NORFOLK, Va.–The first day of the 2016 MEAC Basketball Tournament ended with a thriller, as No. 11 Coppin State upset the No. 6 seed, North Carolina A&T, 98-91 in double overtime.

The Eagles will take on No. 3 South Carolina State in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Aggies led 78-77 in the closing seconds of regulation, but Christian Kessee drained a three at the top of the key with 9.1 seconds left to give Coppin State an 80-78 lead.

Sam Hunt answered with two free throws with 2.2 left to force overtime.

Coppin State, which led 42-36 at the half, shot 43.5-percent (27-for-62) from the floor and made 10 of 27 3-pointers. James Sylvester led five Eagles in double figures with 23 points.

The Aggies out-rebounded Coppin State 49-44 and shot percent (29-for-74) from the floor. Six Aggies scored in double figures, led by Bruce Beckford’s 20 points. He added 10 rebounds for a double-double, and Denzel Keyes also had a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards.

Savannah State 63, Delaware 58

Christopher Martin never got stressed during Monday’s opening round game against with Delaware State.

Even with the Hornets shooting lights out and on the precipice of pulling off a Lakerish upset, Martin knew the fifth-seeded Tigers could regain control and pull off the 63-58 victory by doing what the Tigers do all year.

“We knew we could grind it out,” said Martin, who finished with a game-high 21 points. “We stuck together like brothers, stuck with the game plan and found a way to win.”

With their eighth win in their last nine games, The Tigers (15-14) advanced to a Thursday night quarterfinal meeting with fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman. Delaware State ends its season 7-25.

While Martin posted his second 20-point night of the season, and also matched his output of the last three games, this night belonged to the Tiger defense, which held the Hornets to 27.3-percent shooting (6-of-22) in the second half after getting torched for 57-percent the opening 20 minutes.

After Lenjo Kilo (10 points, 12 rebounds) hit a jumper with 2:21 left that made it 59-58, the Tigers held the Hornets scoreless the rest of the way. All they needed was a pair of free throws from both  Troyce Manassa (13 points) and Martin to preserve the win.

“We just started trying to guard people,” said Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax. “The guys picked it up a little bit and started playing some defense.”

Even after seeing a 42-31 lead fade, Delaware State made one last stand down the stretch and had a pair of six points leads.

A Martin lay-up gave Savannah State a 52-51 lead, then after a Delaware State three-pointer, Kamil Williams hit a wide open three in transition that made it 55-53 with 3:57 left.

“That’s when I knew  we had a chance to win,” Kilo said.

Dana Raysor’s three with 2:45 left gave the Hornets their final lead of the game at 58-57.

Raysor had eight of his 13 in the first half as Delaware State led by 12 points on three first-half occasions. The Hornets settled for a 37-29 halftime advantage.

“This is one of those games you hate to end a season on,” said Delaware State coach Keith Walker. “We played well enough to win, but we had execution issues – a few missed shots and a couple of turnovers–  that made the difference.”

Kavon Waller led the Hornets with 15 points, DeAndre Haywood added 10.


Coppin State 78, Norfolk State 54

Coppin State advanced to the quarterfinals in the women’s bracket with a 78-54 win over Norfolk State in first-round action on Monday at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

The Eagles will play in the quarterfinals on Thursday at approximately 2 p.m. against either No. 5 Morgan State or No. 12 North Carolina Central.

Amber Griffin led four Coppin State players in double figures with 19 points, while also grabbing a team-high five rebounds. Genesis Lucas added 15 points for the Eagles, who outscored Norfolk State 20-6 in the fourth quarter.

Coppin State led 36-27 at the half.

The Eagles shot 58.5 percent (31-for-53) from the floor and held a 36-26 rebounding advantage.

Norfolk State shot 34.5 percent (20-for-58) from the floor and had six blocks on defense. Kiara Phillips led three Spartans in double figures with 15 points.

Morgan State 52, North Carolina Central 42

Zuri White posted a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds to propel No. 5 seed Morgan State to a 52-42 victory over No. 12 seed North Carolina Central in a first-round MEAC Women’s Basketball Championship game on Monday afternoon at Scope Arena.

The Lady Bears (13-16) advance to a 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday against No. 4 seed and intra-city rival Coppin State.

MSU did the job defensively, forcing 16 turnovers and holding NCCU (5-23) to 35.6 percent shooting from the floor. The Lady Bears also held a 48-35 edge on the glass, including 21 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points.

Tisha Dixon scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for NCCU.

MSU used a 9-0 run midway through the first quarter to turn a 4-2 deficit into an 11-4 lead it never relinquished. White scored six points in the run, which was capped by a Benedicta Makakala 3-pointer.

NCCU closed to within 19-15 two minutes into the second quarter on a trey by Monique Whaley-Briggs, but MSU held the Lady Eagles to just six points the rest of the half and led 34-21 at the break.

MSU stretched its lead to as many as 19 points in the third quarter. A 7-1 spurt cut NCCU’s deficit to eight (48-40) after a layup by Dixon at the 6:13 mark of the fourth quarter. But the Lady Eagles managed just one field goal the rest of the game as MSU held on.

The Lady Bears shot just 29 percent from the floor, but committed just 11 turnovers and shot 71 percent (10-of-14) from the free-throw line. NCCU connected on just 44 percent from the charity stripe (8-of-18).

Lexus Spears added nine points, while Tykyrah Williams and Braennan Farrar had eight apiece for MSU. Morgan Jones chipped in with eight points for NCCU.

Howard 68, Maryland Eastern Shore 51

Four Bison scored in double figures and 11th-seeded Howard University outscored sixth-seed University of Maryland Eastern Shore 41-23 in the second half to pull off the first upset of the tournament 68-51, on Monday.

Junior Te’Shya Heslip led the Bison with 22 points while senior teammate Victoria Gonzales cashed in 17 points, junior Jasmine Hill bucketed 11 and junior Sydni Johnson delivered 10 points.

Howard (7-23 overall) will advance to the MEAC quarterfinals on Thursday and will play third-seeded Hampton University at Noon. UMES ended its season at 12-17.

Trailing by one at halftime, Howard came out of the locker room and took over with a big third quarter. The Bison outscored UMES 20-11 in the period by making half of its shots (10-of-20) and holding the Hawks to just two made field goals on 14 tries (14.3-percent).

After a late layup by Heslip, Hill came up with a steal on the in bounds play and quickly dished it off for the transition basket by Gonzales as time was expiring in the third period to put Howard up 47-39.

Heslip and Gonzales both scored eight points in the decisive 10-minute period and Howard kept the momentum by once again outscoring the Hawks by nine points the fourth quarter.

Howard forced UMES into 22 turnovers while only making seven mistakes of its own to help the Bison avenge a pair regular season losses to the Hawks. Howard finished with a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

UMES sophomore Moengaroa Subritzky – a First Team All-MEAC selection last week – scored 14 of her team-high 22 points in the first half as the higher-seed led for majority of the early play.

A Subritzky layup soared the Hawks an early 15-7 lead and UMES continued to lead by eight, 19-11, at the end of the first quarter after freshman Ciani Byrom made a layup at the buzzer. Howard rallied in the second quarter to take its only lead of the half at 22-21, but the Hawks scored the next five points and continued to lead into the second half.

Byrom followed Subritzky in the UMES scoring column with 10 points. The Hawks outrebounded the Bison, 50-42, with senior Taryana Kelly pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds in her last game. Byrom also corralled eight rebounds and dished out four assists.

Gonzales and Johnson both flirted with double-doubles for Howard with nine and eight rebounds, respectively. Heslip paced an aggressive Bison defense with three steals.

MEAC Media Relations


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