The Seahawks (1-2), up 20-6, led 25-17 at the break and won despite scoring 13 second-half points. Wagner made 18.8 percent (3 of 16) of its shots after halftime.
North Carolina Central (3-4) rallied behind Jeremy Ingram, the only Eagle in double figures with 10 points. Ingram's 3-pointer tied it at 28-28 early in the second half, but Burton's trey promptly regained the lead for good for Wagner, 31-28.
Twice in the second half, North Carolina Central closed within a point. But after Jay Copeland's layup with 10 seconds left cut it to 37-36, Wagner's Kenneth Ortiz hit a free throw at 0:06. The Eagles' Ray Willis missed a long trey at 0:01.
Wagner shot 28.9 percent (11 of 38) to North Carolina Central's 22.6 percent (12 of 53).