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North Carolina A&T, Morgan State 54

The SportsXchange

Adrian Powell scored 14 points and came up with a big blocked shot in the final seconds as North Carolina A&T defeated Morgan State 57-54 on Saturday in Norfolk, Va., to win the MEAC tournament.

The Aggies are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995 -- ending an 18-year drought.

Lamont Middleton added 13 points and Austin Witter had 11 points and nine rebounds for A&T (19-16), which won the MEAC tournament for the 16th time -- the most of any team in the conference.

The Aggies will finish with a winning record for the first time in 15 seasons. They also ended a string of poor performances in the postseason, going one-and-done in the MEAC tournament four times in the previous five years.

It's also a return to the NCAA Tournament for first-year coach Cy Alexander, a veteran of the MEAC who led South Carolina State to the NCAAs five times in 16 years in Orangeburg. Alexander became the winningest coach in the history of the MEAC tournament with Friday's semifinal win over Delaware State, and he now has 31 total victories in MEAC tournament games.

DeWayne Jackson led all scorers with 20 points for Morgan State (17-15), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.

The Bears were making their fifth appearance in the title game of the MEAC tournament in a span of six seasons. Anthony Hubbard added 10 points and seven boards off the bench for Morgan State.

A&T held Morgan State to 34.4 percent shooting from the field, and the Bears were limited to three points in the final four minutes.

There were five lead changes and six ties in the game, and the margin remained within single digits for all 40 minutes.

A&T stuck with a seven-man rotation. Powell and Witter combined to log 79 minutes of floor time.

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