Rodrigo Ugalde, Staff Writer
If you are not in the edge of your seat, it is not a Wingate game. This seems to be true for Wingate’s men’s basketball, as Wednesday night saw the Bulldogs collect their eighth straight South Atlantic Conference (SAC) victory over Lenoir-Rhyne by 71-70 at Cuddy Arena.
Forward Isiah Cureton had his highest scoring game with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthanee Doyle contributed with 15 points. The win left the Bulldogs with a 14-4 overall record and 10-2 in the conference, allowing them to stretch the winning streak and revalidate what they have done last week against nationally ranked Queens.
With a 13 point difference going into halftime which turned into 18 with more than two minutes into second half, the end of the game came as a surprise. Keenan Palmore had 29 points, 22 of which he got during the second half.
With one minute and 30 seconds to go, Lenoir-Rhyne went on to lead 76-75 for the first time in the game since the opening basket. From this point on, the Bears tried to exchange three points for free throws, but Cureton and Doyle’s precision from the line made the difference for the Wingate Bulldogs.
After the game there was an overall satisfaction in the Wingate squad, with an understanding that there was still room for improvement. “I would like to start closing out games a little bit better,” Wingate’s coach Brian Good said, “I love the way we are starting, but we need to finish a little bit better,” he added, in reference to this game and the victory over Queens, who saw the Bulldogs lead for as much as 18 points but finished 71-70 only. Isiah Cureton, Wingate’s lead scorer of the night, had something similar to say: “We are not playing all 40 minutes, we play like 25 or 30 minutes.”
Lenoir Rhyne’s locker room was not the happiest, considering they were one of the two teams that had defeated Wingate earlier this season. “We got off to a really good start. We traded baskets early in the game and they began to impose their game,” admitted Lenoir Rhyne’s Coach Ryan Odom, “They played tougher than we did.”
Edited by Brea Childs and Shea Murray