BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Both Bethune-Cookman basketball programs are competing this week in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament in Norfolk, Va.
The men’s team used a balanced attack to knock off Coppin State University 89-78 in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday.
Adrien Coleman scored 28 points with nine rebounds and seven assists, Kevin Dukes 22 points with a season high five three pointers and Javoris Bryant tallied a career-high 19 points with 10 rebounds for B-CU.
“I feel really healthy right now and our seniors know that these are our last games. We just want to keep extending the season,” said Bryant.
Responded Dukes, “My teammates just kept giving me the ball and I just kept shooting it.’’
A three-point play by Coleman capped a 25-5 run with 11:08 remaining to give the Wildcats a 58-37 lead.
Coppin State rallied to get within 75-72 with 2:25 left on two free throws by Patrick Cole.
“We knew that they would make a run, but we kept our composure and executed down the stretch,’’ said Gravelle Craig, B-CU’s basketball coach.
The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field and held the advantage in the paint 50-30 and in rebounds 40-27.
B-CU avenged a 69-61 loss to the Eagles five days earlier in their regular season finale. In that game Dukes posted 18 points, Coleman 15 and Bryant 12 points with 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats played top-seeded and defending champion, Norfolk State on Wednesday night. The Spartans beat B-CU 62-61 on March 2 and 73-71 in last year’s championship game.
Ladies fall short in opening
The Lady Wildcats (12-17) lost to Delaware State University 55-44 to open the MEAC tournament, ending their season on Tuesday afternoon.
With the game tied at 35 all with 8:29 remaining, the Lady Hornets had a 10-0 run to lead 45-35 and never looked back.
Tierra Hawkins posted 16 points with 10 rebounds to lead Delaware State.
The Hornets outrebounded the Lady Wildcats 40-27 and held the advantage in second-chance points 22-10.
“Our ladies played hard. I felt like we wanted to protect the paint but failed to do so and second chance points killed us,” commented B-CU Coach Vanessa Blair.
Sharnese Neal had 12 points to lead B-CU. “I wanted to go and get it. I didn’t want to go home so I went out and played hard,” responded Neal.
The Lady Wildcats lost to Coppin State 53-40 on March 7 in their final regular season game. Shakeyia Colyer had 14 points and Chastity Taylor 11 for B-CU.
Coleman named All-MEAC
B-CU’s Adrien Coleman was named to the All-MEAC First Team on Sunday.
Coleman, a junior forward/guard, won the MEAC scoring title. He averaged 17.6 points per game. Coleman also averaged 7.1 rebounds per game and shot .547 percent from the field.
On Dec. 8, 2012, Coleman recorded the school’s first recorded triple double with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Webber International.
Baseball: Wildcats take series from Eagles
Bethune-Cookman kept the lead in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Southern Division by taking a series from North Carolina Central University.
Deltona alum Montana Durapau (3-0) pitched a complete game to help the Wildcats win the series finale 3-2 on March 10.
Anthony Stokes went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Brandon Turner 2-for-4 while Eric Sams and Matt Noble both had an RBI for the ‘Cats.
North Carolina Central won the series opener 3-2 in the first game of a double header on March 9. Eros Modena went 3-for-4 in that game for B-CU.
The Wildcats rebounded with a 7-0 win in the next game. Anthony Stokes pitched five scoreless innings to get the win on the mound while Matt Noble went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Eros Modena 1-for-4 with two RBIs for B-CU.
Heading into the series with North Carolina Central, the Wildcats had just wrapped up a 5-1 home stand. They swept Florida A&M in three games, beat the University of Central Florida and split a series with Central Michigan. B-CU has won seven of its last nine games.
The Wildcats traveled to DeLand to play Stetson on Tuesday night and hosted Jacksonville on Wednesday night, which was after the Daytona Times’ deadline. They travel to Greensboro, N.C. to face MEAC rival North Carolina A&T from March 16-17. They return home to face South Florida on March 19.
Football: Wildcats set for spring football
Colleges around the country are gearing up for spring football practices, so is Bethune-Cookman.
The Wildcats will begin spring football practice on March 23. They are scheduled to practice four times a week. Spring practices are closed to the public.
The defending MEAC champions will hold its spring showcase (game) on April 13. The location and time of the showcase will be announced later.