NCCU Knocks Off North Carolina A&T on the Road

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Seniors Fred Cleveland Jr. and Ja’Darius Harris led the North Carolina Central University men’s basketball squad to a 67-62 victory at North Carolina A&T on Tuesday. Cleveland posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists and Harris topped all scorers with 18 points.

The Eagles and Aggies met for the 160th time after not playing each other in two seasons. NCCU’s defense led to a shot clock violation by NC A&T on the first possession of the game. Harris scored the first points after knocking down a three on a pass from Cleveland in their first game back from injury since USC Upstate on Dec. 2.

Harris, Perry Smith Jr. and Devin Gordon would team up to score the next 10 points for NC Central. Emmanuel Izunabor checked in and went to work as he scored right away and had a monstrous block in his first minutes of action.

The 11-point lead began to dwindle for the Eagles as NC A&T went on a 12-0 run to take its first and only lead of the game, 23-22 with six minutes left in the first half. Both teams tied the score two more times before heading into half-time with NCCU up 36-31. Izunabor led NC Central with eight points and four rebounds.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair as North Carolina A&T would claw back to tie the ball game 52-52 with nine minutes remaining after the Eagles built up an eight-point lead.

Sophomore Po’Boigh King cashed in three free throws, giving NCCU a four-point cushion. Harris and Cleveland scored the final six points for the Eagles to close out the competition at the Corbett Sports Center. Izunabor finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

NCCU was outrebounded by the Aggies 46-39 but led 34-30 in paint points and forced 12 NC A&T turnovers. Landon Glasper and Nikolaos Chitikoudis were the only double figures scorers for the Aggies with 12 and 10, respectively.

With Tuesday’s win, head coach LeVelle Moton tied Floyd Brown as the winningest men’s basketball coach in NCCU history at 251 games. Moton has an opportunity to own first place outright on Friday, Dec. 15 as the Eagles host St. Andrews at 7 p.m.

Source: Amanda Scott/NCCU Athletics