South Carolina State had four players to score double-figures with sophomore forward Damani Applewhite recording the games only double-double, with 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to an, 91-88, overtime victory over Howard Saturday (Jan. 13 th) at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
Graduate guard Donte Wright finished with a team-high 20 points and five rebounds, along with Janai Raynor-Powell's 18 and James Richardson's 12 to improve South Carolina State to 6-12 overall, 2-1 in the league.
"It was a great home win for our team against a very talented Howard Bison team coached by a seasoned coach in Kevin Nickleberry," said head coach Murray Garvin. "We knew coming into this game it wouldn't be easy with Howard having one of the best back courts in the conference or probably in the nation in Williams and Cole."
"I am so proud of Damani Applewhite for his performance tonight and hats off to my guys for hanging tough and not giving up when things got ruff," said Garvin.
Sophomore forward Ozante Fields play a key role off the bench with 11 rebounds and eight points.
The Bison were led by sophomore guard Charles Williams with a game-high 28 points while freshman RJ Cole added 27 points and five assist in the loss.
Howard led 42-30 during intermission.
South Carolina State sparked a 16-6 run off back-to-back baskets by Applewhite followed by a three-pointer by Raynor-Powell to take the lead 48-46 at the 15:05 mark in the second-half. The Bulldogs took a three-point lead late in the game, 76-73, off a layup by forward Ian Kinard.
A free-throw Williams followed by jumper with 0:33 seconds remaining by Kyle Foster tied the game 76-76 all and force overtime. Wright nailed seven of his team-high 20 points in overtime, including shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the game to lead the Bulldogs to its fifth home victory of the season.
The Bulldogs managed to outrebound the Bison 45-31 along with leading the way in second chance points 23-15.
South Carolina State returns to action on Monday in the second of a four-home game stretch against visiting Maryland-Eastern Shore in a pivotal Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference showdown beginning at 5:30 p.m. tip-off for the women, followed by a 7:30 p.m. start for the men.
-per S.C. State Athletics