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Coppin State expecting packed gym with Baltimore native Angel Reese, No. 7 LSU coming to play

Coppin State expecting packed gym with Baltimore native Angel Reese, No. 7 LSU coming to play
Coppin State expecting packed gym with Baltimore native Angel Reese, No. 7 LSU coming to play 02:56

BALTIMORE - Angel Reese, an All-American woman's basketball player for the defending national champion, is returning home for a regular-season game.

The No. 7 LSU Tigers are coming to Baltimore Wednesday evening to play Coppin State.

Of course, the headliner will be Reese, a Charm City native, and one of the best college basketball players in the nation.

It's not often the reigning NCAA champion plays at a much smaller program, especially a Historically Black College and University.

Coppin State's gymnasium will be packed as spectators will try to get a glimpse of last year's NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player.

Fans started lining up about five hours before the 6 p.m. tipoff.

Not only are tickets sold out, but the ones you can find on the secondary market are selling for $80 to $200.

"We couldn't miss this opportunity," said Cory Martin, from York, Pennsylvania.

Reese is averaging 19.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

But, fans of the 11-1 Tigers, coached by Kim Mulkey, have other stars, including Aneesah Morrow, Mikaylah Wiliams, Hailey Van Lith, Sa'Mayah Smith and Flau'jae Johnson.

"I like the whole team, not just Angel," said Tyjai Blount, from the Eastern Shore. "I like  Flau'jae, Mikaylah Wiliams, Sa'Mayah Smith, their coach." 

Coppin's Physical Education Complex seats 4,000, and LSU's fans will be present.

"Even though it's cold out here, I'm excited to see the basketball game and I'm excited to see Angel Reese," said Ajhora James, from the Eastern Shore. 

The event is a major deal for Coppin State's women's basketball team, whose record is 3-9.

"Happy that we can have the opportunity to bring Angel Reese home," Coppin State coach Jermaine Woods said. "The community come out to see her play ball but also have the opportunity to see Coppin State women's basketball."

Woods said this will be the first time a defending national champion will play at an HBCU.

"The first time an HBCU has had a former national champion come in and sell out," Woods said. "It'll be my first time coaching against a Hall of Fame coach. I'm just excited about the opportunity. For me, it's basketball and it's bigger than basketball."

For the younger fans, this is an opportunity to see women they admire up close.

"It's inspiring for us not, even like just African American girls, but just any girl," said Saniyah Martin, from York, Pennsylvania.

We've been told Coppin State has taken special security precautions for the game because some celebrities are also expected to be at Coppin State.

Reese played her high school ball at Baltimore's St. Frances Academy before committing to the University of Maryland. She then transferred to LSU where she won All-American honors, Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, and national championship.

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