Junior guard Jeremy Ingram poured in a game-high 26 points as the Eagles of North Carolina Central soared to a 71-52 victory over South Carolina State Monday at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
The Bulldogs riding high off their, 72-70 victory over the Aggies on Saturday was looking to make it two in row with a win over the Eagles.
"Sometimes you take bumps and bruises along the way but you keep fighting until it's over," said head coach Murray Garvin. "We played a really good NCCU team tonight and they came in and executed a plan."
Junior guard Adama "Louis" Adams led SC State with a team-high 13 points, while teammate senior guard Khalif Toombs added 11 and six assists in the loss.
NCCU dominated the boards outrebounding SC State 37-27, while shooting 8-of-13 (61.5%) from behind the arch. The Eagles made their mark on the free-throw line shooting 86.7% from the charity stripe connecting on 13-of-15.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 20-8 lead off back-to-back jumpers by junior forward Stanton Kidd at the 8:34 mark in the first half. SC State pulled within eight, 20-18 off a 3-pointer by Adams with 3:38 left in the half. NC Central scored nine unanswered points off turnover to push the lead to 13, 37-24 off a jumper by junior guard Emanuel Chapman followed by a driving layup by Ingram to close out the half.
Red-shirt sophomore DavRon Williams tossed in a pair of free-throws to give NCCU their biggest margin of the game 21, 63-42 with 6:25 remaining in regulation. Ingram's 3-pointer with 3:39 left sealed the victory as the Eagles held on to a 71-52 defeat of South Carolina State.
Garvin stated, "We didn't have a good shooting night and shots weren't falling for us the way we hoped. It's another day and we have to put this loss behind us and keep pushing on and get ready for Bethune-Cookman this weekend."
Stanton finished with 13 points and five rebounds for the Eagles, while senior forward Ray Willis chipped in 11 in the victory.
SC State falls to 5-19 overall, 1-10 in the MEAC, while NC Central improves to 18-7 overall, 11-1 in the league.
"This was a learning experience for these young guys to take the wins and the losses but you keep fighting," said Garvin. "There is no doubt about it we will bounce back and be ok."
The Bulldogs will return to action this weekend when they travel to the sunshine state to take on the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman in a pivotal Mid-Eastern Athletic showdown. Tip-off is 4 p.m., immediately following the women's contest.