HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) Terrence Thompson scored a career-high 20 points and tied a career best with 10 rebounds to help Marshall hold off North Carolina Central for an 81-69 win in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.
Jon Elmore hit three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points, Stevie Browning scored 16 and Ryan Taylor had 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots for Marshall.
Del'vin Dickerson's layup with 7:52 left pulled NCCU within five with 7:52 left, but a dunk by Thompson sparked an 11-3 run that made it 78-65 with 2:58 to play.
Marshall made as many free throws (17) as the Eagles, who shot 47 percent from the foul line, attempted.
Dajuan Graf led NCCU with 19 points and six assists. Patrick Cole added 18 points and eight rebounds and Ron Trapps scored 11 with 10 boards.