Towson 57, Coppin State 54
TOWSON, Md. (AP)—Reserve Jamaal Gilchrist scored 16 points and Towson used a strong second-half surge to defeat Coppin State 57-54 Friday night.
The Tigers (1-0) advance to Saturday night’s championship game of the four-team Battle of Baltimore. They will play three-time defending champion University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a 72-50 first-round winner over Loyola College.
Jimmy Boykin scored 23 points for the Eagles (1-3), who set a tournament record with 11 3-pointers, finishing 11-for-28 from beyond the arc. Boykin had six 3s and Nicholas King, who added 14 points, added four.
Towson used a 16-0 run midway through the second half to erase Coppin’s 34-23 lead. Gilchrist and Cilk McSweeney each had five points during the burst.
After successive 3-pointers from Boykin and Labeeb Muhammad restored Coppin’s lead at 40-39 with 7:38 remaining in the game, the Eagles limited Towson to one field goal the rest of the way.
But Towson hit 17-of-19 free throws in the final 7:10 to cement the victory, with Gilchrist converting the final six attempts.
Boykin scored on a long 3-pointer with 36 seconds to go, getting the Eagles within 54-57, but a 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed.
Neither team shot well from the field during a sloppy first half, and Coppin held a 23-19 halftime lead.
Towson was 7-for-24 and Coppin, presented second offensive chances because of the Tigers’ poor defensive rebounding, was 9-for-30.
Four of the Eagles’ first six baskets were 3-pointers and a Boykin 3 gave the Coppin its first lead, 16-15, with 8:15 left in the first half.
After a jumper by Tony Dixon put the Tigers ahead, the Eagles reeled off seven unanswered points, five by King on a long 3-pointer and a baseline jumper.