The last team to beat the surging Queens Royals in men’s basketball was the Wingate Bulldogs. That 1-point loss was three weeks and seven games ago.
And on Wednesday night, the Royals, newly ranked No. 7 in Division II, made the visiting Bulldogs the latest victim in the new winning streak they’ve started since then – taking the rematch between the second- and third-place teams in the South Atlantic Conference 91-75 at Curry Arena.
Senior forward Sean Morgan scored 24 points and senior guard Rob Lewis added 19 for the Royals, who improved to 21-2 overall and 15-2 in the SAC. Guard Mike Baez scored 22 points and guard Anthanee Doyle added 13 for Wingate (16-7, 12-5), which has lost three of its last four.
“It’s the perfect time for us to be playing good ball,” Morgan said. “We were disappointed with our loss over there and wanted to get them back.”
The Royals closed the first half on a 14-3 run to take a 43-31 lead to halftime and led by as many as 21 in the second half.
“I think our energy was better tonight than it was at their place and we just wore them down inside,” Queens coach Bart Lundy said. “We wanted to keep the tempo up and the game was played at our speed.”
Three who mattered
Sean Morgan, Queens: Hit all eight of his field goal attempts and seemed to score at will in a 16-point second half.
Daniel Camps, Queens: Another game, another double-double for the junior forward, who scored 14 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
MIke Baez, Wingate: The freshman from Huntersville hit 3-pointers on three straight trips down the court in the first half to trim Queens’ lead to 29-28, about 51/2 minutes before halftime, but that was as good as it got for the Bulldogs.
▪ The Royals were deadly from behind the 3-point arc in the first half, hitting 6-of-8. But Queens’ inside game compensated for the more ordinary 2-for-8 second half from long range.
They said it
▪ “They (Queens’ guards) make my job pretty easy. All I have to do is catch it and shoot it. It doesn’t get much better than that.” – Morgan
▪ “This game meant a lot. It was a good win against a regionally ranked opponent. We fought through a stretch of six games in 13 days to get to this one and we responded to the challenge.” – Lundy
Queens will host South Atlantic Conference foe Mars Hill at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Royals’ homecoming game. Wingate will host Brevard at 4 p.m. Saturday.