Nimrod Hilliard found an open McDonald in the corner and his 3-pointer gave NCCU a 54-53 lead. Amere May missed a jumper from the top of the key on Delaware State's next possession and then NCCU's Dante Holmes made 1 of 2 free throws with 4.4 seconds left for a 55-53 lead. May was fouled on 3-point attempt with 0.4 seconds left, but he missed his final two free throws.
Hilliard added 13 points for North Carolina Central (16-5, 8-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference).
NCCU went on an 11-2 run - highlighted by Jamal Ferguson's no-look pass to Jordan Parks for a dunk - to take a 44-43 lead.
Tyshawn Bell scored 13 points and May finished with 12 for Delaware State (10-10, 4-2).