The FAMU Men’s Basketball team (7-18, 5-7 MEAC) pushed league-leading North Carolina Central to the brink Monday night before dropping a 78-73 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest at McDougald-McLendon Gym.
Desmond Williams led the way for FAMU with 18 points, followed by Justin Ravenel with 17, and Marcus Barham with 11 points.
Patrick Cole led NCCU (19-6, 10-1 MEAC) with a game-high 22 points, followed by Dajuan Graf with 16 points and Delvin Dickerson with 15.
The Rattlers broke out to an early 9-3 lead on a Ravenel three-pointer with 17:05 left in the first half, before the Eagles went on a 9-0 run, capped by a Kyle Benton layup with 14:17 to play, to take a 12-9 lead.
FAMU hung tough against the MEAC leaders, who managed to keep the Rattlers at arm’s length, taking an eight-point lead at 24-16 on a Patrick Cole layup with 9:41 left in the half.
The Rattlers went on a 15-7 run late in the opening half, capped by Marcus Barham’s triple which tied the game 31-31 with 1:16 left.
Ravenel’s clutch jumper with 29 seconds left sent the Rattlers into the lockeroom ahead, 33-31 at the half.
Central opened the second half with a 10-5 run to barge out in front of FAMU, 41-38, although the shooting of Barham and Ravenel kept the Rattlers in contention.
Barahm’s two free throws with 15:54 left sliced the Eagles’ lead to 41-40, but a Delvin Dickerson layup, followed by a Derrick Dandridge three pointer tied the game at 43-43 with 15:09 left.
Dickerson and Rashaun Madison hit back-to-back threes for gthe Eagles to put them ahead 49-45, then the pace picked up as the clubs exchanged scores, with Eagles staying just ahead.
Patrick Cole hit a foul shot with 12:10 to push the Central edge to 54-49. Desmond Williams hit a tip in to close the gap a 54-51, but Cole answered with a layup and a foul shot to put the Eagles ahead, 57-51 with 10:37 left.
Dajuan Graf’s three-point pushed Central out a 62-54 edge with 7:59 left, and his two foul shots at 7:32 gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game, 64-54.
Ravenel’s three-pointer, followed by a Dandridge jumper cut the NCCU advantage to 64-59 with 5:34 left, but baskets by Dickerson and Grff pushed the Central edge to 68-59 with 4:57 left.
Patrick Cole sank two foul shots with 4:15 left, pushing Central back out by 10, at 70-60, starting a run of exchanged baskets and foul shots which kept the Rattlers at bay the rest of the way.
WHAT’S NEXT: FAMU will close its’ 2016-17 home schedule this weekend, hosting Norfolk State Saturday at 6:00 p.m., and Hampton University Monday at 8:00 p.m.
The FAMU Women’s Basketball team (8-17, 6-6 MEAC) dropped their second straight game here Monday evening, falling 52-49 to host North Carolina Central in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at McDougald-McLendon Gym.
Junior guard Ecenur “E” Yurdakul led FAMU with 15 points, while junior forward Shakerrya Morrison added a 10-point, 10-rebound double double.
FAMU got off to a good start Monday, taking a 13-7 lead after the first quarter, but the Eagles rallied in the second stanza, outpacing the Rattlers, 18-15.
Central caught up with the Rattlers at 25-25 on a layup by Jada Blow with 1:02 left, by FAMU’s Ecenur Yurdakul nailed a three-pointer with three second left to put her club ahead, 28-25 at the half.
The Eagles edged out FAMU, 13-12 in the third period, leaving the Rattlers with a slim 40-38 lead headed into the final quarter.
Morgan Jones’ three-pointer put the Eagles ahead briefly at 41-40, before Dy’Manee Royal’s triple with 6:24 left capped a brief 5-0 FAMU run to put them ahead, 45-41.
Jones hit another three-pointer with 3:36 left to put Central ahead, 46-45, before Cedricka Sweeting hit a pair of foul shot with 3:00 left putting FAMU back in front, 47-46.
Yurdakul’s layup with 2:14 left extended FAMU to a 49-46 edge, nuy Kierona Morton hit a layup with 1:02 to go, pulling the Eagles to 49-48.
Chantal Thomas’ jumper with 28 seconds left put NCCU ahead, 50-49, then after a FAMU turnover and three fouls, Morgan Jones hit two foul shots with 10 seconds left for the final margin.
NEXT GAME: FAMU hosts Norfolk State Saturday at 4:00 p.m.