GREENSBORO, N.C. – Host North Carolina A&T held South Carolina State to just 15 second-half points in earning a 58-35 victory over the Bulldogs Saturday in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest at Corbert Sports Center.
The Aggie win avenged a 72-70 lost to the Bulldogs two weeks ago in Orangeburg. That victory remains the lone MEAC win this season for S.C. State, which fell to 5-22 overall and 1-13 in the league.
The Bulldogs trailed by just seven points at the half, 27-20, and scored the first basket of the final 20 minutes to come to within 27 22 on a Shaquiell Mitchell follow shot with 18:42 left. But that would be just one of four field goals S.C. State would score in 25 attempts in the second half.
Following Mitchell’s basket, N.C. A&T went on a 14-0 run, fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers by Jean Louisme that gave the Aggies a 41-22 advantage with 17:43 on the clock. S.C. State got four free throws – two each from Louie Adams and Luka Radovic – to close the gap to 41-26 with 10:50 showing.
But a 12-3 run by former Bulldog head coach Cy Alexander – now in the same position at N.C. A&T – put the host ahead by its biggest margin, 53-29 with 5:05 to play. The Bulldogs could only get to within 18 points, at 53-35, with just under two minutes left.
“We have to do a better job of making shots,” said Bulldog head coach Murray Garvin, who recently took over the position following the resignation of Tim Carter. “We missed a lot of open shots.
“When I was hired to take this job,” Garvin said, “I knew it would not be easy. We have a young program and we are going to have nights like this but we will continue to work and coach as hard as we can to get these young men to perform better.
“We didn’t match their energy in the second half. It seems as when we face adversity, we put too much pressure on ourselves and sometimes try to do too much individually. The stat of the game, however, was that we shot in the low 20s.
No Bulldog reached double figures in the contest. Mitchell and senior Khalif Toombs had seven points each to lead S.C. State. Matthew Hezekiah and reserve Phillip Henry had five points each in the contest in which S.C. State made just 11 field goals in 54 attempts.
Freshman Darryl Palmer led S.C. State on the boards with 11, while Devin Joint, a sophomore, snared 10.
The Aggies were not substantially better in the shooting department than the Bulldogs, as they made just 31.6 percent of their shots. But the decisive run to start the second half was the difference.
NC A&T was led by Louisme with 15 points and Jeremy Underwood, who came off the bench for 10. The Aggies climbed to 14-15 and 7-7 in the MEAC.
The Bulldogs continue a two-game, four-day road trip Monday at N.C. Central. Tipoff is 7:30, following a 5:30 p.m. women’s contest.
Lady Bulldogs see
win streak end
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Senior Tiara Knotts scored a game-high 25 points, including 5 of 6 from three-point range, as S.C. State fell to North Carolina A&T 59-54 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women’s basketball at Corbett Sports Arena on Saturday.
The loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Lady Bulldogs, who fell to 17-8 overall and 9-5 in the MEAC. The win by the Lady Aggies avenged a 68-57 lost to S.C. State two weeks ago in Orangeburg.
S.C. State owned a three-point lead (25-22) at the half and led by eight (27-35) with just over 17 minutes remaining in the contest. NC A&T (19-8, 11-3 MEAC), then used a 10-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 37-35, at the 13:49 mark. S.C. State regained the one-point lead, 37-38, before the Lady Aggies put the press on once again.
N.C. A&T took a one-point lead, 39-38, off a layup by Tracy King and never relinquished it. The Lady Aggies had the biggest lead of the day, eight, 52-44, with 4:41 remaining. S.C. State managed to pull within two, 56-54, with 36 seconds remaining but could not get any closer, falling by five, 59-54.
Senior Ashley Clarke was the only other Lady Bulldog player to score in double-figures with 15. Clarke also led the team in rebounding with six.
N.C. A&T had four players to score in double-figures, led by Ariel Bursey with 13. Tracy King and Adriana Nazario scored 12 and Eboni Ross dropped in 11 points for the Lady Aggies. Ross pulled in a game-high nine rebounds for N.C. A&T in the victory.
The Lady Bulldogs will close out the regular season at home on Thursday when they host Delaware State in a MEAC contest. S.C. State will then travel to Norfolk, Va., the week of March 11-16 to participate in the 2013 MEAC Basketball Tournament.