Ingram and Kidd lead N.C. Central to 10th straight victory
DURHAM — New N.C. Central chancellor Debra Saunders-White got a taste of Eagles basketball on Saturday, a 51-43 win against Florida A&M in McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.
Saunders-White, introduced as NCCU’s chancellor on Friday, was saluted at the center of the court court at halftime of the Rattler-Eagle game.
FAMU coach Clemon Johnson would tell the NCCU chancellor that she has inherited a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference basketball team that’s on a 10-game winning streak and unbeaten in the league because it’s got guys who flat-out know how to get it done.
“They don’t beat themselves,” Johnson said. “When they need a bucket, they have that go-to man — two or three of them. The point guard’s not making too many turnovers.”
NCCU guard Jeremy Ingram filled the basket with 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while forward Stanton Kidd gave the Eagles 15 points and five boards.
Point guard Emanuel Chapman kept the Eagles fed with nine assists.
“Their offense — again, the point guard is running it to perfection,” Johnson said. “Everything is good. Right now, everything is clicking for them.
“Somebody’s going to have to figure this out.”
NCCU coach LeVelle Moton sounded like Johnson had watched a different ball game.
“We were awful,” Moton said. “We looked nothing like a team that’s put a great run together.
“I just told my assistant coaches I can’t think of one thing that we did well. We just willed ourselves to a win.”
Moton would tell the new chancellor that what she saw on the floor is not the Eagles team that’s been sacrificing on defense and sharing the ball on offense. He said he’s embarrassed as a coach, embarrassed as a former NCCU student and embarrassed as a guy who once laced up his sneakers to play for the Eagles.
NCCU’s fans deserved better than what the Eagles gave them, Moton said.
“We wasted their money,” Moton said. “I feel strongly about that.”
NCCU shot 26.9 percent from the field in the first half but picked it up in the second making 42.1 percent.
The Eagles (16-7, 9-0 MEAC) helped themselves in the second half by getting to the foul line more than the Rattlers and converting.
Johnson said the Eagles’ attack wasn’t as potent as it has been, but they won, and it shows what kind of squad Moton has.
“When they go to the bench, everybody just seems to buy into the scheme in which the coach has instilled,” Johnson said. “They’re not playing one-on-one basketball. You come down the floor, generally three or four people touch the ball before the shot’s taken, and I’m not even talking about with the weave, just the offense itself.”
Jomari Bradshaw (11 points) and Muhammad Abdul-Aleem (13 points) were impact players for FAMU (6-17, 3-6 MEAC), NCCU didn’t do anything magnificent but just made good on little things like setting back-picks for easy buckets, Johnson said.
The Rattlers initially were able to guard the Eagles man-to-man before getting tired and deviating from their defensive philosophy, Johnson said.
“We just withstood that first punch,” Chapman said.
Team chemistry is what allowed the Eagles to put up their dukes.
NCCU’s players might be able to learn more about chemistry today at practice when they’ll have ample opportunity to examine the properties of all of the sweat that’s expected to be pouring off of them.
“They know what time it is,” Moton said.
The basketball goals will get tucked away today at practice, Moton said.
Hoops and nets aren’t necessary when the order of the day is to run, run and then run some more.
“It looked like we kind of were slacking,” Kidd said about his team’s effort against FAMU. “And we’re going to pay for it.”
N.C. CENTRAL 51, FLORIDA A&M 43
Percentages: FG .286, FT .556. 3-Point Goals: 5-21, .238 (Abdul-Aleem 2-5, Adams 2-10, Bradshaw 1-4, Lewis 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 4 (Davis 3, Kellum). Turnovers: 17 (Adams 5, Teal 5, Kellum 3, Bradshaw 2, Davis, Bullard). Steals: 7 (Adams 2, Abdul-Aleem, Odi, Bradshaw, Kellum, Teal). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .333, FT .760. 3-Point Goals: 2-13, .154 (Kidd 1-2, Ingram 1-4, Chapman 0-1, Willis 0-3, Galaya 0-3). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 4 (Copeland 3, Willis). Turnovers: 15 (Chapman 3, Kidd 3, Ingram 2, Houston 2, Copeland 2, Williams, Galaya, Willis). Steals: 5 (Ingram 2, Galaya, Houston, Chapman). Technical Fouls: None.
A—1,811. Officials—Ernest Prevost, Sean Gaskins, Eric Brinker.