|Alfonzo Houston led NCCU with 17 points in its 82-54.|
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – All season long, North Carolina Central’s Rayshawn King has been hailed as an off-court inspiration for his battle with lukemia. Monday night, the freshman guard got his first shining moment on the court, scoring his first ever basket in the final minutes of NCCU’s 82-54 victory over the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
King’s basket hinted at what has helped him get to where he is. After missing a layup attempt, King dove for the loose ball, and eventually scored off an assist from Nate Sims.
NCCU (15-7, 8-0) got off to a 10-0 start through the first three minutes and finished with their ninth win in a row, the school’s longest winning streak since the 1996-97 season.
In the first half, the Eagle defense forced the Hawks to shoot 33.3 percent from the field hitting just nine field goals, while going three-for-12 from three-point range. The Eagles also took full advantage of nine first-frame turnovers as NCCU scored 18 points off them to gain the early lead.
At the end of the first 20 minutes, the Eagles led by 21 at 47-26, shooting 14-for-24 from the field and an impressive 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) from three-point range.
Junior Jeremy Ingram continued his hot shooting from beyond-the-arc in the first frame finishing with 12 points while going 3-for-4 from downtown.
Senior Ray Willis was just as fiery from the field going 2-for-3 from-the-outside.
The second half was more of the same as junior Alfonzo Houston’s three-point play put the Eagles up 26 at 58-32 with 14:08 to go in the game.
The Eagles led by as much as 29 at 78-49 with 2:36 remaining after two Drimir Ferguson free-throws. Houston led all Eagles with an with 17 points that including a 9-for-9 outing from the foul line. Ingram and Willis scored 13 points apiece, while junior Stanton Kidd (Baltimore, Md.) ended the night with 12 points on five-for-seven shooting.
As a team, the Eagles ended the night shooting 52.0 percent (26-for-50) from the field and scored 28 points off of turnovers, outscored the Hawks bench 35-to-17, and 32-to-24 in the paint.
UMES (1-17, 1-7 MEAC) had two players in double figures led by Troy Snyder’s double-double 18 points and 10 rebounds, while guard Kevin Mays ended up with 15 points while spending most of the night in foul trouble.
NCCU returns home to face Florida A&M University on Saturday afternoon as it will host the next two contests at McDougald-McLendon Gym. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m.