Written by Thomas Scott
March 6, 2018- The Delaware State Hornets faced off against the North Carolina A&T Aggies in the Opening Round of the 2018 MEAC Conference Tournament live on ESPN 3.
The #13 ranked Hornets gave the #4 Aggies all they could handle. Their defense frustrated the Aggies early. The Hornets were able to capitalize on the Aggies poor shooting and built a sizable 21- 10 lead early. However, the Hornets were not able to sustain this momentum.
Coach Joyner’s Aggie team was able to kept their poise despite the early deficit. Steady team play helped the Aggies slowly chip into the Hornets lead. The Aggies finished the first half on a 19-9 run and trailed the Hornets 29-30 going into halftime.
The 4-28 Hornets did not hold their heads after squandering a big lead. The team continued to show a renewed fight under interim Coach Keith Walker. Center, Simon Okolue helped keep the Hornets in the game during the second half. The 6’10 big man nearly posted a double-double with 20 points and 7 rebounds.
The Hornets kept fighting and were able to force overtime, but they eventually succumbed to the more talented Aggie roster. Femi Olujobi propelled the balanced Aggie offensive attack with 15 points.
Davaris “Diesel” McGowens capped off an excellent night with a clutch performance. The Aggies were trailing 61-60 in the final seconds of overtime, when McGowens calmly stepped up to the line and hit a pair of free throws to seal the victory. McGowens finished the game with 14 points (5-8 FG) and four rebounds. The Aggies will move on to face #5 Norfolk State on March 8th in the next round of the MEAC Conference Tournament.