Desmond Williams led the way for FAMU with 18 points, followed by Justin Ravenel with 17, and Marcus Barham with 11 points.
Patrick Cole led NCCU (19-6, 10-1 MEAC) with a game-high 22 points, followed by Dajuan Graf with 16 points and Delvin Dickerson with 15.
The Rattlers broke out to an early 9-3 lead on a Ravenel three-pointer with 17:05 left in the first half, before the Eagles went on a 9-0 run, capped by a Kyle Benton layup with 14:17 to play, to take a 12-9 lead.
FAMU hung tough against the MEAC leaders, who managed to keep the Rattlers at arm’s length, taking an eight-point lead at 24-16 on a Patrick Cole layup with 9:41 left in the half.
The Rattlers went on a 15-7 run late in the opening half, capped by Marcus Barham’s triple which tied the game 31-31 with 1:16 left.
Ravenel’s clutch jumper with 29 seconds left sent the Rattlers into the lockeroom ahead, 33-31 at the half.
Central opened the second half with a 10-5 run to barge out in front of FAMU, 41-38, although the shooting of Barham and Ravenel kept the Rattlers in contention.
Barahm’s two free throws with 15:54 left sliced the Eagles’ lead to 41-40, but a Delvin Dickerson layup, followed by a Derrick Dandridge three pointer tied the game at 43-43 with 15:09 left.
Dickerson and Rashaun Madison hit back-to-back threes for gthe Eagles to put them ahead 49-45, then the pace picked up as the clubs exchanged scores, with Eagles staying just ahead.
Patrick Cole hit a foul shot with 12:10 to push the Central edge to 54-49. Desmond Williams hit a tip in to close the gap a 54-51, but Cole answered with a layup and a foul shot to put the Eagles ahead, 57-51 with 10:37 left.
Dajuan Graf’s three-point pushed Central out a 62-54 edge with 7:59 left, and his two foul shots at 7:32 gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game, 64-54.
Ravenel’s three-pointer, followed by a Dandridge jumper cut the NCCU advantage to 64-59 with 5:34 left, but baskets by Dickerson and Grff pushed the Central edge to 68-59 with 4:57 left.
Patrick Cole sank two foul shots with 4:15 left, pushing Central back out by 10, at 70-60, starting a run of exchanged baskets and foul shots which kept the Rattlers at bay the rest of the way.
WHAT’S NEXT: FAMU will close its’ 2016-17 home schedule this weekend, hosting Norfolk State Saturday at 6:00 p.m., and Hampton University Monday at 8:00 p.m.