Courtesy of North Carolina Central Athletics
N.C. Central 3-4,0-0 MEAC
Winner The Citadel 3-3,0-0 SoCon
The North Carolina Central University men’s basketball program completed its appearance at the Creek Classic on Tuesday evening with a 67-61 loss to The Citadel. Senior Fred Cleveland Jr. finished the game with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting to help the Eagles earn a 1-1 record at the two-day event hosted by Campbell University.
The Citadel went on a 10-0 run to start the game. Head coach LeVelle Moton called a quick timeout to compose his squad. Redshirt senior Ja’Darius Harris would score the first points of the game for the Eagles at the 17:21 minute mark.
After a jumper by the Bulldogs, NCCU went on a 9-0 run to make it a one-point game. The first lead for North Carolina Central came with 4:31 left in the first half, after a made three-pointer by Cleveland.
With five different lead changes and four ties, the Eagles went into halftime with a 37-35 lead. Harris was the team’s leading scorer at the half, totaling 11 points, and going 4-of-4 from the field.
A back-and-forth effort from both teams would lead to a 43-43 tie after the first media timeout of the second half. Cleveland scored five straight points, followed by a two-point jumper by Emmanuel Izunabor.
The contest was tied 50-50 heading into the 12-minute media timeout. The Eagles would take the lead for the final time after Josh Smith added two more to give NCCU 52 points.
AJ Smith and Christian Moore of The Citadel would score the last 13 points for the Bulldogs to extend the lead. NCCU sophomore Po’Boigh King, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, made a layup and a free-throw, followed by a three-pointer by Harris to get within six points. That was the closest the Eagles would come as the Bulldogs grabbed key rebounds to end the contest.
NCCU men’s basketball will not have any games until after the Thanksgiving holiday when they travel to Coastal Carolina University for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday, Nov. 26.
Next Game: at Coastal Carolina 11/26/2023 | 2:00 PM