NC Central beats Howard at MEAC tournament 68-66

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Kyle Benton had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Patrick Cole's free throw broke a tie with 13.2 seconds left as North Carolina Central held on to defeat Howard 68-66 in an opening-round game at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament on Tuesday night.

The Eagles (13-18) will play No. 2 seed Norfolk State in a quarterfinal Wednesday.

Marcel Boyd's put-back dunk tied the game at 66-all with 16 seconds left. After Cole made 1 of 2 free throws, James Daniel drove through traffic and dished to Keon Hill, who missed a jumper from the wing. Benton got the rebound, was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws before the Bison missed a three-quarters-court heave.

Daniel, the nation's leading scorer at 27.2 points per game who ended NCCU's 38-game home win streak with a last-second basket in December, finished with 22 for the Bison (12-20). Boyd, limping through the final three minutes, had 16 points and 18 rebounds with Damon Collins adding 15 points.

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