Recap: Morgan State vs. NC A&T
Norfolk, VA (Sports Network) - North Carolina A&T won its 16th MEAC Championship and its first since 1995 by defeating Morgan State, 57-54, on Saturday.
The Aggies (19-16), who have won more MEAC titles than any other program in history, earned the seventh seed in the tourney and defeated Florida A&M, second seed North Carolina Central and Delaware State to make it to the title game.
Adrian Powell and Lamont Middleton scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Austin Witter registered 11 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
"Once we stopped giving up second chance points, Middleton went to work," said Aggies coach Cy Alexander. "He came over to me and said that he could be effective if we let him post his man up."
Dewayne Jackson had a game-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds for Morgan State (17-15), which earned the fifth seed in the conference tournament and defeated South Carolina State, Savannah State and Bethune- Cookman to reach the final. Anthony Hubbard recorded 10 points and eight rebounds.
"It is tough losing this one," said Bears coach Todd Bozeman. "You can't win a game shooting as bad as we did from the free throw line. I am really happy for Cy (Alexander) and his team. For him to get another head coaching job in the league and to win a championship is great."
Entering the second half, the game was tied at 28-28.
A layup by Ian Chiles and a free throw from Hubbard gave the Bears an early lead, but the Aggies didn't let up.
DaMetrius Upchurch made a tip shot to give North Carolina A&T a 38-35 lead with 12:08 remaining in regulation.
Jackson's triple tied the game, but Middleton made a layup to give the Aggies the lead again. Chiles responded with a layup of his own, but Middleton came through once more, drilling a 3-pointer to take a 43-40 lead with 11:32 left and the Aggies held on to the lead for the remainder of the contest.
Blake Bozeman made a 3-pointer to bring the Bears within one, 55-54, with 1:31 left, but they weren't able to tie the game.
Powell sank a pair of clutch free throws to give North Carolina A&T a three- point advantage with 23 seconds remaining.
Jackson had two attempts from behind the arc in the final 10 seconds, but missed both opportunities, allowing the Aggies to take the victory.
The Aggies had a 26-21 lead with 1:42 left in the first half, but the Bears went on a 7-0 run, before Witter shot a jumper at the buzzer to end the frame.Game Notes
Middleton scored all of his points in the second half ... Morgan State made
just 8-of-21 from the foul line... Morgan State has been in four of the last
five MEAC Tournament finals, but hasn't found victory since winning back-to-
back titles in 2009 and 2010.