Saturday’s and Monday’s are basically battle days for MEAC teams. With most games during conference play going on those two days of the week, it creates some good basketball. On this past Saturday, the MEAC had a lot of good games. Five different games were decided by seven points or less, truly showing the parity within the conference.
Oh yeah, Norfolk State won by 28 points, so first place they remain.
Here’s our weekend MEAC wrap up:
Florida A&M defeats Coppin State, 72-70
Morgan State defeats Bethune-Cookman, 77-71
North Carolina A&T defeats North Carolina Central, 51-48
Norfolk State defeats MD Eastern-Shore, 88-60
Savannah State defeats South Carolina State, 92-88
Howard defeats Delaware State, 80-74
Norfolk State proves its dominance
The MEAC’s first-place team absolutely dominated the Hawks. The Spartans were up by 21 at halftime and added another 40 points in the second half as well. Nic Thomas scored a career-high 26 points in the win, 21 of those coming from the three-point line. Mastadi Pitt added 18 points and Derrik Jamerson scored 16 in the blowout.
It was raining 3's on Saturday evening at Echols Hall. A school record 18 in fact for @NSU_BBALL in its win over Maryland Eastern Shore.— NSU Athletics (@NSUSpartans) January 27, 2019
Spartans move to 7-0 in the MEAChttps://t.co/UWQIaV4tcP pic.twitter.com/0caZwC3P6d
Now you’re asking, why is this a takeaway? Here’s why: Norfolk State’s next five games are an absolute MEAC gauntlet.
The Spartans travel to Howard, Bethune-Cookman, and rival Florida A&M. Then they return home to face NC Central and NC A&T. This is an opportunity for a statement, but if NSU drops a few during this stretch, we might see a new team on the top of the MEAC. But so far this seems like NSU’s year; it will be hard to knock them off.
NC A&T defeats NC Central, this time on the hardwood
North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central are an hour away from each other. You can feel the tension between the two fan bases on a daily basis. This is the MEAC’s premiere rivalry. In football, this game has had major MEAC title implications for the past few seasons. Overall, this game is never nice and for NC Central, the ending of Saturday’s match up on the hardwood was not as nice as the Eagles lost by three points.
Both teams did not shoot well as this turned into a defensive battle. The Central defense shut down the A&T starters but Ronald Jackson came off the bench and scored 16 clutch points for the Aggies. Raasean Davis pulled down 15 rebounds and scored 12 points for the Eagles. Randy Miller Jr led all scorers with 21 points.
Despite the home court advantage, the Eagles again lost another close game. These two teams will meet again but losing to a rival is never a good thing to think about.
For A&T, the Aggies are still undefeated in conference play.
Morgan State shows their grit against Bethune-Cookman
Morgan State walked into this game sitting at 2-4 in MEAC play. BCU was on a roll , gaining momentum the past few games. The Wildcats are one of the MEAC’s more athletic and taller teams. The size and talent did not scare the Bears as they scored 52 second-half points to defeat the Wildcats.
The Wildcats grabbed 19 more rebounds, scored 14 more points in the paint, and even led at halftime.
But a Todd Bozeman coached team is smart and will take advantage of your mistakes. Out of the eight players who played for the Wildcats, six of them had at least four fouls. Soufiyane Diakite fouled out, which was big as he was the second leading scorer for BCU. The abundance of fouls led Morgan State to score 27 points from the free throw line. The Wildcats also had 23 turnovers, which led to 23 points off turnovers for the Bears.
BCU was confident during pregame, they were respectful but their body language slightly showed that they underestimated Morgan State. Their sloppy play and a defensive collapse in the second half led to this loss.
Kyson Rawls scored a career-high 21 points for MSU. Cletrell Pope scored 20 points and grabbed 22 rebounds.
HUGE win by Morgan State over Bethune-Cookman today at Hill Field House. The Bears defeated the Wildcats 77-71— stephen-michael (@_StephenSZN) January 26, 2019
Morgan State is 7-3 against the Wildcats in their last 10 meetings #MEAC pic.twitter.com/ijIhY3FtFN
Cletrell Pope - Bethune-Cookman: 20 points and 22 rebounds
Ryan Andino - MD Eastern Shore: 19 points
Kyson Rawls - Morgan State: 21 points and 55% from three
Justin Ravenal - Florida A&M: 28 points
Chad Andrews-Fulton - Coppin State: 21 points and nine rebounds
Nic Thomas - Norfolk State: 26 points
Zach Sellers - Savannah State: 29 points
Charles Williams - Howard: 29 points