NCCU 82, NCSU 72, OT
N.C. Central did not miss a field-goal attempt or a single one of its 12 free throws in overtime and got its first win against an Atlantic Coast Conference school, beating N.C. State 82-72 in PNC Arena on Monday.
NCCU didn’t dominate this one but was largely in control until Eagles’ senior Jeremy Ingram missed a free throw that gave the Wolfpack a lifeline, the home team trailing 63-60 with 11seconds to play.
On the other end of the court, the Eagles appeared to forget that Patrick Wallace was on N.C. State’s roster. Wallace hadn’t played all game, but he was warm enough when he got on the floor to tie the contest with a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds to play, eventually sending the game to overtime.
But N.C. State was unable to carry that momentum into the extended session, unable to impose its tradition and harness its history — Wolfpack guard Dereck Whittenburg from the 1983 national champion Cardiac Pack sitting on the bench as an assistant coach.
NCCU was writing a new chapter.
“People will write stories and say this is an upset and things of this nature,” NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said. “But ever since we made this transition (to Division I), we’ve been fighting for respect, and it’s really tough on Tobacco Road, in our own back yard, to not be mentioned with the big boys — Duke and Carolina and N.C. State. And obviously so, they’ve earned their stripes, and we’re still a transitional program trying to start up.
“Every low-major program, every HBCU, hopefully, they can look at this and feel inspired.”
Moton grew up not far from PNC Arena, pouring in buckets at Raleigh's Enloe High School. That’s where he found his point guard, NCCU senior Emanuel Chapman.
N.C. State was bigger than NCCU, but Chapman, the Eagles’ all-time assist leader, looked about the same in his shorts as Wolfpack point guard Tyler Lewis. It’s just that Lewis had larger people to get the ball to.
But Chapman, a reluctant shooter, impacted the game with a career-high 18 points. Ironically, he didn’t have a single assist.
“We went off instinct,” Chapman said. “We figured out how guys were playing us and who had better match-ups and where we had the advantage.”
“The size really didn’t matter. It’s all about heart,” Moton said.
Size certainly never hurts, and with NCCU’s Karamo Jawara (6-8, 220) getting his first floor time of the season while cracking the starting lineup, Moton was able to add some beef to his recipe.
“He’s almost like a 6-9 point guard out there,” Moton said of Jawara (12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists). “He’s like the quarterback of the front line.”
Jawara had been out with an injury. Taking his spot on the bench was Ebuka Anyaorah, who was in street clothes with his arm in a sling after hurting his shoulder Monday night when NCCU beat Campbell in Buies Creek.
Injuries limited what Moton wanted to do, while foul trouble had N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried trying to mix and match.
T.J. Warren, N.C. State’s leading scorer, fouled out with 13 points and 2:47 left in regulation.
Ingram went to the bench with three fouls with 5:59 left in the first half. He entered the game leading NCCU with 25.7 points per game, and Moton knew he’d need his production in the second half and, as it turned out, in overtime.
Ingram scored 11 of NCCU’s 19 overtime points — including the first nine on a 3-pointer, a layup and four foul shots — to give NCCU a 72-63 lead. He said he had to, because that free throw he missed in regulation is why they were still playing.
“To be honest, it was a lot fueled by my missed free throw, because I felt like that could have been the thing that lost the game,” Ingram said. “So I just wanted to come out and really be aggressive, try to get us over the hump.”
Moton said the Eagles could have folded in overtime, but while that 3 from Wallace temporarily broke their hearts, it didn’t break their backs.
No argument from Gottfried.
“They played like an experienced team, which they are,” Gottfried said. “We had a difficult time trying to contain them off the dribble, and we also had a night where we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket, either.
“When I make our schedule out every year, I’m specifically hunting for teams that I think are going to be 20- to 25-game winners. They’re one of them. I’m not going to be a guy that’s going to sit up here and whine about youth and inexperience. They’re a veteran team. They played like a veteran team.”
NOTES — The Eagles were 0-13 against ACC competition all-time before Wednesday's win.
|NC CENTRAL 82, NC STATE 72, OT|
Percentages: FG .404, FT .911.
3-Point Goals: 3-16, .188 (Ingram 2-5, Parks 1-1, Chapman 0-1, Galaya 0-2, Houston 0-2, Groves 0-5).
Team Rebounds: 5.
Blocked Shots: 4 (Ingram, Houston, Jawara, Chapman).
Turnovers: 14 (Copeland 4, Ingram 3, Houston 2, Chapman 2, Jawara 2, Groves).
Steals: 5 (Ingram 2, Jawara, Chapman, Groves).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .404, FT .697.
3-Point Goals: 3-20, .150 (Turner 2-8, Wallace 1-2, Warren 0-1, Barber 0-3, Lee 0-3, Lewis 0-3).
Team Rebounds: 1.
Blocked Shots: 2 (Freeman, Turner).
Turnovers: 11 (Lee 5, Freeman 2, Anya, Barber, Turner, Lewis).
Steals: 6 (Lee 2, Barber, Warren, Turner, Lewis).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Jamie Luckie, Mike Roberts, Bernard Clinton.