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NC Central hopes to shock No. 11 Wichita State

Wichita, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - The 11th-ranked Wichita State Shockers will attempt to remain unbeaten on Sunday night when they welcome the North Carolina Central Eagles to Charles Koch Arena.

NCCU, one of the favorites in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, has gotten the season started off right with wins in seven of its first nine games. The Eagles most recently hosted Winthrop on Wednesday night and came away with a 72-66 victory.

Heading into the weekend, Wichita State was one of just 11 unbeaten teams left in Division I, climbing up the ranks with wins in each of its first 11 games. The Shockers continued their unblemished start to the season on Tuesday night when they ventured into hostile territory at Alabama and pulled off an impressive 72-67 road victory.

This matchup marks the first-ever meeting between NCCU and Wichita State in men's basketball.

The Eagles led for the majority of their latest game, as they shot 50 percent from the field, outscored Winthrop at the foul line (19-8) and created 18 takeaways on their way to the six-point victory. Leading the charge was Jeremy Ingram, who shot 8-of-13 from the field for 24 points, his sixth game of at least 20 points this season. Jordan Parks (18 points) and Reggie Groves (12 points) both provided a spark off the bench, while Emanuel Chapman dished out nine assists.

On the season, NCCU has impressed on both ends of the floor, outshooting its opponents from the field, 46.9 percent to 37.8 percent, for a lofty +15.0 scoring margin. Ingram is one of the nation's elite scoring threats, as his 23.2 points per game places his sixth in Division I. Alfonzo Houston brings 12.6 points per game to the table, and Jordan Parks (10.3 ppg, 6.8 ppg) is highly efficient, shooting 65.6 percent from the field in less than 20 minutes of action per game.

After battling back-and-forth with Alabama all game, Wichita State eventually outlasted the Crimson Tide down the stretch and held on for the five-point win. It shot a modest 44 percent from the field, including just 3-of-12 from 3-point range, but the biggest difference came at the foul line, where it was nearly automatic as 25-of-27. Cleanthony Early put up a season-best 26 points, doing so on 7-of-11 from the field while also draining each of his 11 tries at the charity stripe. Fred VanVleet and Tekele Cotton were also integral factors with 11 points apiece.

The Shockers have impressed this season on offense, shooting nearly 46 percent from the field for 77.1 points per game, but the biggest reason for their undefeated start has been their excellent play on the other end of the floor, as its scoring defense (61.0 ppg) ranks top-20 in the nation. Early leads the team in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg), while Ron Baker (14.0 ppg) has handed out 38 assists paired with just 14 turnovers. Cotton and VanVleet round out a balanced attack with 11.3 points per game each.

12/22 11:19:17 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR