forth second half. There were three ties and five lead-changes in the last four minutes of the ball game alone. Hampton took its last lead of the night at 73-72 on a short one-handed jumper in the lane by Du’Vaughn Maxwell, who paced the Pirates with 23 points.

But Cephas hit two free throws at the other end to give CSU a 74-73 lead with 1:17 left. Hampton’s Deron Powers missed a 3-pointer and turned the ball over on the next two possessions, and CSU hit 9-of-10 from the free-throw line in the closing minute to seal the outcome.

The game’s first half had a similar ebb-and-flow. There were three ties and three lead-changes in the opening 20 minutes with neither team leading by more than seven. Hampton led 27-20 after a layup by Powers with 8:23 remaining before halftime. But the Eagles closed the half on a 16-3 run which included two 3-pointers by Cephas and one by Sterling Smith, sending CSU into the intermission with a 36-30 halftime lead.

Hampton turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, forcing 12 Eagle turnovers and using a big advantage on the boards to pull into the lead. The Pirates scored 23 second-chance points off 19 offensive rebounds, five coming from Maxwell, the senior All-MEAC first-team pick who paced the Pirates with eight rebounds.


Maxwell matched Cephas by scoring 17 second-half points. His put-back dunk with 7:18 left gave the Pirates a 61-55 lead, but CSU outscored Hampton 14-5 over the next four minutes to claim the lead. Dallas Gary’s 3-pointer from the top of the key tied the game at 66, then Gary added a free throw and Michael Murray drove for a layup to give the Eagles a 69-66 lead with 3:11 left.

Powers then answered with a 3-pointer to tie, and Maxwell scored inside to give Hampton a two-point lead, 71-69. But Cephas calmly drained a 3-pointer, his fourth of the night, to help the Eagles regain the lead and set the stage for the frantic final two minutes. Cephas was a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point territory.

Gary added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds for CSU. Murray had 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Smith chipped in with 14 points. Daquan Brickhouse dished out five assists for the Eagles, who shot 46 percent from the floor and 40 percent (8-of-20) from long distance.

For Hampton, Brian Darden added 17 points, 15 coming after halftime thanks in part to three 3-pointers. He and Maxwell were the only two Pirates in double figures. Maxwell and Ke’Ron Brown tallied three steals apiece for Hampton, which hit just 36 percent from the floor and 25 percent (7-of-28) from beyond the 3-point arc.

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