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NC Central beat UMES, advances to MEAC Tournament finals

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 10, 2017 at 7:20 p.m.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Patrick Cole had 21 points, including three 3-pointers, seven rebounds and six assists, Kyle Benton added 12 points with eight rebounds and top-seeded North Carolina Central beat Maryland-Eastern Shore 79-49 on Friday night in the semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.

Dajuan Graf had 14 points, Del'vin Dickerson scored 11 and Pablo Rivas 10 for NCCU (24-8), which will face No. 2 seed Norfolk State or 11th-seed Howard in Saturday's championship game.

Cole had four points, three assists and two steals in the first six minutes as the Eagles took a 14-2 lead. Eastern Shore (14-20) pulled within two on a Tyler Jones' putback of his own miss with 7:11 left in the half, but NCCU scored 17 of the next 19 points to take a 38-21 lead into the break. The Hawks, who had their three-game win streak snapped, never threatened in the second half.

Bakari Copeland was the only Eastern Shore player in double figures with 15 points. The Hawks shot 16.7 percent (4 of 24) from 3-point range and 30 percent overall. They won at least two games in a MEAC Tournament for the first time since 1974.

NCCU won all three matchups this season with Eastern Shore by an average of 20 points per game.

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