Cowboys use second-half run to lasso Eagles

Posted November 15, 2012

— A 20-7 run over an eight minute span in the second half was exactly what the host Cowboys of the University of Wyoming needed to squelch any momentum from North Carolina Central University as they outlasted the Eagles 73-60 in the Wednesday night-cap of day one in the 2012 Global Sports Hoops Showcase at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo.

NCCU came out flat for the second straight road contest as the Cowboys bolted out to a 10-0 advantage through the first three minutes, but head coach LeVelle Moton and his squad finally answered with a mini 8-4 run to cut the margin to 14-8 with 13:47 to after two Jeremy Ingram (Charlotte, N.C.) free throws.

With 11:03 left in the first half, a Derrious Gilmore layup gave the Pokes their largest lead at 25 to 10 seemingly putting the Eagles away, but the maroon and gray would not be denied.

Over the final 4:52 of the first frame, NCCU outscored Wyoming 14-2 to put the halftime score at 38-36 taking the momentum into the locker despite trailing by two.

The second stanza saw the Eagles firing on all cylinders out of the gate that included junior Stanton Kidd (Baltimore, Md.), who spent the first half saddled with foul trouble, scoring the first five points to give NCCU their first lead of the game at 41-40 with 18:34 to go.

The maroon and gray’s largest lead was three at 43-40 with 17:41 left, but two straight Eagle misses saw the lead disappear quickly.

Following an Austin Haldorson layup with 14:30 remaining in the second half, the Cowboys grabbed the lead back at 46-45. Over the next seven minutes and 25 seconds, Wyoming tightened up the defense and stretched the lead to 64-50 on the heels of an 18-5 run, which was just the cushion Larry Shyatt’s club needed to earn the victory.

Through the final minutes of the contest, NCCU continued to battle cutting the margin to nine on two occasions that was immediately answered by the host Cowboys as Wyoming moved to 2-0 on the year with the 73-60 win.

NCCU (1-2) had two Eagles in double figures led by senior captain Ray Willis (Atlanta, Ga.) who threw in 20 points on three-of-four shooting from the outside with eight rebounds, three steals and an assist on the night.

Ingram finished with 11 points in the loss, but was a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe, and junior Emanuel Chapman (Raleigh, N.C.) moved into the top-13 in school history in career assists as he collected five helpers on the night. Chapman now has 233 career assists, passing Mike White (1995-98) and needs five more to tie Larry Crowder (1991-93) who amassed 238 during his Eagle career. The third year veteran needs 46 to pass his head coach as Moton dished out 278 assists from 1992 to 1996.

Kidd ended his night with five points and five rebounds in only 12 minutes of action after fouling out while Jay Copeland (Suffolk,Va.) and Ebuka Anyaorah (Suwanee, Ga.) had six points apiece.

As a team, NCCU was a stellar 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) including four-for-seven from three-point range in the first half, but the Pokes slowed down the maroon and gray attack holding the Eagles to seven field goals in the second half (7-for-26, 26.9 percent) to end the night shooting 40.0 percent in defeat.

The Eagles have a quick turnaround as the maroon and gray will take on Southern University at 6:30 p.m. (EST) from the Arena-Auditorium on Thursday evening. Southern defeated South Dakota in the first game of the night on Wednesday 83-79. NCCU and SU have met two previous times on back-to-back days on March 22 and 23 in 1941 with the Jaguars winning both contests.


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