NCCU uses strong second half to pull away from Pirates
Posted January 8
With the scored tied 39 with 16:32 left, North Carolina Central University used a 23-8 run that included four shots from downtown to break open a tight game against the visiting Pirates of Hampton University on the way to a 74-61 nonconference win on Tuesday night at McDougald-McLendon Gym.
The win marks the 14th straight victory inside the friendly confines as the Eagles played their first home game in nearly a month.
After a rough start that found Hampton 9-1 following an Emmanuel Okoroba layup with 16:38 left, NCCU responded with a 14-to-6 run to knot the game up at 15 after redshirt freshman Juwan Moody (Pontiac, Mich.) drilled the long three-pointer with 9:01 left. Moody finished with five first half points that were a major spark to the Eagle attack.
The maroon and gray scored the game’s next nine points highlighted by Jordan Parks’ (Queens, N.Y.) alley-oop dunk to put the Eagles up 24-15 with 6:25 left.
Over the final six minutes, HU clawed back with a 15-to-6 run of their own to take a 30-29 lead as the game went into the halftime break knotted up at 31.
Offensively, NCCU started the game 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from-the-field and both teams combined for 26 personal fouls forcing both teams to dig deep into their benches.
The second stanza looked to be a back-and-forth affair until Emanuel Chapman (Raleigh, N.C.) and company found their touch from the outside.
Entering the game, Chapman, despite being a career 33.6 percent three-point shooter was a meager 4-for-18 (22.2) from deep. The senior point guard went 3-for-4 from beyond-the-arc to spark the game-turning 23-to-8 run to see the NCCU advantage grow to 62-47 with 6:21 to go.
With the 15-point lead intact, Hampton did not go away easily cutting the margin down to six after two Deron Powers free-throws, but a couple of highlight reel dunks by Jay Copeland (Suffolk, Va.) and Parks sent the home crowd to their feet and the maroon and gray to the 74-61 win.
In the second half, the Eagles shot 16-for-27 (59.3 percent) from the field that included a 4-for-7 (57.1 percent) effort from three-point range, while the Pirates fell of shooting 7-for-33 (21.2 percent) that included 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from deep.
Four student-athletes donning the maroon and gray finished in double figures led by Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md.) who dropped in 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, marking the first double-digit effort and team-high performance for the sophomore as an Eagle. Both Copeland and Parks ended the game with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Chapman contributed 11 points in the victory.
The maroon and gray outrebounded the Pirates 43-39, outscored HU 40-18 in the paint, and went 6-for-14 (42.9 percent) from three-point range. HU’s Brian Darden finished with a game-high 20 points for the Pirates (7-8, 2-0 MEAC) in the loss.
NCCU (8-4) shifts its focus to conference play as the Eagles hit the road for the annual Sunshine State excursion down to Tallahassee and Daytona Beach. Saturday, Jan. 11 at 6:00 p.m. from the Lawson Center against the Rattlers of Florida A&M is next up on the slate for the maroon and gray.