Courtesy of Texas Southern Sports Information
The North Carolina Central University men’s basketball team opened the season at No.1 Kansas in the inaugural McLendon Classic, falling 56-99 on Monday, Nov. 6 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas started out fast, scoring the first seven points of the game in front of a sold-out crowd. Coach Moton quickly called a timeout to settle his team. Soon after, Po’Boigh King (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.) scored the first points of the season for the Eagles. Emmanuel Izunabor (Fayetteville, N.C.) put back an offensive board, cutting the lead to 4-9. King and Ja’Darius Harris (Trenton, Tenn.) would contribute to the scoring column before Kansas went on a 20-2 run leading 40-11 with 8:49 until halftime.
The Eagles went into the half down 18-59, with Izunabor leading NCCU in scoring with six points. The Jayhawks shot 78.6 percent from the field and made nine out of 12 threes (75 percent) to close out the first half.
NCCU played a closer second half against Kansas. Fred Cleveland Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) started the period with a made jumper, followed by a three-pointer from King at the 16:26 mark. Perry Smith Jr. (Augusta, Ga.) responded in the second half as well, scoring six out of eight points on the night and grabbing five boards.
The Eagles scored 38 points in the last 20 minutes, two shy of Kansas’ 40 points. Josh Smith (Chicago, Ill.) was a spark off the bench going 4-for-5 for 11 points, all coming in the second half. Harris led all Eagles with 12 points.
Men’s basketball will return to McDougald-McLendon Arena, as they prepare for their home opener on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. against Virginia University of Lynchburg.
For more information on NCCU Athletics, visit NCCUEaglePride.com, or download the NCCU Eagles Athletics app.
Next Game: Virginia Lynchburg 11/9/2023 | 7:00 PM