North Carolina Central Downs Winthrop

NCCU’s Jeremy Ingram scored 20 or more points for the fourth game in a row, leading NCCU to a win over Winthrop (Herald Online Photo)

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Jeremy Ingram  led North Carolina Central University in scoring for the fourth straight game as he dropped in 22 points and the visiting Eagles were nearly perfect from the foul line taking down Winthrop University 64-57 on Wednesday night inside Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C.

“He’s grasping the system. He’s efficient because he understands where his shots are going to come from,” NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said after the game. “As a result, he has a lot of confidence.”

Ingram started his scoring early and often as he was responsible for the first nine points for NCCU (7-7) through the first four minutes as the Eagles led 9-2 heading into the first media timeout.

Junior Antonin Galaya drilled perhaps his biggest shot of the season from the right corner to give the Eagles the lead at 27-24 and sent NCCU into the locker room with the lead intact. NCCU connected on its first six shots to outscore Winthrop 17-to-5 in the first six minutes to stretch the lead out to 15 at 44-29. 

Winthrop cut the double-digit led to seven at 53-46 on a Larry Brown tip-in with 5:22 left, forcing  Moton to call a timeout to thwart the momentum.

WU followed that up with another Henry jumper to make it 53-48 with 3:55 to go and that’s when Ray Willis got fouled and drilled both free throws to push the lead back out to 55-48 with 3:23 left.

NCCU hung on from there with clutch free-throw shooting to hang on for the 64-57 win, their first against a member of the Big South Conference since moving to the NCAA Division I level.

Ingram, who went 4-for-6 from three-point range, became the first Eagle since C.J. Wilkerson in the 2010-11 season to score 20 points or more in four straight games.  Junior Stanton Kidd nearly recorded another double-double with 14 points eight rebounds on 5-for-10 shooting from the field.

“He’s just scratching the surface of how good he’s going to be,” Moton said. “We definitely look forward to him reaching his zenith.” 

Winthrop (6-6) had two players in double figures as both Brown and Henry scored 15 points apiece in the second home loss of the season for the host Eagles.

NCCU shot 90 percent from the foul line (18-for-20) and hit eight shots from behind-the-arc for the second straight contest.  In the second half, the visiting Eagles shot a scorching 11-for-20 (55.0 percent) from the field, while tying a season-high with eight three pointers for the second straight game.

NCCU will play its final non-conference game of the year against Virginia University of Lynchburg in the first home game since Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8 from McDougald-McLendon Gym.

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