Stanton Kidd tossed in 20 points and Jeremy Ingram added 14 to lead North Carolina Central to a 62-54 win over visiting South Carolina State Monday at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs fell to 5-23 and 1-14 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference despite having three players in double figures. Devin Joint led the SC State effort with 14 points and nine rebounds. Darryl Palmer and Khalif Toombs contributed 10 points each for Coach Murray Garvin's team.
The Bulldogs trailed by 12 at the half and fell behind by 14, at 37-23, before rallying twice to get cut the deficit to seven, the last time at 47-40 with just under eight minutes left on a layup by Joint. The Eagles scored seven straight points, four by reserve Karmaro Jawara, to build a 54-40 advantage, the largest of the game, before the Bulldogs used a 7-2 run to get the margin under 10 again at 56-47 on a Joint layup with 2:26 remaining. SC State could get no closer the rest of the way.
NC Central , who earned a sweep of this year's series over SC State, improved to 21-8 and 14-1 in the MEAC.
The host shot a blistering 61 percent in the first half in taking a 34-22 advantage to the lockerroom. NC Central made five of nine shots from behind the arc in building its 12-point edge at intermission. Stanton had 11 of his total and Ingram 10 points in the period.
Following an early 2-2 tie, NC central got back to-back 3-pointers from Ingram and Kidd, and a runner by Ingram to build a 10-2 lead with 16:28 left in the opening period. The Bulldogs, paced by two follow shots from Matt Hezekial, a tip by Palmer and a basket from the top of the key by Luka Radovic to force the game's second tie and 10-10 at the 14:02 mark.
The Eagles scored seven of the next nine points to build a 17-12 edge, before Louie Adams, who came off the bench, nailed consecutive long range jumpers to give SC State its first lead – 18-17 – with 9:36 on the first-period clock, before the host Eagles closed the half with a 17-4 run.
SC State will close out its regular season on Thursday (Mar.7) when the Bulldogs host Delaware State in the second game of an MEAC doubleheader, which gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with the women's contest.