Wingate, N.C.----For the second time this season, the Wingate University Bulldogs defeated the sixth-ranked Queens University Royals, prevailing 86-79 in South Atlantic Conference men's basketball action in Cuddy Arena. Wingate has handed the nation's sixth-ranked team its only two losses of the season. The 'Dogs have won 12 out of 13, improving to 15-8 overall and 12-5 in the SAC. The Royals fall to 21-2 overall and 15-2 in the conference.
"This was a great team win," head coach Brian Good says. "Our defensive effort was superb. We handled the pressure well, shared the ball well. We knew that Queens only had one loss all year, against us, so we knew we were going to get a great effort. For our guys to respond the way they did really says a lot about our team."
Senior forward Josh Dominguez (Matthews, N.C.) had 22 points to lead the Wingate attack, adding four assists, three rebounds and two steals, going eight-for-eight from the free throw line. Dominguez has scored 18 or more each of his last five games. Sophomore guard Mike Baez (Orlando, Fla.) added 21 points and nine rebounds, going seven-for-seven at the free throw line. Senior forward Isiah Cureton (Waxhaw, N.C.) contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists, while junior guard Zeriq Lolar (Orlando, Fla.) had 16 points on six-of-eight shooting from the field. Senior center Keith Griffin (Concord, N.C.) collected four points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
Daniel Camps had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Queens attack. Ike Agusi added 16 points and four steals, while Todd Withers had 13 points and seven boards. Mike Davis contributed 11 points and four assists.
Threes from Agusi and Davis gave the Royals a 17-11 lead six minutes into the first half. Wingate used a 9-2 run, tying the game at 23 on a Lolar triple. A Dominguez jumper and Cureton layup put the 'Dogs on top at the 8:55 mark.
Wingate used an 11-2 run to take an eight-point lead late in the half. Dominguez had five points in the flurry, while Baez added four. Buckets from Camps and Tate Small cut the lead to two, but a Griffin bucket with 1:10 remaining gave the 'Dogs a 43-39 halftime lead.
Two Agusi free throws and a Withers bucket gave the Royals a three-point lead four minutes into the second half. A Cureton layup and Lolar triple put the Bulldogs back on top, while two Dominguez free throws made it 58-54 at the 12:38 mark. Davis buried a three to tie it at the midway point, while a three from Darryl White gave Queens a one-point lead with nine minutes to go.
Two Baez free throws and a Lolar layup put Wingate on top 67-64, but a White layup put the Royals back on top by a point with 6:04 to go. The Bulldogs countered with a Dominguez triple to take the lead for good at the 5:46 mark, while a Baez layup and two Dominguez free throws made it 78-72 with 2:49 remaining. Wingate still led by six until Agusi hit a three with 33 seconds remaining. Cureton and Baez went four-for-four from the line in the final 30 seconds to preserve the win.
The Bulldogs shot 54.5 percent from the field, hitting seven-of-20 shots from three-point range (35 percent). Wingate went 21-for-25 at the free throw line (84 percent) and 17-for-18 in the second half (94.4 percent). Queens shot 42.3 percent from the field, hitting seven-of-22 shots from beyond the arc (31.8 percent). Wingate held a 39-36 rebounding advantage, but the Royals outscored the Bulldogs 18-11 in second-chance points. Queens also held a 40-32 edge in the paint, while Wingate scored 14 points off nine Queens turnovers.
The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday, traveling to Brevard for a 4 p.m. start.