Freshman Derek Orr's three-point shot with two seconds left last night lifted Coppin State to a 75-74 victory over American University before 750 at Fort Myer.
Orr's shot from the left side capped a comeback by the Baltimore school, which trailed by 10 points with 5:40 left. American had no timeouts remaining and could not stop the clock after Orr's jumper.
It was the season opener for American, which will move into a new on-campus facility in January. Coppin State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is 2-0.
AU had many chances to seal it in the final minutes, but could convert on only seven of 14 free throw attempts. Trailing by 67-57, Coppin State went on a 14-4 run to tie it with 1:55 left. After AU's Mike Sampson hit two of four free throws and Coppin's William Crandall hit one, American's Andy Bon Salle made one free throw with 16 seconds left to give the Eagles a 74-72 lead.
Coppin called time out and set up for the three-point shot. "That was planned," said Orr, who had a team-high 20 points, 15 in the second half. "I've been practicing that in practice so I knew I could make it. We were working so hard on defense, something had to come."
Orr's shot marked the first time Coppin State led in the game. American led by 10 points in the first half and 12 in the second half.
"We got kicked on our butts," American Coach Ed Tapscott said. "This shows we have a lot of hard work to do."
"We were a little lethargic so we put on the pressure," Coppin Coach Ron (Fang) Mitchell said. "We needed to do something and it was successful tonight."
Sampson and sophomore transfer Daryl Holmes led AU with 15 points each. Mike Sumner added 13. Phil Booth contributed 17 for Coppin.