Hornets fall to NC Central 75-57 in MEAC quarterfinals

DSU sports information photo

NORFOLK, Va. — Delaware State had already pulled off one upset in the MEAC Tournament.

But trying to knock off two-time defending champion North Carolina Central was too big a task for the Hornets on Thursday night.

The third-seeded Eagles sprinted out to a 16-point halftime lead before downing No. 11 DelState, 75-57, in the MEAC men’s basketball quarterfinals at the Scope Arena.

After the Hornets (6-25) pulled to within 37-28 on a jumper by D’Marco Baucum, North Carolina Central scored the last seven points of the first half to take a 44-28 lead into intermission. The Eagles then scored six of the first eight points of the second half to open up a 50-30 lead on a putback dunk by Raasean Davis with 16:49 left.

North Carolina Central held its biggest lead, 70-49, on a layup by Jordan Perkins with 3:58 remaining.

The Hornets were playing in the MEAC quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.

Kevin Larkin

“There’s a reason why North Carolina Central is a top team in our league year after year,” said Delaware State first-year coach Eric Skeeters. “I’m proud of my team, especially the seniors, for the growth we experienced this year. We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, and I’ll always be grateful to my staff and players for their contributions to my first year as a head coach.”

Kevin Larkin (Sussex Tech) finished with a team-high 16 points to cap off his lone season with DSU.

“This season meant everything to me because I had the chance to return home and play in front of my family and friends, and compete with a great group of guys,” he said.

The NCCU contest was also the final college game for Saleik Edwards, who finished with 13 points.

“This has been the best season of my life,” Edwards said. “I’m proud to be part of the rebuilding of this program. I believe great things are ahead for the program.”

Delaware State shot only 35.4 percent for the game, connecting on 23 of its 65 shots from the field, including just 4- of-22 on three-point attempts.

Randy Miller led four double-figure scorers with a game-high 18 points for NCCU. Davis (5-for-7 FGs), Larry McKnight, Jr. (4-for-7) and Jibri Blount (5-for-8) added 10 points each, while Zacarry Douglas had nine points and led all players with 12 rebounds.

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