Delaware State at North Carolina Central
|Date & Time||Thursday March 14, 2019, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
Norfolk Scope Arena
North Carolina Central Eagles -11 -- Over/Under: 135.5
The Delaware State Hornets & North Carolina Central Eagles will square off at Norfolk Scope Arena this Thursday night in the Quarterfinals of the MEAC Men’s Tournament.
The 11-seed Delaware State Hornets had a rough regular season as they picked up just 5 wins during the regular season, however, the Hornets played one of their best games of their season in the 1st round of the MEAC Men’s Tournament and kept their season alive after upsetting the Savannah State Tigers, 71-67, this past Monday. Delaware State led by a 31-25 margin at halftime and was able to hold off a late Savannah State charge after a 15-1 Hornets run gave Delaware State a 48-31 lead with 13:25 left in regulation. Delaware State shot just 33.8% from the field, however, held Savannah State to just 30.3% from the field and 22.9% from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Hornets was Kevin Larkin who had 19 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.
On the season, Delaware State is averaging 63.3 ppg on 35.4% shooting from the field. The Hornets are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 30.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Delaware State has been led by Kevin Larkin (16.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 spg), Saleik Edwards (10.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.4 apg), Johquin Wiley (9.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 2.1 spg), and Ameer Bennett (8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg).
Defensively, Delaware State is allowing their opponents to average 76.5 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Hornets have a rebound margin of -5.2 and a turnover margin of 0.1.
The North Carolina Central Eagles finished their regular season with a 15-15 overall record and earned the 3-seed in the MEAC Men’s Championship after finishing conference play with a 10-6 record. North Carolina Central, like most members of the MEAC, struggled with the non-conference part of the schedule, however, the Eagles were solid on conference play and come into postseason play with some momentum as they’ve won 5 of their last 7 games. North Carolina Central was decent on both sides of the ball this as they come into this game ranked 80th in FG%, 62nd in scoring defense, and 13th in rebound margin.
On the season, North Carolina Central is averaging 72.9 ppg on 46.1% shooting from the field. The Eagles are averaging 6.5 three-pointers per game on 32.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Carolina Central has been led by Raasean Davis (14.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.2 bpg), Jibri Blount (11.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg), Larry McKnight Jr. (9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Zacarry Douglas (8.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.3 apg).
Defensively, North Carolina Central is holding their opponents to an average of 67.1 ppg on 43.6% shooting from the field. The Eagles have a rebound margin of 6.8 and a turnover margin of -1.7.
North Carolina Central defeated Delaware State in both their regular season match-ups as they defeated the Hornets by a 71-70 margin on the road in mid-January, while winning by a 87-52 margin at home in mid-February.
The Hornets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games, however, are just 10-22 ATS in their last 32 games overall. The Eagles are 4-1-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss.
Delaware State might have only 6 wins on the season however, the talent level between the top teams and the bottom teams in the MEAC isn’t as wide as we generally see in the major conferences. Delaware State was able to the Eagles a game at home earlier this season and although their offense is a bit of a concern, as North Carolina Central picked up just 5 wins away from home on the season, I think the Hornets will be able to keep this one close enough to cover with the points. Good Luck!