Senior point guard Khalif Toombs poured in an career-high 30 points to lead South Carolina State to a , 77-74 victory over NJIT(New Jersey Institute of Technology) Sunday at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
South Carolina State improves to 3-1 on the season, while NJIT falls to 1-2 overall.
"I am very proud of Khalif's play and leadership tonight had a tremendous game and did a great job of giving us a chance to win against a good team, " said SC State head coach Tim Carter. " Our young guys did a great job of stepping up and filling the void when needed."
The Highlanders jumped on early take a, 21-15 lead off a tip-in by freshman guard Nigel Syndor (6-2, 210) at the 10:11 mark. The Bulldogs cut the lead to three, 25-22 when guard Khalif Toombs (5-9,160) tossed in a three-pointer with 7:46 left.
A layup by junior forward Quentin Bastain (6-6, 210) and sophomore Daquan Holiday (6-7, 205) extended NJIT's lead to five, 37-32 with a 1:43 left before halftime. NJIT closed out the first-half with a 37-32 lead over South Carolina State.
Toombs opened the second-half on fire with a layup followed by a deep three-pointer to tie the game, 37-37 at the 18:43 mark. The Highlander's off a three-pointer by freshman forward Ryan Woods (6-5, 210) to go ahead five, 42-37 with 18:03 left.
SC State responded with Toombs scoring five straight connecting on another three-pointer followed by a layup to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the second-half, 51-47 with 11:40 left. Toombs knocked down four straight free-throws after a double technical foul was called on NJIT's coach followed by an ejection to put SC State ahead 62-59 with 4:24 left in regulation.
JUCO transfer center Matthew Hezekiah powered the basket for layup to give SC State a, 64-59 lead with 4:06 left. Toombs connected once again on his fifth three-pointer of the night to put the Bulldogs ahead by six, 67-61 with 3:30 left.
NJIT rallied back to pull within three, 75-72 off a three-pointer by Woods with 1:04 left in the game. Free-throws were the deciding factor down the stretch with SC State shooting 27-40 from the free-throw line (67.5%), while the Highlanders shot 14-16 from the line.
South Carolina State held on for its second-straight victory with a 77-74 victory over New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Highlanders out-rebounded the Bulldogs 42-36, but had 18 costly turnovers down the stretch in the loss.
SC State shot 52.6 % from the three-point line with Toombs connecting on 5-6 from downtown in the victory. JUCO transfer guard Adama "Louie" Adams chipped in 16 points and six assists, while freshman guardShaquille Mitchell finished with 10 points and a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line. Hezekiah came up a rebound short of his fourth straight double-double with 10 points, nine rebounds, and three block shots.
Carter stated, "It doesn't get any easier from here we are going to need some of these guys to play more and give us the extra effort we need to be successful."
NJIT was led by Ryan Woods with a team-high 20 points and six rebounds.
SC State returns to action on Tuesday when they host Albany University in a non-conference matchup at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.