Coppin State defeats Oregon State 78-73

BY ANNE M. PETERSON (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- Sterling Smith had a career-high 21 points and Coppin State defeated Oregon State 78-73 on Sunday for the Eagles' first-ever victory over a Pac-12 school.

The Eagles, who led by as many as 13 points, went into the game 0-16 against Pac-12 teams, including an 83-64 loss at California in their season opener on Friday.

Roberto Nelson had a career-high 36 points for the Beavers, who were playing their season opener. The junior guard has scored in double figures in 18 straight games dating back to last season.

Nelson hit a layup with 5:02 left to pull the Beavers within 62-61, but the Eagles wouldn't let them closer until Nelson again made a layup that narrowed the lead to 70-68 with 1:10 left. Sterling Smith answered with a 3-pointer for Coppin State to stifle the rally.

The Beavers were without Devon Collier and Eric Moreland, who are serving suspensions for violating team rules.

Moreland's suspension was for 14 regular-season games while Collier's suspension was only for one, so he'll return Wednesday against Portland. Coach Craig Robinson has never given the reason for the discipline.

Moreland averaged 9.4 points and 10.6 rebounds last season while Collier averaged 12.6 points and six rebounds.

Coppin State was without starting forward Michael Murray, who has a broken right hand. He led the Eagles with 12.4 points and 8.9 rebounds last season.

Both teams struggled offensively to start, and the score was knotted at 10 midway through the first half. Coppin State went ahead 22-13 following three straight 3-pointers from Andre Armstrong, Christian Kessee and Arnold Fripp.

The Eagles stretched the lead to 31-20 on Smith's layup with 2:05 to go in the half and went into the break ahead 36-26.

The Beavers fought to make up ground in the second half. Nelson hit a layup and a long 3-pointer to close the gap to 39-36 for the Beavers with 15:31 left in the game.

Olaf Schaftenaar's 3-pointer for the Beavers got them as close as 45-42, but Fripp answered with a jumper and his own 3 to extend Coppin State's lead to 50-42.

The Beavers pulled within 57-55 on Nelson's 3-pointer with 8:13 to go, but this time it was Smith who scored on a layup and a 3 to keep the Eagles in front.

The game marked the return of Oregon State senior center Angus Brandt missed nearly all of last season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Daniel Gomis played in his first regular season game for the Beavers after missing his first two seasons because of complications from a broken leg.

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