Wingate continued its men’s basketball mastery over Queens, knocking off the nationally ranked Royals 86-79 Wednesday night.
It was only the second loss in 23 games this season for the sixth-ranked Royals (21-2, 15-2 South Atlantic Conference), and both of those setbacks were to Wingate (15-8, 12-4). The Bulldogs handed Queens a 71-64 defeat Jan. 18 in Charlotte. Wingate has won five of its last six meetings with Queens.
As was the case last month, the game was close until the final minutes. Queens grabbed a 70-69 lead with 5:54 to play, and Wingate pulled in front to stay at the 5:25 mark on a 3-pointer by Josh Dominguez. It was the game’s 18th lead change.
The Royals closed to 74-72 with 4:19 remaining, but Wingate pulled away behind four free throws and a basket by Cuthbertson High product Isiah Cureton, three fouls shots by Dominguez, and two free throws by Mike Baez of Charlotte’s United Christian Academy.
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Each team built sizeable leads in the first half, but there also were five lead changes.
Queens raced out to a 21-14 margin with 12:44 remaining in the half following a Todd Withers layup. But the Bulldogs went on a 9-2 run and tied the game 23-23 just two minutes later.
Then Wingate pulled away, and a jump shot by Cureton with 4:32 remaining put the Bulldogs up 40-32. Queens closed the gap to 43-39 at the half.
3 who mattered
Josh Dominguez, Wingate: The senior forward from Metrolina Christian Academy in Indian Trail scored a game-high 22 points and shot better from 3-point range (4-of-10) than from 2-point range (1-of-5).
Isiah Cureton, Wingate: A senior forward, he scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Daniel Camps, Queens: He was the only Royals’ starter to shoot 50 percent or better, scoring 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
▪ Queens had a rough shooting night, hitting 30 of 71 from the floor (42 percent). Wingate made 29 of 56 for 51 percent.
▪ Wingate center Keith Griffin, a former Hickory Grove Christian School standout, played with a brace on his injured right shoulder. Griffin, who scored 30 points Saturday at Lincoln Memorial, got only 4 points (but nine rebounds) Wednesday night.
▪ Queens center Jared Hendryx missed much of the first half due to what team officials said was an illness. He played much of the second half but fouled out with only 2 points.
▪ The loss left Queens only one game ahead of second-place Lincoln Memorial in the SAC race. The teams meet Feb. 18 at Lincoln Memorial.
▪ Wingate rallied from a slow start this season to build an 11-game winning streak. That ended Saturday with a loss at Lincoln Memorial.