Final Shot Against NSU Eludes B-CU Again; Cats Fall 62-61
NORFOLK, Va. -- Bethune-Cookman once again had the final shot against Norfolk State, but once again the Spartans escaped as the Wildcats fell 62-61 Saturday in a rematch of the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament championship game.
Pendarvis Williams scored 14 points, and Jamel Fuentes made a late free throw as the Spartans (19-10, 14-0) remained unbeaten in league play while snapping a three-game Wildcat (12-17,7-7) winning streak.
After Paul Scotland's 3-pointer gave B-CU a 59-57 lead, Gaston made a layup with 1:25 left to tie the game at 59.
Fuentes made a layup, and Hawkins went 1 of 2 from the foul line to give the Spartans a 62-59 lead with 17 seconds to go.
After Adrien Coleman's layup for Bethune-Cookman made it 62-61 with 8 seconds left, Williams missed two free throws, giving the Wildcats a chance. Bethune-Cookman was unable to convert on the last-second shot. Norfolk State won the MEAC tournament game last March with a 73-70 decision in which the Wildcats missed its last opportunity.
Scotland scored 16 points for the Wildcats, who overcame early foul trouble and a 10-point first half deficit to hold the lead five times in a tightly-contested second half.
Ricky Johnson gave the Wildcats a 42-41 lead on a lay-up with 11:22 left, and Scotland put B-CU up 48-45 on a free throw with 8:46 left. Coleman's lay-up with 4:34 left gave B-CU another three-point advantage at 53-50.
A Kevin Dukes (12 points) three-pointer with 2:38 helped B-CU regain the lead at 57-56.
B-CU's road trip continues Monday night at Hampton.
HEAD COACH GRAVELLE CRAIG
“Tough game. we played well. “
“We have to be poised down the stretch and make plays down the stretch. We had opportunities to extend our lead and didn’t take advantage.”
“We understand we have an opportunity to win the conference championship next week.”
“We have guys who can play multiple positions. We’re able to do things when those guys having foul trouble."
NOTES: B-CU now 2-4 in games decided by five points or less this season. Norfolk State has won the last three meetings by a combined six points ... This was the fourth time this season Scotland has led the team in scoring and eighth that Smith has led or co-led the rebounding ... Dukes has been in double-figures three straight games.