RALEIGH -- A deep bench and powerful inside presence under the basket gave North Carolina lawmakers the advantage they needed to make a second half run and beat a squad of South Carolina legislators 35 -27 in a charity game Wednesday.
With the win at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina reclaimed the trophy from its southern rival and extended its series lead to 11-6 in an on-again, off-again competition that dates to 1979.
"It was a great game," said Rep. Burt Jones, a Rockingham Republican who coached the team and reveled in his post-game interview. "I think we played just a little bit better. ... We had a little run in the second half and pulled away."
The 6-foot, 5-inch center Rep. Chris Millis, a Hampstead Republican, scored big points for the bipartisan N.C. General Assembly team and swatted a few big South Carolina shots, easily winning the crowd's MVP nod. "Everybody played hard," he said, sounding just like a professional athlete. "It was a team win."
Gov. Pat McCrory made an appearance in the second half, playing good minutes but later clanked two free throws late in the game. "I've never been so nervous in my life," McCrory said at the line.