Recap: NC Central vs. Savannah State
Durham, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Parks and Jeremy Ingram both tallied 17 points as the Eagles of North Carolina Central squeezed out a 64-57 win in overtime against the Savannah State Tigers to capture the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season title outright at McDougald-McLendon Gym.
Also scoring in double figures for the Eagles (24-5, 14-1 MEAC) was Emanuel Chapman who tallied 14 points and handed out seven assists in 45 minutes of action.
NC Central, which is a perfect 14-0 at home in 2013-14, has now captured 16 straight decisions overall and has won a regular-season crown for the first time at the NCAA Division I level.
Savannah State (11-18, 9-6) was paced by Deven Williams with 14 points, Keierre Richards 12 and Jyles Smith who tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots in the setback.
A slow moving game in the first half, the visitors made a total of just seven field goals, with nine of their 18 points coming from Richards, although he also accounted for three of the unit's 11 turnovers as they went into the break trailing by five.
In the second half Chapman opened with a 3-pointer and then converted a layup to get the lead to double digits. Midway through the frame NCCU continued to lead by double figures and appeared to be well on the way to a comfortable victory.
Williams, who was held scoreless in the first half, brought Savannah State all the way back with his four 3-pointers in the period, tying the score at 46-46 with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.
Ingram tried to put the hosts up by three with about 30 seconds remaining, but his layup attempt was blocked, giving Savannah State life. After using a couple of timeouts, Williams drove to the rim but missed the layup, with the ball being rebounded by NCCU.
With 10.7 seconds remaining and the hosts ahead by a 49-48 score, NCCU made one of two free throws, again leaving the door open for the Tigers who subsequently knotted the score at 50-50 on a layup by Terel Hall with 2.0 seconds to send the meeting into overtime.
Chapman knocked down back-to-back jumpers in overtime, one coming from 3-point range, to give the Eagles a 57-54 edge and from there the hosts never looked back.
Savannah State held the hosts to only 3-of-18 shooting behind the 3-point line on the night, but that was not nearly enough to overcome 20 turnovers.
NCCU still has a meeting with Norfolk State on Thursday to close out the regular season, while the Tigers go up against SC State later this week.Game Notes