21 home wins and counting for red-hot NCCU men
Make that 21 home wins in a row for N.C. Central.
The latest NCCU victory in McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium arrived in the win column Monday night against Florida A&M, a 92-49 decision.
The Rattlers are the only Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team to have beaten NCCU this season. That was on Jan. 11 when FAMU won 63-60 in Tallahassee, Fla.
Talk about sweet revenge.
“I told these guys we were going to get beat by 40,” FAMU coach Clemon Johnson said he told his Rattlers. “Unfortunately, I misquoted. Hell, it was 43 or 44.
“This is a team that’s playing on a higher level than where we were.”
FAMU’s Jamie Adams scored 10 points in the first half when the Rattlers shot 66.7 percent from the field.
The Eagles (18-5, 9-1 MEAC) shot 57.1 percent yet still managed to enter their locker room up 11 points at halftime.
“I was displeased because we allowed a team to shoot 66 percent in the first half,” NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said. “That’s horrendous defense. I don’t care if we’re playing the Lakers. That’s terrible.”
NCCU locked down in the second half. During that final 20 minutes, Adams mustered just two points and FAMU shot a measly 16.7 percent.
“It was all just personal,” NCCU forward Karamo Jawara said.
There was a whole lot of loud, celebratory hissing after the Rattlers beat NCCU back in January.
Moton said he told the Eagles to remember that.
“We could hear them coming through the walls in their celebration,” Moton said. “I said we don’t celebrate like that when we win a basketball game, but they’re going to celebrate now that the tables have turned and you have evolved as a program.
“It’s got to be personal.”
Moton said early foul trouble for NCCU point guard Emanuel Chapman forced him to trust his bench. NCCU reserves Juwan Moody (6 points, 3 assists) and Reggie Groves (6 points, 4 assists) handled their business, while Chapman turned his towel in a pompom, cheering on his guys.
“They’re becoming a team,” Moton said.
NCCU’s win over FAMU (8-16, 4-7 MEAC) was its largest margin of victory since rejoining the MEAC in 2011 and certainly an entirely different scenario from all of that hissing the Eagles heard at the Rattlers’ place last month.
“All the guys remembered that,” NCCU senior Jeremy Ingram said. “To celebrate like it’s your Super Bowl or something, we just wanted to come out and establish a point.”
“They were yelling and screaming like they had won a championship,” Jawara said. “That stuck in our head.”
NOTES — Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis, who played at Duke, was sitting in the VIP section that included NCCU football coaches Jerry Mack and Mike Mendenhall. Mack, the head coach, and Mendenhall, the special teams coordinator, hosted Brad Smith, executive director of College Football Performance Awards. Smith was there to recognize NCCU sophomore Adrian Wilkins as the return specialist of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision. Wilkins last season returned three kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns, the best overall return performance in the history of the FCS awards. NCCU had the No. 1 kickoff-return team on the FCS level.
|NC CENTRAL 92, FLORIDA A&M 49|
Percentages: FG .373, FT .583.
3-Point Goals: 4-21, .190 (Adams 2-8, Bradshaw 1-2, Lewis 1-8, Rozier 0-1, Spiller 0-2).
Team Rebounds: 2.
Blocked Shots: 5 (King 4, Lewis).
Turnovers: 20 (King 4, Adams 3, Kellum 2, Conner 2, Odi 2, Lewis, Nelson, Spiller, Davis, Bradshaw).
Steals: 4 (Adams 2, Kellum, Lewis).
Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .533, FT .792.
3-Point Goals: 9-18, .500 (Moody 2-2, Groves 2-3, Anyaorah 1-1, Parks 1-1, Jawara 1-1, Galaya 1-2, Holmes 1-3, Eaton 0-1, Houston 0-1, Ingram 0-3).
Team Rebounds: 5.
Blocked Shots: 3 (Ingram 2, Parks).
Turnovers: 7 (Chapman 2, Holmes 2, Moody, Anyaorah, Ingram).
Steals: 11 (Jawara 5, Chapman 2, Parks, Eaton, Holmes, Ingram).
Technical Fouls: None.
Officials_Duke Edsall, Forrest Sigler, Dwayne Carnes.