NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Jade Scaife had two offensive rebounds and scored four points in the final minute of overtime and North Carolina A&T scored the last eight points to win the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference Tournament championship on Saturday, 72-65 over Hampton, and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.
After a furious rally from third-seeded Hampton to erase a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation, it was the top-seeded Aggies (23-8) who came up with big plays down the stretch in overtime to win their 11th-straight game and make their fourth NCAA appearance.
Scaife had a putback with 28 seconds left to end a three-shot possession. After a Hampton turnover, Kala Green, who made one of two free throws to tie the game with 1:34 to play, did the same thing but this time Scaife snared the offensive rebound. Scaife was fouled and made both free throws for a 70-65 lead 16 seconds left. Hampton’s 24th turnover over the game allowed Le’on Hill to wrap up the scoring with two more free throws.
Scaife led North Carolina A&T with 15 points and seven rebounds. Mikaya Wilson and Green had 12 apiece and Ccoriea Foy had 10.
Jephany Brown led Hampton (18-14) with 22 points, five in the Bears’ regulation-closing 13-3 run.
Hampton scored the first nine points and led 29-23 at halftime. However, the Bears missed their first their 10 shots of the third quarter before making the last and had eight turnovers to trail 42-39 entering the fourth quarter.
The top-seeded Hampton men lost to NC Central in the men’s championship game and now the Pirates leave the MEAC for the Southern Conference in July.