Dover, Del. (Jan. 30, 2017) --- North Carolina Central avenged its only MEAC loss of a season with an 82-74 victory over Delaware State in Memorial Hall this evening.
The Eagles (15-6; 6-1 MEAC) have won six straight games since falling to the Hornets 69-68 on January 10 in Durham, N.C. The Hornets (5-18; 2-6 MEAC) have lost six in a row since that first meeting with NCCU.
Patrick Cole set the pace for the Eagles, outscoring the Hornets by himself in the first 10 minutes to give the visitors an early double-digit lead. Cole scored NCCU’s first eight points and 17 in the first 9:52 of the game. His fourth three-pointer gave the Eagles a 22-12 lead with 10:08 to go in the first half. He ended the half with 19 points to lead No. Carolina Central a 38-21 advantage at the break.
Cole was 6-for-9 from the field, including 4-of-5 on three point attempts and perfect on three free throws in the first half.
He added nine points in the second half to lead four Eagles in double-figures with a game-high 28 points.
Cole, the MEAC’s fourth leading scorer with a 19.2 average entering Monday’s contest, had five three-pointers (5-7) and was 9-9 at the free throw line in the game.
NCCU opened up its biggest lead, 60-36, on lay-up by Rashaun Madison with 14:05 left to play.
Delaware State showed some spark over the next four minutes, outscoring the Eagles 13-3 to raise hopes for a comeback.
DeVaughn Mallory, playing in his second game since missing the previous seven due to a calf injury, scored on a tip-in to cut the Eagles’ lead to 63-49 with 10:04 left to play. Mallory came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field.
The Hornets outscored NCCU 14-6 in the final three minutes to make the final score more respectable. DSU won the second half 53-44, but it was too little too late to extend a three-game win streak against the Eagles.
Devin Morgan was high scorer for Delaware State with 24 points, highlighted by 7-for-7 shooting at the free throw line and three three-pointers (3-8). He also led all players with a season-best nine rebounds, two short of his career-high.
DSU’s Dana Raysor continued his hot long range shooting of late, scoring 12 points on four three-pointers on four tries. Raysor has nailed 10 three-point shots in the last two games.
Artem Tavakalyan came off the bench to add 10 points for the Hornets.
Dajuan Graf and Kyle Benton contributed 12 points each, while Madison had 10 for the Eagles.
After shooting just 20% in the first half (5-25), Delaware State was 20-for-36 in the final 20 minutes (55.6%) to post a 41% mark for the game (25-for-61).
North Carolina Central was 26-for-55 from the field (47.3%) and 8-of-20 on three-point shots (40%) in the game.
The Hornets will try to snap their six-game slide at home against North Carolina A&T on Wed. (Feb. 1). Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall following the DSU/NCA&T women’s contest.
DSU defeated the Aggies 55-53 in its 2016-17 MEAC opener on Jan. 7 in Greensboro, N.C.
… Delaware State’s Kavon Waller extended his streak to 14 games with at least one three-point field goal in Monday’s contest
… The Hornets outrebounded the Eagles 38-34, although the Eagles had fewer turnovers (11-9).
... Morgan’s 24 points were his most since tallying 26 against Hawaii on Dec. 30.
…NC Central led for more than 38 minutes in the contest