#11 “HORNETS” (6-24; 2-14 MEAC ) vs. #3 NC Central “Eagles” (15-15; 10-6 MEAC)
MEAC Tournament - Quarterfinal
Thu., Mar. 14, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.
Norfolk, Va. (Scope Arena - 10,253)
Live TV: n/a
Live Video: .MEACHoops.com; Live Audio: HSRN.com (DSU broadcast)
Live Stats: DSUHornets.com
Twitter updates: @DSUmbb
Delaware State Head Coach Eric Skeeters (Coppin State, ‘97): 6-24 at DSU and career (first season);
2-14 in MEAC regular season; 0-2 vs. NC Central; 1-0 MEAC Tournament
Eleventh-seeded Delaware State (6-24; 2-14 MEAC) takes on No. 3 North Carolina Central in a MEAC Tournament quarterfinal round contest. A win would give the Hornets their first tournament semifinal round appearance since 2015. DSU reached the quarterfinals with a 71-67 opening round win over No. 6 Savannah State on Monday. Kevin Larkin led four Delaware State double-figure scorers with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. He also led the Hornets with nine rebounds. Saleik Edwards added 17 points, highlighted by five three-point field goals, while D’Marco tallied 12 points and seven boards. Jonathan Mitchell came off the bench to contribute 10 points. Larkin, a 2018-19 All-MEAC Third Team selection, is tops on the Hornets and fourth in the MEAC in scoring at 16.0 points per game, and is second in the league in rebounding at 9.0 per game. In addition, he is tied for second in the conference with 11 “double-doubles” this season. On Dec. 3, 2018 vs. Cairn, Larkin scored a career-high 40 points, the top single-game total in the MEAC this season. He also had 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals to lead the Hornets to a 102-66 victory in that contest. Larkin has reached double-figures in scoring in 21 of the 25 games in which he has competed, topping the 20-point mark five times. Edwards is second on the Hornets and 13 in the MEAC in scoring at 10.4 points per game. He’s also the team leader with 66 three-point field goals to rank seventh in the league at 2.3 per game. Pinky Wiley is DSU’s third-leading scorer at 9.6 points per game and is number one in the MEAC’s in steals at 2.1 per game. He also ranks fourth in the MEAC at 4.4 assists per contest.
North Carolina Central (15-15; 10-6 MEAC), the defending MEAC tournament champs, won six of its last eight games regular season game to finish third in the final conference standings. The Eagles are led by 2018-19 All-MEAC First Team selection Raasean Davis, who ranks sixth in the league in scoring at 14.8 points per game and is third in the league in rebounding at 8.9 per contest. He’s also the MEAC’s top shooter with a .648 percentage. Randy Miller is second on the team and 3th in the MEAC in scoring at 13.3 ppg. NC Central is second in the league in scoring defense, 67.4 points per game.
HORNETS vs. Eagles Series (NCCU leads 24-16; DSU leads 2-1 in MEAC Tournament)
This will be the third meeting between the Hornets and Eagles this season and fourth MEAC
Tournament contest between the teams. North Carolina Central swept the regular season series,
winning 71-70 on Jan. 14 at Delaware State and 87-52 on Feb. 11 on its home court in Durham, N.C. In the Jan. 14 contest, the Eagles scored the winning basket on a length of the court driving lay-up by Jordan Perkins with 1.6 seconds left to play. In the second regular season meeting, NCCU used an 18-0 first half run to take control of the game. North Carolina Central has won the last four meetings to open up a 24-16 lead in the series.
This will be the fourth MEAC Tournament meeting between the teams. Delaware State won the last tourney contest 63-57 in a 2015 semifinal game to lead 2-1 in post-season meetings. The Hornets won the first tournament meeting 77-57 in 1975. NC Central won its lone tourney contest against DSU 66-65 in 1977.