Coppin State capped a brutal road trip with its first conference victory of the season, routing Delaware State, 73-54, on Saturday in Wilmington, Del., in the MEAC opener for both teams.
Forward Michael Murray led the Eagles with 28 points and seven rounds, while Sterling Smith chipped in with 15 and Taariq Cephas added 12, both from the backcourt.
Coppin State hit on 27-of-51 shots (52.9 percent), including half of their 20 shots from 3-point range.
Forward Casey Walker had 18 points for Delaware State, guard Kendal Williams added 16 and forward Tyshawn Bell scored 12.
Delaware State (2-7) never got into a rhythm offensively, and struggled against the 2-3 zone Coppin's defense ran for the majority of the game.
Meanwhile, the Eagles took control of the game by going on a 9-0 run late in the first half, all on 3-pointers. Arnold Fripp hit two of the long-range shots and Michael Murray made one, helping Coppin (3-4) grab a 21-11 lead. Delaware State was held scoreless for more than seven minutes of the opening period and went into the half trailing by a 34-22 margin.
It got worse after intermission. The Eagles led by at least double digits for the entire second half, widening the gap to 20-plus points with about 10 minutes to go and pulling away.
The victory was a welcome one for a Coppin team that played at Michigan and Gonzaga, both nationally ranked, during Thanksgiving weekend. The Eagles got a boost from Michael Murray, the preseason All-MEAC choice who was playing for only the second time this season after missing the early portion of the campaign because of a broken hand.
The Hornets remain winless against Division I opponents, with both their victories to date coming against Division III teams.