NORFOLK, Va. – North Carolina Central University Eagles outpace Norfolk State Spartans for their first MEAC road win. NCCU led Norfolk State wire-to-wire after opening the game with one of 11 made three-pointers to pick up its second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win of the season with a 72-57 victory at Echols Hall on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C.) hit that first three, and then Rashaun Madison (Norfolk, Va.) chimed in with six treys for 18 points in his return to his hometown. Madison knocked down at least six threes for the third time this season, and the fifth time in his career at NCCU.
NCCU (11-6, 2-1 MEAC) led NSU (4-13, 1-2 MEAC) by as many as 12 briefly in the first half, but the Spartans kept the Eagles close with help from a strong showing from Kerwin Okoro (Bronx, N.Y.) who finished with 21 points.
The first half ended with Graf hitting a deep two-pointer at the buzzer, and the Eagles rode that momentum to sprint ahead by as many as 14 in the second half. NCCU went on to lead by double-digits for the remainder of the contest.
Patrick Cole (Newark, N.J.) cashed in a team-high 19 points with five rebounds and six assists, followed by Graf who had 14 points. Kyle Benton (Long Beach, Calif.) was one point shy of his third double-double of the season with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Jonathan Wade (Panama City, Fla.) joined his teammate Okoro as the two main scorers for the Spartans with 20 points of his own.
NCCU next visits Hampton for a nationally televised game on ESPNU and WatchESPN, with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Highlights (PHOTOS: Randy Singleton)
Spartans Hand NCCU First MEAC Loss
NORFOLK, Va. – Sophomore forward Deja McCain scored a career-high 14 points for North Carolina Central University in a 71-40 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) women’s basketball road loss at Norfolk State University on Saturday afternoon in Echols Hall.
The Lady Eagles were held to just two made field goals in both the second and third quarters as the Spartans pulled away in the middle periods. NSU (8-7 Overall, 3-0 MEAC) stayed undefeated in the league while NCCU (3-12, 2-1) w
McCain netted her 14 points 4-of-10 accuracy from the field and 6-of-8 precision from the free throw line. The Charlotte, North Carolina, product also led NCCU with six rebounds and one block.
Senior guard Morgan Jones totaled 11 points, three steals and two assists for the visitors. The Stockbridge, Georgia, resident has scored in double digits in 11 games this season, including her last eight performances.
The only other Lady Eagle to make multiple baskets was senior Chantal Thomas, who finished with eight points.
A successful putback McCain at the 8:42 mark of the second quarter had the Lady Eagles trailing by just one point, 15-14, before the Spartans went on a decisive 10-0 run.
NCCU was held scoreless for nearly eight minutes while Norfolk State scored its five unanswered baskets before McCain ended the drought with another offensive rebound and second-chance hoop in the paint in the final minute of the first half. A junior Kayla Robert layup was the last basket of the period as the Spartans went into the intermission leading 27-16.
NSU never trailed and a 3-pointer by Jones knotted the score for the only time early at 3-all. The Spartans scored the next eight points and the hosts never relinquished the lead from that point. Jones’ second trey of the opening quarter had the Lady Eagles only trailing by four, 15-11, after 10 minutes.
Jones paced NCCU into the locker room with seven points and two steals, but the Lady Eagles were just 2-for-22 (9.1%) from the floor in the second quarter to fall behind by 11.
The Spartans shot a torrid 61.5-percent (16 of 26) in the second half to continue to pull away before winning by 31 points. NCCU was held to just 21.7% shooting from the field (second worst mark on the season).
All five Norfolk State starters had big performances for the hosts: Senior Khalilah Ali scored a game-high 19 points and flirted with a triple-double with nine blocks and eight rebounds; senior Kiara Phillips tallied 13 points, five rebounds and five assists; Roberts recorded 11 points and nine rebounds; senior Dominique Harper had 10 points; and senior Jordan Strode supplied nine points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals.
NCCU will play its fourth game in seven days when the Lady Eagles play at MEAC foe Hampton University on Monday at 4 p.m.
Highlights (PHOTOS: Randy Singleton):