NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Reginald Gardner Jr. scored 20 points and his four 3-pointers sparked key second-half runs that powered sixth-seeded North Carolina Central past No. 11 seed Coppin State 60-48 in Tuesday night’s opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.
Jordan Perkins added 12 points with five assists and Raasean Davis grabbed nine rebounds for NC Central (16-15), which advances to face No. 3 seed Savannah State in Thursday’s first semifinal.
Trailing 18-17 at halftime, NC Central took a 23-22 lead on Perkins’ tip-in and led by five after Gardner hit three 3s. Coppin State closed to 35-33 on Taqwain Drummond’s layup, but Gardner’s 3 sparked a 13-2 run and NC Central led 58-39 with 1:56 left after hitting eight free throws.
Karonn Davis scored 13 points with five assists and Lamar Morgan added 10 points for Coppin State (5-27), which shot 28.3 percent from the field.