Title image via Nick Sutton
Courtesy of North Carolina Central Athleics
NORFOLK, Va. – North Carolina Central University connected on 14 3-pointers, including 10 triples during an explosive second half surge, to defeat Delaware State University, 89-59, in the MEAC Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals at the Norfolk Scope Arena on Wednesday night.
NCCU (18-11) advances to the tournament semifinals on Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m., with the Eagles riding an eight-game win streak to confront the winner of the Norfolk State/Coppin State contest.
The 14 3-point field goals are the most by NCCU against a Division I opponent since Feb. 1, 2021, when the Eagles also tallied 14 versus South Carolina State, and the most made treys on the road since reclassifying as a Division I program at the start of the 2011-12 season.
Devin Butts, Justin Wright, and Eric Boone led the long distance fireworks, as the trifecta trio combined to shoot 11-of-18 (61.1%) from behind the arc. Butts energized the Eagles by nailing five of his 10 shots from long range, including 4-of-6 shooting after intermission, to finish with 15 points.
Wright made all three of his 3-pointers to aid the junior guard in tallying a game-high 23 points, along with grabbing a team-best seven rebounds. Boone hit 3-of-5 from distance to achieve 13 points with a game-high six assists and five boards.
Senior seven-foot center Brendan Medley-Bacon did his damage in the paint with 13 points and three rebounds.
NCCU enjoyed a 36-24 advantage at the break, but the Eagles pulled away from the Hornets using a 25-7 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to take a commanding 61-31 lead.
In total, NCCU out-scored Delaware State 53-35 after halftime, as the Eagles made 19-of-29 field goals (65.5%), including 10-of-15 from beyond the arc (66.7%), in the final 20 minutes.
Delaware State (6-24) was topped by Khyrie Staten with 18 points, along with Cameron Stitt with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.