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Core posts career high in double-OT thriller

Posted at 9:53 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 21:53:34-05

Nasir Core poured in a career-high 29 points as the Florida A&M University men's basketball team outlasted Delaware State, 97-95 in double-overtime, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Hall Gymnasium

Florida A&M (10-13 overall, 8-4 MEAC) trailed, 37-34, at the half and needed a Rod Melton, Jr. layup with five seconds remaining in regulations to send the game into overtime. In the first overtime, FAMU got a jumper by Bryce Moragne as time expired to send the game into the second overtime and Delaware State (3-21, 2-8) had one final opportunity to win the game, but John Crosby's 3-point attempt was off the mark, giving FAMU to road win.

Core came off the bench and was 7-for-10 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from long range and 12-of-16 from the free-throw line to lead FAMU in scoring with 29 points. In addition, he pulled down seven rebounds, dished out two assists and had one steal. Melton registered 23 points, six boards, two steals and two assists, while MJ Randolph finished with 13 points, nine boards, three assists and one steal. Moragne tallied a double-double of 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, along with two steals and one assist.

Crosby paced Delaware State with 20 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Pinky Wiley recorded 18 points, five assists, four boards and four steals, while Myles Carter came off the bench to pour in 17 points, three rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal. Omari Peek-Green chipped in 12 points, six boards and three blocked shots.

How It Happened
Florida A&M raced out to an 8-2 lead after a Rod Melton, Jr. jumper with 15:14 remaining, but Delaware State used a 9-2 run over the next two minutes to grab an 11-10 advantage after a Ronald Lucas dunk with 13:29 left in the opening half.

The Rattlers took a 22-19 lead on a DJ Jones dunk with just under seven minutes left in the half, but the Hornets used a 10-0 run, capped by a jumper by Omari Peek-Green to grab a 29-22 advantage with 4:25 remaining.

Back came Florida A&M as the Rattlers used an 8-2 run with buckets by Melton and Nasir Core, closing the gap to 31-30 with 2:40 remaining.

MJ Randolph sank a jumper with two seconds left in the half, closing the deficit to 35-34, but after a foul, Ronald Lucas made both shots at the foul line as the Rattlers entered the break trailing, 37-34.

Delaware State extended the advantage to 49-41 after a Fahim Jenneto 3-pointer with just under 15 minutes to play, but the Rattlers used an 12-3 run over the next six minutes to grab a 53-52 lead after a Core three-point play with 9:06 left.

With the score tied at 61, the Hornets used a small 5-2 run to take a 66-63 after a Leroy Moore layup with 4:21 remaining and after a Core bucket, FAMU closed the gap to 66-65 with 3:34 left.

However, Delaware State pushed the margin to 71-66 after two free throws by Myles Carter with just under three minutes remaining.

The Rattlers got four straight free throws by Core to cut the deficit to 75-72 with 52 seconds left and Florida A&M tied the game at 77 after a Melton layup with five seconds remaining.

A Wiley 3-point attempt was off the mark as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

In the extra period, Delaware State grabbed an 84-79 advantage after John Crosby jumper with 1:52 left, but again Florida A&M rallied and cut the deficit to 84-83 after a Core 3-pointer and free throw with 1:03 to play.

A Bryce Moragne putback layup with 16 seconds left tied the game at 85, but Crosby nailed a jumper with two seconds remaining to give the Hornets an 87-85 lead.

The Rattlers called a timeout with one second left and Moragne sank a jumper as time expired, sending the game into double overtime.

In the second overtime, a pair of Core free throws tied the game at 89 and Brendon Myles drained a 3-pointer with 2:50 remaining to give the Rattlers a 92-89 lead.

The Hornets trimmed the deficit to 94-93 after a Trey Goss jumper with 41 seconds remaining, but a long jumper by Myles gave Florida A&M a 96-93 advantage with 12 seconds left.

Delaware State got two free throws by Wiley with five seconds left as the Hornets closed the gap to 96-95, but Myles sank 1-of-2 from the foul line as Crosby's 3-point attempt was off the mark as Florida A&M escaped with the double-overtime victory.

Inside the Numbers
> Florida A&M shot 42.5 percent (34-of-80) from the floor and 75.0 percent (24-of-32) from the charity stripe
> Delaware State was 32-of-65 (49.2 percent) from the field and 23-of-31 (74.2 percent) from the foul line
> FAMU registered 51 rebounds, with 21 coming on the offensive end
> DSU pulled down 35 rebounds, including 28 on the defensive glass
> The Rattlers finished with 49 bench points, 44 points in the paint,25 second-chance points, 17 points off 14 DSU turnovers and nine fastbreak points
> The Hornets recorded 40 points in the paint, 36 bench points, 17 points off 15 FAMU turnovers, 15 fastbreak points and 10 second-chance points

News and Notes
> Florida A&M extended its win streak to four straight games
> The Rattlers also improved to four straight victories over Delaware State
> FAMU improved to 2-1 in overtime games this season and 3-4 during the Robert McCullum era
> Robert McCullum remained perfect over Delaware State (4-0)
> Nasir Core's previous career high was 20 points against Savannah State on Jan. 31, 2018
> Bryce Moragne's previous career high of 11 rebounds came against Campbell on Nov. 16, 2018
> Florida A&M has faced two nationally-ranked programs so far this season – #10 Seton Hall and No. 21 Tennessee
> FAMU picked up a signature victory on Dec. 31 against Iowa State (70-68)
> The Rattlers have only played six of their 22 games at home this season
> Florida A&M has travelled 27,703 miles this season and will add an additional 73 miles with the trip to Princess Anne, Md. on Monday as the Rattlers face off against Maryland Eastern Shore

Up Next
Florida A&M concludes its two-game road trip on Monday at Maryland Eastern Shore. Tip-off against the Hawks is set for 7:30 p.m. from Hytche Arena.