Hornets fall to NC Central 82-74 for 6th straight loss

DOVER — The first time Delaware State met North Carolina Central this season served as a sense of optimism for how good the Hornets could possibly be in the MEAC.

The second time, on Monday night, was a harsh reminder of how far the Hornets have fallen.

Delaware State lost its sixth consecutive game, 82-74 to North Carolina Central. The Hornets have yet to win a home game against a Division I opponent this season.

Patrick Cole did a majority of the damage for the Eagles. He scored 28 points and would have had more if it wasn’t for foul trouble.

“Their best player was on fire in that first half and really got them going,” said DSU point guard Devin Morgan. “They followed behind him. Against a good team like that you can’t dig yourself that kind of hole. We were lacking focus and missed a lot of assignments.”

The Hornets stunned North Carolina Central Jan. 10 on the road with a 69-68 victory. It gave Delaware State a 2-0 start in the conference before the Hornets hit this recent skid to drop to 2-6 against the MEAC (5-18 overall).

To date, that is the only conference loss for North Carolina Central (6-1 MEAC, 15-6 overall).

And it was obvious early on in Monday’s game it would be different than the first time these two teams met.

The Eagles used a 17-4 run in the first half to pull away and built a 33-16 lead. The Hornets were able to chip away to make it 33-21 late in the first half before North Carolina Central scored the last five points of the half to go on top 38-21 at halftime.

Delaware State only hit five field goals in the first half (5-of-25 attempts).

“We missed too many shots, too many layups and open shots,” said DSU coach Keith Walker. “It will be tough for anyone to win like that. From a statistical standpoint we were just very poor in the first half.”

North Carolina State’s largest lead was by 24 with 14:05 left in the second half.

The Hornets finally closed within single digits on DeAndre Haywood’s three-pointer with 46 seconds left. Haywood hit another three on the game’s final possession for the last points of the contest.

“I think the guys were pressing,” Walker said. “Our guys are putting too much pressure on themselves. They’re trying to get this situation turned around but we need to get back and focus on what we do best and executing what we know we can do.”

Morgan was DelState’s top scorer with 24 points. Dana Raysor followed with 12 points as he shot 4-of-4 from three-point range.

Devaughn Mallory came off the bench and hit all five of his field goal attempts to end up with 11 points for the game. The Polytech High product was making just his second appearance from missing seven games with a calf injury.

Artem Tavakalyn also finished in double figures for DSU with 10 points.

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