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Mount St. Mary's savors first NCAA win

Jean Cajou of Mount St. Mary’s shoots over Tywain McKee as Vince Goldsberry trails the play.

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Jean Cajou of Mount St. Mary’s shoots over Tywain McKee as Vince Goldsberry trails the play.

DAYTON, Ohio — The Mount finally got The Win.

Jeremy Goode scored 21 Tuesday night, and Mount St. Mary's got its first NCAA Tournament victory, beating Coppin State 69-60 in the play-in game.

The Mountaineers (19-14) won their last five games to shed their losing record and make the tournament. In its two other NCAA appearances, Mount St. Mary's lost to Kentucky by 46 in 1995 and to Michigan State by 23 in 1999.

On Friday the Mount plays top-seeded North Carolina in Raleigh. Fans in the crowd of 8,464 at University of Dayton Arena held up signs calling on the play-in winner to "Bury N. Carolina." A 16th seed has never taken down a No. 1.

Coppin State (16-21) became the first team to reach the tournament with 20 losses, and the Eagles looked out of place in the closing minutes. They went five minutes without scoring, and Mount St. Mary's broke it open.

Goode, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, was the spark for Mount St. Mary's up-tempo offense. He supplied the final touches, hitting four free throws in the last 27 seconds.

Tywain McKee led Coppin State with 15 points.

Perhaps no other opening-game winner enjoyed it so much and complained so little. Unlike previous years, there was no grousing about having to open the tournament in Dayton.

Not from Mount St. Mary's, the Northeast Conference champ that had a losing record before it ran off five straight double-digit wins to close the season and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

Coppin State? No way.

Marooned at 4-19 in early February, the Eagles sneaked into the tournament for the first time since 1997 by winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic title.

Coppin State led the entire first half, by as many as nine. The Mountaineers guards changed the tone after halftime, when Chris Vann's three-point play put Mount St. Mary's up 39-34. It went back and forth until Coppin State went cold at the end.

Mt. St. Mary's 69

Coppin State 60

Mount St. Mary's savors first NCAA win 03/18/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:43am]
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