After a week of tournament action across the country, Monday’s schedule seemed to lack potential for mid-majors to make a splash. However, the NC Central Eagles had something to say about that.
The Eagles traveled to Missouri and got the better of their SEC opponent. NC Central controlled the game throughout, en route to a 62-52 road win. While the Eagles’ offense wasn’t all that impressive, shooting just 36.5 percent for the game, their defense clamped down on the Tigers, holding Missouri to just 25 percent from the floor. Senior forward Will Ransom anchored the Eagles’ defensive effort with four blocks on the night.
On the offensive side of things, Patrick Cole led NC Central in scoring with 17 points and added 12 rebounds with seven assists to stuff the box score. However, it was junior Pablo Rivas coming off the bench that made the difference. Rivas played 30 minutes and contributed 16 points on 6-6 shooting.
The win makes four in a row for NC Central. After on 0-2 start consisting of road losses to Marshall and Ohio State, the Eagles have turned things around. They now have a road win over a power conference opponent to build momentum as MEAC play approaches.
Kennesaw State’s Rally Comes Up Short
The Kennesaw State Owls dug themselves into a huge hole only to come storming back in the second half against South Florida to nearly erase a 21-point halftime deficit.
The Owls made it a one-possession game with three and a half minutes to play on a Nick Masterson three. Masterson finished with 20 points to pace the Owls’ scoring. The lead was just one for South Florida when Geno Thorpe converted on a three-point play to seemingly put the game away. But the Owls fought back again over the final minute and had a good look at a three to beat the buzzer that drew back iron. Ultimately, the Owls fell 71-69.
Brown Holds off Bryan in a Wild Finish
The Brown Bears hosted the Bryant Bulldogs and came away with a hard fought 91-90 win. The Bulldogs briefly pulled ahead with 12 seconds to play on a Nisre Zouzoua three. But Brown immediately responded with a layup from Tavon Blackmon to go ahead by one with four seconds remaining.
As if that wasn’t enough intrigue, Bryan inbounded the ball to Ikenna Ndugba with a chance to shoot for the win at the buzzer. However, Ndugba appeared to not realize his team was trailing and instead looked to dribble out the clock. He even tossed the ball up as time expired as if to celebrate before realizing his mistake.
Words only do it so much justice, so take a look at the video for yourself:
Other Finals of Note
- Boise State gave Oregon a scare in Eugene. The Broncos held a three-point halftime lead and were tied with the Ducks with three minutes to play. However, Boise State fell short by a final of 68-63.
- Northwestern State hung with Mississippi State on the road, but fell 65-59 despite keeping the game tied through the first half.
- Louisiana Monroe picked up a surprising win at home against Stephen F. Austin by a final of 77-72.
- SIU-Edwardsville traveled to Grand Canyon and came away with an upset win 76-64.
- San Diego State picked up a dominant win over Savannah State by a score of 100-67. The Aztecs move to 4-1 with the win.
- Coppin State remained winless on the season, falling to 0-8 after a 76-73 defeat at the hands of Division II Chestnut Hill College.