BC-BKC--MEAC-NC Central-Norfolk St
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Zacarry Douglas scored all 10 of his points during a 25-6 second-half run and North Carolina Central won its third consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament with a 50-47 victory against top-seeded Norfolk State on Saturday.
The Eagles (18-15) earned another trip to the NCAA Tournament despite missing nine of their last 10 shots and not scoring for the final 4:03.
Mastadi Pitt scored 14 points and C.J. Kelly 13 for Norfolk State (21-13). The Spartans had a last chance to tie, but after taking a timeout with 8.8 seconds left, they had to settle for a heavily contested desperation heave by Pitt at the buzzer.
The Spartans closed the first half on a 20-8 run and led 32-22 at the break. It was 34-22 after Alex Long’s jumper to open second-half scoring, but Jordan Perkins’ 3-pointer started the 25-6 spurt. Perkins had seven points in the run that gave the Eagles a 47-38 lead with 8:18 to play.
The Spartans trailed 50-42 after Jibri Blount’s basket for the Eagles with 4:03 left, but got only a driving basket by Steven Whitley and three free throws by Jordan Butler the rest of the way as they missed seven of their last eight shots.
N.C. Central: The Eagles turned over the ball 17 times, but it led to just 13 points for Norfolk State. The Eagles also won the rebounding battle 41-29 with Raasean Davis grabbing 14 and Douglas 12.
Norfolk State: Scoring leader Nic Thomas (14.9 points per game) was scoreless, missing all five of his shots from the field.
N.C. Central: will await its NCAA Tournament destination.
Norfolk State: will play in the NIT as league regular-season champions.
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