DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY 2017-18 MEN’S BASKETBALL
#13 “HORNETS” (4-27; 2-14 MEAC) vs. #4 NCA&T STATE “Aggies” (18-13; 11-5 MEAC)
2018 MEAC Tournament - Opening Round
Mon., Mar. 5, 2018 - 6:30 p.m.
Norfolk, Va. (Scope Arena - 10,253)
Live TV: n/a
Live Audio: MEACHoops.com
Live Video: MEACHoops.com
Live Stats: MEACHoops.com Twitter updates: @DSUmbb
Interim Delaware State Head Coach Keith Johnson (Cheyney, ‘83): 1-2 at DSU; 76-86 career (including 75-84 in six seasons at Cheyney) 0-0 vs. NCA&T
NCA&T Head Coach Jay Joyner (New Paltz, ’02): 19-43 at NCA&T and career (third season); 2-2 vs. DSU
Delaware State (4-27; 2-14 MEAC) hopes to erase memories of a disappointing regular season with a surprising MEAC Tournament run. The 13th-seeded Hornets begin 2018 tournament play against No. 4 seed North Carolina A&T. After dropping its first 12 MEAC games this season, DSU won two of the last four, including an 87-80 victory over Morgan State in the regular season finale on Mar. 1, its first win in three games under interim head coach Keith Johnson. Simon Okolue scored a career-high 24 points, while Artem Tavakalyan added 22 in the Morgan State contest. Okolue, who missed both 2017-18 regular season games against North Carolina A&T, leads the Hornets in scoring at 11.2 points per game and in rebounding at 7.1 per contest. He’s also No. 2 in the MEAC with a .599 shooting percentage this season. Tavakalyan is second on the Hornets in scoring (11.0 ppg) and rebounding (5.3 pg), and leads all MEAC players with a .421 three-point shooting mark.
North Carolina A&T (18-;13; 11-5 MEAC) ended the regular season with a 70-59 loss to arch-rival North Carolina Central on Mar. 1. Femi Olujobi, a 2017-18 All-MEAC Second Team selection, is tops on the team and eighth in the league in scoring at 16.4 points per game. He’s also fourth in the MEAC in rebounding at 7.8 per game. North Carolina A&T head coach Jay Joyner was selected as the 2017-18 Coach-of-the-Year
HORNETS vs. AGGIES SERIES HISTORY (NCA&T leads 58-35, including 5-2 in MEAC TOURNAMENT)
The Hornets are Aggies are meeting for the third time this season. North Carolina A&T took the regular season series, winning 76-66 at Delaware State on Jan. 8 and completing the sweep with a 54-51 victory on Feb. 5 in Greensboro, N.C. In the first regular season meeting, Artem Tavakalyan scored a game-and-career-high 23 points (8-11 FGs; 5-6 3pt. FG) to lead the Hornets. Delaware State led 30-28 at the half and had three shots at the potential game-winning basket in the final seconds in the second regular season match-up. DSU’s Joe Lewis recorded his second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the second regular season contest against the Aggies. Delaware State’s leading scorer Simon Okolue missed both 2017-18 DSU/NCA&T regular season games due to injury (knee). The Hornets and Aggies are meeting in the MEAC Tournament for the first time since 2013, an 84-78 victory for NCA&T in Norfolk, Va.