The South Carolina State Bulldogs suffered yet another setback, dropping a 71-57 decision to the Eagles of NC Central Monday at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
NC Central improved to 15-14 overall, 9-6 MEAC, while SC State dropped to 5-25 overall, 0-15 in the league.
"We couldn't buy a basket tonight and we missed easy shots down the stretch," said SC State head coachTim Carter. "We need more scoring from just one person if we expect to win."
The Eagles were led by senior forward Dominique Sutton with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jeremy Ingram added 19, while junior Ray Willis scored 11 in the victory.
SC State jumped out to a quick 10-point lead, 14-4, off a tip-in by Sanders at the 12:04 mark. The Eagles rallied from behind to take the lead by five, 23-18, off a 3-pointer by Ingram. NCCU took full control pushing the lead to 12, 32-20, on a driving layup by senior Nick Chasten with 2:05 left in the first half.
North Carolina Central closed out the half with a 34-23 lead over South Carolina State.
Chasten's 3-pointer late in the second half push the Eagles lead to 13, 51-38, with 9:52 left in regulation. The Bulldogs pulled within six, 55-49, off a layup by Sanders at the 4:19 mark. Free-throws seemed to be the deciding factor down the stretch guard Ray Willis hit six straight free-throws from the charity stripe to extend the lead to 17, 71-54.
NCCU held on to defeat SC State 71-57 to give the Bulldogs their worst season in school history.
NCCU bench outscored SC State 32-14, while hitting 22 free-throws on the night.
Carter stated, "When things are bad I take the blame and we are going to turn this thing around."
SC State returns to action on Thursday when they travel to take on Delaware State in a pivotal MEAC showdown. Tipoff is 8 p.m.