Eagles clamp down on Wildcats to even MEAC record
Posted January 14
North Carolina Central University used a solid defensive effort to get back on track, never allowing the host Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University to record double-figure field goals in the contest lead by redshirt junior Jay Copeland’s second career double-double on the way to a convincing 64-49 victory on Monday night at historic Moore Gymnasium in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The win marks No. 70 in head coach LeVelle Moton’s five year career and evens the maroon and gray’s conference record at 1-1.
NCCU came out strong, grabbing a 7-3 advantage through the first minute-and-a-half on a layup and the foul by senior Alfonzo Houston (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) and back-to-back Copeland buckets.
Junior Karamo Jawara’s (Bergen, Norway) layup extended the lead at seven at 16-9 with 10:59 to go in the first frame.
A Maurice Taylor three-point play with 4:10 remaining cut the Eagle lead to 25-19, but Moton’s squad showed poise and went on a 10-4 run the rest of the half to take a 12-point lead into the locker at 35-23.
Clemmye Owens’ three-point to start the half cut the margin to nine at 35-26, but it was all NCCU from there as the maroon and gray went on an 11-to-0 spurt to stretch the lead out to 20 at 46-26.
A Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md.) shot from beyond-the-arc gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the day at 51-29 with 12:31 to go as the Wildcats never found their rhythm on the offensive end.
The highlight of the night came with 6:02 left when Houston literally sent the capacity crowd to their feet and out the door on his fast break dunk over a Wildcat defender that put the score at 59-40.
The maroon and gray put it in cruise control to earn its fifth straight regular season victory over the Wildcats in the 64-49 win, making it 15-straight losses for B-CU on the year.
In the victory, Houston added 15 points behind Copeland’s game-high effort, while redshirt senior Reggie Groves (Raleigh, N.C.) went 2-for-5 from three-point land to finish with 10 points.
Senior point guard Emanuel Chapman (Raleigh, N.C.) set a new milestone at NCCU, becoming the first Eagle in school history to record over 500 career assists. With his eight helpers in the win, Chapman now has 501 in his career.
The maroon and gray outrebounded B-CU 36-30, outscored the Wildcats in the paint 36-20, won the fast break point battle 10-2, and forced 20 turnovers in the win.
On the night, Bethune-Cookman shot 16-for-47 (34.0 percent) from-the-field, making only nine shots in the first half and seven in the second.
NCCU (9-5, 1-1 MEAC) returns to action on Thursday evening, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. against NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) from the friendly confines of McDougald-McLendon Gym.