Norfolk, Va. – North Carolina Central University (NCCU) reaches the MEAC quarterfinal after overcoming a cold start in the Opening Round of the 2018 MEAC Basketball Tournament at Scope Arena on Tuesday, March 6. The Eagles scored 43 points in the second half on the way to a 60-48 win over Coppin State.
NCCU (16-15) and CSU (5-27) were a combined 11-54 from the floor in the first half, and NCCU found itself down 18-17 at the intermission. That score is the second-lowest first half in MEAC Tournament history after Hampton led Delaware State 21-16 on March 10, 2009.
The second half began on a similar trend but Reggie Gardner, Jr. (Bowie, Md.) suddenly caught fire and knocked down back-to-back treys to give NCCU a 29-24 lead and from there the maroon and gray would hold the lead for the rest of the contest. NCCU eventually went on an 8-0 lead to pull ahead by double-digits and went on to close out the contest from there.
Gardner was the man of the hour for NCCU with a game-high 20 points with four made three-pointers, and Jordan Perkins (Greensboro, N.C.) was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line for 12 points and five assists. Raasean Davis (Chicago, Ill.) had a game-high nine rebounds with five points, and Dominique Reid (Landover, Md.) chipped in nine points with six caroms
Karonn Davis (Philadelphia, Pa.) had a team-best 13 points with five assists for CSU, and Lamar Morgan (Willingboro, N.J.) followed with 10 points with five boards. Chad Andrews-Fulton (Philadelphia, Pa.) also had a complete game with six points and seven rebounds.
NCCU advances to meet third-seeded Savannah State on Thursday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. The game will be carried live on the NCCU Sports Network as well as on ESPN3.