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Ticket Punched: North Carolina Central wins MEAC tournament to clinch school's first NCAA tournament berth

Sam Cooper
The Dagger

Senior guard Jeremy Ingram, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the year, scored 29 points to lead North Carolina Central to its first NCAA tournament berth in school history in a 71-62 win over Morgan State.

Junior forward Karamo Jawara, a native of Norway, registered 10 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Eagles. Senior guard Alfonzo Houston hit 7-of-8 free throw attempts and added nine points in the win, the team’s 20th in a row.

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The 6-foot-3 Ingram averaged 20.3 points per game for the 28-5 Eagles, good for 19th best in the country coming into Saturday’s conference title game. N.C. Central was the No. 1 seed in the MEAC tournament and had knocked off Howard by 46 in the quarterfinals and Norfolk State by 23 in the semifinals on Friday.

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Ian Chiles (26 points) did all he could to keep the third-seeded Bears close, but N.C. Central hit 25 of 30 second half free throws to hold the Bears off.

This was just the third season at the Division I level for NC Central, a former power at the Division II level. The Eagles joined the MEAC in 2011 and had never advanced past the tournament quarterfinals prior to 2014.

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