NCCU
HAMP

No Text

Rivas' 22 points power NC Central past Hampton, 71-63

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) North Carolina Central coach LeVelle Moton looked at his phone and couldn't help but laugh.

Early this season, when the Eagles were struggling on defense and incorporating freshmen into the lineup, his phone was pretty quiet. But on Saturday, it was blowing up with congratulatory text messages after the Eagles used a late 11-0 run to break a 58-all tie and beat Hampton 71-63 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Association championship.

''This championship is different,'' Moton said, because it was unexpected. ''To be honest, a lot of people gave up on this team.''

The championship - and automatic NCAA Tournament berth - is the second in a row and third in five years for the Eagles (19-15).

''We've created the standard at North Carolina Central and I'm proud because these guys and the other guys in the locker room, they upheld that standard,'' Moton said.

Pablo Rivas had 22 points and the Eagles took command after neither team scored for more than two minutes.

''We just started coming up with some stops,'' said Rivas, whom Moton described as his best player, and who agreed to come off the bench after starting just one game.

Jordan Perkins added 13 points and nine assists and John Guerra scored 12 for the Eagles, including a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half. The junior had arrived at Scope Arena for the start of the tournament earlier in the week having made just five 3s all season.

''They had some guys that we kind of dared to make plays and they made them,'' Hampton coach Ed Joyner Jr. said.

The loss came in the Pirates' final MEAC game because they are moving to the Big South next season.

Malique Trent-Street scored 15 points to lead the Pirates (19-15), who also were seeking their third MEAC title in five years. Instead, as the regular-season champions, they are assured a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.

''The NIT is cool, but we wanted to leave the MEAC with the championship,'' Trent-Street said.

Akim Mitchell and Greg Heckstall each added 11 points for the Pirates, who made just 4 of 18 3-point tries (22.2 percent).

A 3-pointer by Kalin Fisher pulled Hampton even at 58-all with 4:24 to play, but the Pirates didn't score again until Trent-Street's layup with 18 seconds to go.

''I stayed up all night trying to develop a game plan because the first time we played them, that didn't work,'' Moton said, referencing an 86-70 home loss to the Pirates on Feb. 5.

BIG PICTURE

N.C. Central: The Eagles have made winning a habit in recent years, and did so this year with two freshmen - Reggie Gardner Jr. (11.0 ppg) and Jordan Perkins (8.3 ppg, 5.4 apg) - figuring prominently in the backcourt. They combined with veterans Raasean Davis, Rivas and Guerra to make NCCU a dangerous team to take lightly in the postseason.

Hampton: The Pirates were sloppy with the ball in the closing minutes, ruining their chances at a victory in front of a partisan and pro-Hampton crowd. The Pirates also got little help from their bench, which was outscored 28-9 by the NCCU reserves.

UP NEXT

N.C. Central will head to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five years.

The Pirates' loss means the NIT is their consolation prize.

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Key Players
J. Perkins
4 G
J. Marrow
2 G
34.2 Min. Per Game 34.2
19.7 Pts. Per Game 19.7
5.5 Ast. Per Game 5.5
4.9 Reb. Per Game 4.9
44.4 Field Goal % 40.3
40.4 Three Point % 29.9
71.4 Free Throw % 79.3
  Offensive rebound by Hampton 3.0
  Jermaine Marrow missed 2nd of 2 free throws 3.0
+ 1 Jermaine Marrow made 1st of 2 free throws 3.0
  Jermaine Marrow missed 2nd of 2 free throws 3.0
  Unsportsmanlike technical foul on North Carolina Central 3.0
+ 2 Malique Trent-Street made driving layup 10.0
+ 1 Jordan Perkins made 2nd of 2 free throws 16.0
+ 1 Jordan Perkins made 1st of 2 free throws 16.0
  Personal foul on Charles Wilson-Fisher 16.0
+ 2 Malique Trent-Street made driving layup 18.0
+ 1 John Guerra made 2nd of 2 free throws 24.0
Team Stats
Points 71 63
Field Goals 26-55 (47.3%) 25-54 (46.3%)
3-Pointers 5-16 (31.3%) 4-18 (22.2%)
Free Throws 14-18 (77.8%) 9-16 (56.3%)
Total Rebounds 33 29
Offensive 8 6
Defensive 22 18
Team 3 5
Assists 14 11
Steals 5 5
Blocks 4 6
Turnovers 10 11
Fouls 14 16
Technicals 1 0
22 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
15 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo N.C. Central 19-15 274471
home team logo Hampton 19-15 283563
Team Stats
away team logo N.C. Central 19-15 71.4 PPG 40.6 RPG 15.5 APG
home team logo Hampton 19-15 81.3 PPG 43 RPG 13.9 APG
Key Players
00
P. Rivas F PPG RPG APG FG%
00
M. Trent-Street G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
P. Rivas F 22 PTS 5 REB 1 AST
M. Trent-Street G 15 PTS 4 REB 3 AST
47.3 FG% 46.3
31.3 3PT FG% 22.2
77.8 FT% 56.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Perkins 13 3 9 5/12 0/2 3/4 1 34 1 1 3 2 1
J. Guerra 12 5 0 4/7 2/3 2/4 1 26 0 0 0 2 3
R. Gardner Jr. 11 3 0 3/8 2/5 3/3 2 32 2 1 1 0 3
R. Davis 7 9 0 3/3 0/0 1/2 3 22 0 2 0 2 7
Z. Douglas 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 1 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Perkins 13 3 9 5/12 0/2 3/4 1 34 1 1 3 2 1
J. Guerra 12 5 0 4/7 2/3 2/4 1 26 0 0 0 2 3
R. Gardner Jr. 11 3 0 3/8 2/5 3/3 2 32 2 1 1 0 3
R. Davis 7 9 0 3/3 0/0 1/2 3 22 0 2 0 2 7
Z. Douglas 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 1 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Rivas 22 5 1 8/13 1/3 5/5 3 36 1 0 2 2 3
R. Harney 4 1 3 2/4 0/2 0/0 1 14 1 0 0 0 1
D. Reid 2 3 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 2 18 0 0 3 0 3
L. McKnight Jr. 0 0 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0
B. Goldsmith 0 0 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0
R. London - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. McAllister - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wiggins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Mills - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 71 30 14 26/55 5/16 14/18 14 200 5 4 10 8 22
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Trent-Street 15 4 3 7/10 1/2 0/0 3 24 1 0 3 1 3
K. Fisher 11 2 1 4/10 2/5 1/1 2 36 1 0 2 0 2
A. Mitchell 11 1 1 4/7 0/2 3/3 2 26 0 1 3 1 0
J. Marrow 9 4 1 3/14 1/4 2/4 3 40 1 0 1 3 1
T. Barnes 8 3 0 3/6 0/2 2/6 0 26 2 3 0 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Trent-Street 15 4 3 7/10 1/2 0/0 3 24 1 0 3 1 3
K. Fisher 11 2 1 4/10 2/5 1/1 2 36 1 0 2 0 2
A. Mitchell 11 1 1 4/7 0/2 3/3 2 26 0 1 3 1 0
J. Marrow 9 4 1 3/14 1/4 2/4 3 40 1 0 1 3 1
T. Barnes 8 3 0 3/6 0/2 2/6 0 26 2 3 0 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Heckstall 5 5 5 2/5 0/3 1/2 2 29 0 1 2 0 5
C. Wilson-Fisher 4 3 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 4 14 0 1 0 0 3
L. Bracey 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 2
A. Astroth - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Colbert - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Houston - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Marshall III - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Oakley - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Carver - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Sow - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Carlyle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 63 24 11 25/54 4/18 9/16 16 200 5 6 11 6 18