MEAC championship on line as Florida A&M takes on Delaware State
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - A trip to the NCAA Tournament is on the line this evening as the top seeds in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament hit the floor at the RBC Center, as the Delaware State Hornets and the Rattlers of Florida A&M collide.
The top-seeded Hornets, who are in the title game for the third straight year, defeated Coppin State in the quarterfinals by a score of 68-49, before getting by Morgan State last night in overtime, 56-53.
The second-seeded Rattlers took out Hampton on Wednesday night with a narrow 61-58 decision before slipping by North Carolina A&T last night, 74-66.
DSU, which is now 17-34 in this event over the years, fell to Hampton in the championship game last year by four points, a year earlier defeating the same Pirates program by just a single basket for its only conference tournament title.
As for the Rattlers, they captured their third crown in 2004 with a 58-51 victory over Coppin State. With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Rattlers lead by a count of 29-28 after splitting the two regular-season meeting this year.
Leslie Robinson knocked down 7-of-12 shots behind the three-point line on Friday night to finish up with a game-high 25 points for the Rattlers in the victory over NC A&T. Brian Greene accounted for 12 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the decision as well, while Darius Glover tallied 13 points and five boards for A&M in the semifinals of the tournament at the RBC Center. The Rattlers carved out some space for themselves in the paint as they lead the way with a 38-22 advantage on the glass versus the Aggies. Rome Sanders, who finished with a mere five points, is still the program's leading scorer nonetheless with his 15.8 ppg, while Greene is good for 11.4 ppg and a team-best 7.2 rpg.
Roy Bright tossed in a career-high 30 points on Friday night as he led the Hornets back to the MEAC title game with the three-point overtime victory against Morgan State. Bright made good on 8-of-18 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 beyond the arc, and was also 10-of-12 at the free-throw line in the decision. Jahsha Bluntt checked in with 10 points as the only other double-digit scorer for Delaware State. Defensively the squad limited the Bears to 0-of-9 shooting beyond the arc and forced a total of 18 turnovers in the meeting. Bright now leads the team in scoring ever so slightly with his 15.7 ppg, compared to 15.6 ppg for Bluntt. The pair have combined to clear almost 10 rebounds per game, while Darrin Shine (8.0 ppg) takes care of the passing for the group with his 147 assists. Of those dishes, Shine tied a season high with nine versus Florida A&M in the first meeting of the year.DELAWAREST FLAAM