DURHAM, N.C. – For the third consecutive game, North Carolina Central saw a game decided on the final shot and came away with a narrow win.
The Eagles beat Coppin State 69-68 in another thriller on Saturday afternoon.
NCCU (10-10, 4-1 MEAC) took early command from the game as it raced out to a 14-2 lead over CSU (5-16, 4-3 MEAC) in the first seven minutes, but CSU regained its composure and charged back at NCCU. CSU knotted the game up twice in the first half, but NCCU was able to take a narrow one-point lead to the locker room, 37-36.
After the intermission, CSU immediately forced a turnover at the start of the half, and Tyree Corbett jammed home a dunk to give the guests its first lead of the game. NCCU quickly retaliated with a jumper from Justin Wright, but a quick three in response from Kyle Cardaci allowed CSU to step into the driver’s seat.
Just like how NCCU claimed a double-digit lead in the first half, CSU went up by 10, 53-43, with 12 minutes left. From that point on, NCCU outscored CSU 20-9 during a remarkable seven-minute stretch to get back in front, 63-62, with just under five minutes to go. Both teams traded field goals down the stretch, but Wright hit a big layup for NCCU to put the home side up, 69-68 with 22 seconds remaining. CSU had one more opportunity, but left a shot short to allow NCCU to pull out the one-point win.
Wright scored 17 of his career-high 25 points in the second half to help NCCU to the big win, and Kris Monroe recorded his second double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Corbett led CSU with a big double-double of 17 points and 12 boards, followed by Nendah Tarke contributed 13 points with eight caroms. Justin Steers put in 12 points with a game-high six assists, and Cardaci matched him with 12 points of his own.
Courtesy: North Carolina Central Athletics