Durham, N.C. (Jan. 18, 2014) --- Delaware State took a second half lead after trailing by 11 points at the break, but North Carolina Central regained control en route to a 62-52 win over the Hornets at McDougald-McLendon Gym this afternoon.
The Hornets trailed 32-21 at intermission, but rallied to take the lead midway through the second half. DSU outscored the Eagles 18-6 to start the second half, and pulled ahead 39-38 on a basket by Casey Walker with 10:08 left to play.
Kendall Gray scored seven points and Walker four, while North Carolina Central hit just three-of-11 shots and committed two turnovers during the DSU spurt.
The score was 42-42 when NCCU pulled away for good. Alphonzo Houston capped off an 9-1 run with a lay-up to give the Eagles a 51-43 lead with 5:36 remaining.
The Hornets pulled to within 54-48 after Tyshawn Bell hit a three-pointer with 4:15 left. Houston hit another lay-up on the ensuing NCCU possession to launch an 8-2 run over the next 3:58 to seal the win for the Eagles.
Jeremy Ingram led three Eagles in double figures with 20 points. Ingram was seven-for-16 from the field, including two-of-six from three-point territory. His three-pointer at the 6:19 mark of the second half capped off a 7-0 run that gave the Eagles a 49-42 lead.
Jordan Parks added 13 points (5-8 FGs) and Houston had 10 for NCCU.
Walker and Bell led the Hornets with 13 points each. Walker has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last six games, while Bell had a season-best nine rebounds to lead all players.
Gray had nine points and seven rebounds for the Hornets, snapping a string of three straight double-doubles.
Delaware State struggled from the field in the first half, hitting just seven-of-21 shots (33.3%), including one-of-six from three-point territory (16.7%). The Hornets were also plagued by eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
Nick Doyle was DSU’s leading first half scorer with seven points, while Bell added six. Doyle hit his first three shots of the game to give him seven consecutive conversions during a two-game stretch.
North Carolina Central was 24-for-48 from the field for the game (50.0%), including three-of-12 on three-point shots (25.0%). The Eagles were just 11-of-21 at the free throw line (52.4%), but helped themselves by committing a season-low six turnovers.
The Hornets hit 16 of their 44 shots from the floor (36.4%), including four-of-13 from beyond the arc (30.8%). DSU was 16-for-22 at the free throw line (72.7%).
Delaware State won the rebound battle for just the fourth time this season 33-27.
The Hornets dropped their third straight game to fall to 4-13 overall and 0-5 in the MEAC. It marks the first time since the 1999-2000 season that DSU had dropped its first five MEAC contests.
North Carolina Central won its third in a row to improve to 11-5 and 2-1.
The Hornets wrap up their two-game road swing with a visit to defending MEAC champion North Carolina A&T on Monday (Jan. 20). The nationally televised contest (ESPNU) is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Corbett Center in Greensboro, N.C.