Norfolk, Va. (Mar. 5, 2018) --- Davaris McGowens hit two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in overtime to give No. 4 North Carolina A&T a 62-61 victory over 13th-seeded Delaware State in a MEAC Tournament opening round game at the Scope Arena Monday. The nail-biting loss ends the Hornets’ 2017-18 season, while the Aggies advance to the tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

Delaware State had the ball and a 61-60 lead when Kavon Waller missed a three-point attempt as the shot clock was expiring with 10 seconds left in the overtime.

NCA&T’s Denzel Keyes grabbed the rebound and threw a full court pass to McGowens, who was fouled by Waller on the play. After McGowens sank the two free throws to give the Aggies a one-point lead, Delaware State failed to get off a shot on its final possession to end the game.

The loss overshadowed a brilliant performance by Hornet center Simon Okolue, who scored a game-high 20 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field in his final collegiate game.

Waller was the only other Delaware State player to score in double-figures with 11 points, highlighted by three three-point field goals, while Artem Tavakalyan led the Hornets with 11 rebounds.

The contest featured 16 lead changes and eight ties.

Delaware State had the early advantage, using a 17-2 run to open up a double-digit lead. Jonathan Walker capped off the rally with a three-pointer to give the Hornets a 21-8 lead with 9:20 left in the first half.

Delaware State hit 6-of-8 shots from the field, including a three-pointer, and was perfect on four free throw attempts, while the Aggies missed four of five shots and committed two turnovers during the Hornet rally.

North Carolina A&T answered with a 19-5 run and took a 27-26 lead on a lay-up by Keyes with 1:48 to go before halftime.

Delaware State’s Saleick Edwards had a steal and dunk just before the first half buzzer to give the Hornets a 30-29 lead at the break.

North Carolina A&T opened up a 50-44 advantage on a three-pointer by Femi Olujobi with 10:24 left to play.

The Hornets regained the lead 53-53 on a three-pointer by Waller at the 4:44 mark of the second half.

The score was 57-57 at the end of regulation.

Olujobi led North Carolina A&T with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, while McGowens added 14 points for the Aggies.     

The Hornets have dropped three straight MEAC Tournament opening round contests since reaching the championship game in 2015.   

Delaware State men's basketball