N.C. Central 51, N.C. A&T 47

N.C. Central rallies to defeat rival N.C. A&T, 51-47

CorrespondentFebruary 23, 2013 

— The good times are rolling at N.C. Central.

Before a sold-out McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium, the Eagles rallied from a second-half deficit to defeat archrival N.C. A&T 51-47 for their 13th win in 14 games.

NCCU has owned the Aggies over the past three years, winning four of the past five matchups. Saturday’s win was the second straight regular-season sweep.

“This rivalry is a war of attrition,” NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said. “It’s a grind, and whoever breaks, breaks. I told my guys to be prepared for that”

From the start, it appeared the Eagles (19-8, 12-1) would be the ones to break.

In the first half, N.C. A&T (13-16, 6-7) looked nothing like a team riding a two-game losing streak. Led by freshman forward Bruce Beckford’s eight points, the Aggies shot 56.5 percent from the field while holding the Eagles to 35.3.

N.C. A&T built its biggest lead of 24-13 with 9:02 left. NCCU closed the deficit to four before a short jumper by Jeremy Underwood and a dunk by Austin Witter put the Aggies up 29-22.

Junior guard Antonin Galaya then came off the bench to spark his team with a 3-pointer and two free throws to pull NCCU to within three points at halftime.

Junior forward Stanton Kidd admitted the team was “caught up” in the first half.

“Yeah, I thing we got caught up in the crowd and hype and everything,” said Kidd, who is averaging 14.2 points per game. “But coach told us at halftime to remember our scrimmage against Winston-Salem State. There was nobody in the stands [in that game], so he told us to picture nobody in the gym when we go back out.”

With Kidd and Jeremy Ingram – who each scored 14 points – leading the way, the Eagles took their first lead on Ingram’s jumper with 13:05 left. NCCU ran off seven straight points to go up 45-38 at the second half’s midway mark.

But the tide soon began to turn as the Eagles became turnover-prone (19) and the Aggies took advantage. Lamont Middleton’s turnaround jumper with 2:54 left closed the gap to one. But the Aggies’ Achilles’ heel proved almost a tougher opponent than the Eagles.

Twice N.C. A&T had a chance to take the lead but missed the front ends of one-and-ones at the free-throw line. The Aggies were 6-for-19 compared to NCCU’s 19-for-21 effort.

“Free throws. Thirty-one percent. That’s my only comment,” Aggies coach Cy Alexander said.

The Eagles have a week to prepare for a Saturday’s home rematch against Savannah State, which handed them their only conference loss two weeks ago.

N.C. CENTRAL 51, N.C. A&T 47

 NC A&T (13-15): Powell 4-10 1-6 10, Beckford 5-7 0-0 10, Middleton 2-8 4-11 8, Louisme 2-8 0-0 6, Witter 1-3 0-0 2, Underwood 4-7 1-2 11, Upchurch 0-1 0-0 0, Buck 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 6-19 47.

 NC CENTRAL (19-8): Ingram 3-9 6-7 14, Kidd 5-11 4-5 14, Chapman 3-7 0-0 7, Willis 1-4 3-3 5, Copeland 1-1 0-0 2, Galaya 1-2 2-2 5, Williams 0-0 2-2 2, Ferguson 0-0 2-2 2, Houston 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-35 19-21 51.

 Halftime–NC A&T 30-27. 3-Point Goals–NC A&T 5-19 (Underwood 2-3, Louisme 2-7, Powell 1-4, Buck 0-1, Witter 0-1, Middleton 0-3), NC Central 4-12 (Ingram 2-5, Chapman 1-2, Galaya 1-2, Kidd 0-1, Houston 0-1, Willis 0-1). Fouled Out–Powell. Rebounds–NC A&T 26 (Powell 6), NC Central 32 (Kidd 6). Assists–NC A&T 9 (Underwood 4), NC Central 10 (Chapman 7). Total Fouls–NC A&T 19, NC Central 14. A–3,230.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service