Durham, N.C. (Feb. 3, 2018) ---Delaware State led by 18 points midway through the first half, but was outplayed the rest of the way in a 72-61 loss to defending MEAC champ North Carolina Central in a men’s basketball contest at McDougald-McLendon Gym today.
N.C. Central completed a season sweep of the Hornets to improve to 12-10 overall and 6-2 in the MEAC. DSU dropped its 18th straight game to fall to 2-22 and 0-9.
Raasean Davis led four NCCU players in double-figures with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field. Davis also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Jonathan Walker was Delaware State’s top scorer with a career-high 19 points. Walker was 7-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-3 on three-point shots.
Artem Tavakalyan added 17 points for the Hornets, shooting 6-for-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Redshirt freshman Marquis Collins chipped in 15 points for DSU. Collins has scored 97 points in the last five games to raise his season average to 8.6 points per game.
The score was 5-5 when the Hornets took control. Delaware State hit its next four shots, two each by Tavakalyan and Collins, whose lay-up gave DSU a 14-5 lead with 14:49 left in the first half.
The Hornets were ahead 14-7 before going on a 10-0 run to stretch their lead. Walker caped off the run with a three-pointer to give Delaware a 24-7 lead at the 11:23 mark of the opening half.
DSU held its biggest lead, 27-9, after a three-pointer by Pinky Wiley with 10:37 to go before halftime.
North Carolina Central began its comeback on a jumper by Pablo Rivas on the ensuing possession.
The Eagles outscored the Hornets 18-2 over the next five minutes, and tied game at 29 on a three-ball by Jordan Perkins with 5:48 left in the half.
Despite shooting 57.7% from the field (15-for-26) and 60% from three-point range in the first half, Delaware State trailed 40-37 at the break.
N.C. Central opened up a double-digit lead, 54-44, on a lay-up by Gardner with 13:26 left to play.
Davis nailed a jumper with 4:30 remaining to give the Eagles a 72-54 lead, their biggest of the game.
The Hornets wrap up their two-game road swing with a visit to North Carolina A&T on Monday. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C.