UIW (5-4, 5-2) moved into a first-place tie with McNeese and Nicholls in the conference standings after McNeese lost to Southeastern Louisiana 23-6 on Saturday.
The Incarnate Word defense thwarted the Bearkats all day, forcing seven turnovers, to secure Incarnate Word's first victory over SHSU in seven tries.
Kyle Covington returned an interception 23 yards and four plays later Copeland hooked up with Phillp Baptiste for a 22-yard scoring strike and a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter.
The Bearkats answered with 13 straight points before Copeland hit Kody Edwards on a 30-yard touchdown toss for a 16-13 advantage at the break. Copeland and Edwards connected on a 71-yard scoring play on the first series of the second half and the Cardinals were never threatened again.
Ra'Quanne Dickens ran for one score to tie the school record with his 11th touchdown on the season for Incarnate Word.
SHSU's Nathan Stewart caught seven passes for 157 yards and two scores.
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