NORFOLK, Va., – No. 3 seed North Carolina Central earned its third consecutive trip to the MEAC Basketball Tournament title game after a 65-63 victory over No. 2 seed North Carolina A&T State inside the Scope Arena Friday night.
The contest went back-and-forth with 11 lead changes and three times.
If the Eagles win the title on Saturday, they will become the first program to win three straight MEAC tournaments since North Carolina A&T State won seven in a row from 1982-88.
As a result, the Eagles (17-15) will play for the title against No. 1 seed Norfolk State on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.
“I told our guys it’s very simple,” North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton said. “If you want something in life, you must fight for it. It’s nothing I can draw on the board.”
Raasean Davis led the Eagles with 19 points, while Randy Miller, Jr. netted 17 points in the victory.
A 3-point play from Miller gave North Carolina Central its largest lead with more than 18 minutes remaining, 33-26. But the Aggies fought back and went on a 13-4 run to reclaim the upper hand at the 14:14 mark, 39-35.
With under eight minutes remaining, the Eagles grabbed control and never relinquished.
North Carolina A&T State’s Kameron Langley recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.
“Just didn’t get the job done,” North Carolina A&T State head coach Jay Joyner said. “When you play a rival for the third time, the stakes increase.”