Heartbreaking 77-65 loss to cross town rivals, three game win streak snapped

While the women’s team brought home the win, the men’s ended their regular season and senior night with a loss against Coppin State.


Jordan D. Brown

Morgan State vs. Coppin State at Hill Field House, March 2, 2023.

Alex Ederson and Michael Pope

Morgan State’s men’s basketball team (15-15, 7-7 MEAC) ended their regular season with a 77 – 65 loss to the Coppin State Eagles (9-22, 4-10 MEAC) in the final home game of the 2022-23 season.

The Bears entered the game against Coppin on a three-game winning streak and looked to carry that momentum into the game against their cross town rivals. This was the final regular season game for the Bears as they prepare for the MEAC tournament, March 8-11.

The night was full of emotion as moments prior the women’s team pulled off a close win over the Lady Eagles, and the Senior Night activities were in full display.

The Bears had five seniors playing their final game at Hill Field House; forward Collin Nnamene, center Ty Horner, forward Lewis Djonkam, guard Isaiah Burke and guard Malik Miller.

All of them made the starting lineup outside of the injured guard Miller. The Bears could have used his 17.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting as they fell behind early to Coppin.

The Bears won the opening tipoff and were able to score six quick points through threes from guards Will Thomas and Burke. This would be the only bits of luck that they found from three for the rest of the night.

The Bears held a slim lead over Coppin until 14:24 remaining in the first period when Coppin pulled ahead through a three made by guard Nendah Tarke. Coppin responded to the Bears’ 6-2 run with a 13-4 run of their own. Coppin did not look back for the remainder of the game as they never let go of their lead.

The Bears shot 16.7 percent (2-12) from three and 37.3 percent (22-59) from the field while allowing Coppin to shoot 45 percent (9-20) from three and 56.4 (31-55) from the field.

The Bears fought hard in the paint but got outrebounded. Coppin had 37 rebounds and the Bears had 29 rebounds. Coppin also had 30 defensive rebounds and the Bears had 18.

The Bears stayed disciplined on defensive. They only committed 12 fouls on Coppin, while Coppin committed 22 fouls on the Bears.

Coppin had 19 turnovers compared to the Bears only having 12.

The Bears only had seven assists for the whole game, while Coppin had 19 assists. The Bears were not moving the ball as efficiently as Coppin.

Every time the Bears fought to get back in the ball game, Coppin kept scoring and didn’t let their foot off the gas pedal.

Bears leading scorer Burke had a slow night from the field (33.3 percent) but was able to provide 20 points and two steals with a rebound and an assist as well. He had an inefficient shooting night but was 100 percent (9-9) from the line.

The Bears also seemed to be completely outmatched when Coppin wanted to drive into the paint. Forty of Coppin’s 77 points came from inside the paint with a thunderous dunk from Coppin G Kam’ron Blue with 10:46 left to play, summing up the Bears night.

This signaled a change in the atmosphere for Morgan. What was supposed to be a night filled with joy for the seniors and hope for the upcoming MEAC Tournament instead left a feeling of bitterness in the fans mouth as they filed out of Hill Field House with nine minutes left to go in the contest.

The Bears look to bounce back as they begin tournament play on March 9 against University of Maryland Eastern Shore at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA.