NORFOLK, Va. Adrian Powell scored 14 points, including two critical free throws with 23.4 seconds to play, then blocked a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds Saturday as N.C. A&T beat Morgan State 57-54 to win its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title since 1995.
Lamont Middleton added 13 points, all in the second half, as the seventh-seeded Aggies (19-16) came through with a clutch performance one day after clinching their first winning season in 15 years.
DeWayne Jackson led Morgan State (17-15) with 20 points, but had his 3-point try swatted away by Powell with a few seconds to play, then missed a contested try again at the buzzer, sending the cheerleaders and some fans from N.C. A&T streaming onto the court in a brief celebration.
The loss was the first in nine games for Morgan State, which missed 12 of 20 free throws.
The game was close throughout the second half, and an 8-3 run by the Aggies gave them a 51-45 lead with 6:44 to play.
Austin Witter, who scored 11, banked in a shot from just inside the 3-point line to start the run and finished it with a free throw, giving the Aggies their biggest lead of the half.
Division II Tournament
Slippery Rock 69, Winston-Salem State 67: The Rock recorded its first tournament win against the second-seeded Rams in the Atlantic Regional hosted by West Liberty University.
Devin Taylor had 27 points and 15 rebounds to lead sixth-seeded Slippery Rock (23-8).
Joe Thompson had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Rams (21-7).
USC Aiken 94, Belmont Abbey 76: Re’mon Nelson finished with 24 points for the top-seeded Pacers (23-7) in the Southeast Regional in Aiken, S.C.
Tyshawn Good had a game-high 26 points for Belmont Abbey (22-10).
Wingate 65, Limestone 50: Odell Turner scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs (22-8) in the Southeast Regional.
Charles Blue had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Saints (21-9).