Written by Thomas Scott
March 7, 2018
Tuesday night featured a first round MEAC Tournament matchup between North Carolina Central and Coppin State.
The North Carolina Central Eagles entered the game with a 15-15 record and hopes of defending their 2017 MEAC Tournament title. Coppin State struggled for most of the season under first year Coach Juan Dixon.
This game got off to an ugly start. Both teams struggled to generate any offense during the first half. In fact, both Coppin State and North Carolina Central shot under 25% from the field in the first half (Coppin 21.4%, NCCU 19.2%). Coppin State was able to capitalize off North Carolina Central stagnant offense and led 18-17 at halftime.
All of the momentum would change after halftime. North Carolina Central snapped their cold streak and exploded for 43 points in the second half. North Carolina Central guard, Reggie Gardner Jr. bounced back in a major way from a relatively quite first half. The 6’3 freshman from Bowie, Maryland hit four three pointers in the second half.
Gardner finished with a game high 20 point as the North Carolina Central Eagles cruised to 60-48 win over Coppin State.
The Eagles will advance to face #3 Savannah State on March 8th in the next round of the MEAC tournament.