ORANGEBURG, SC - South Carolina State had four players score double-figures as the Bulldogs knocked off top-ranked N.C. A&T State, 90-85, Saturday (Feb.10th) at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
Graduate guard Donte Wright led the way with a team-high 17 points, while senior guard Patrell Rogers finished with 16 points and four rebounds. Junior guard Janai Raynor-Powell added 13 and James Richardson 11 in the win.
"It was a total team effort today in order for us to get a win over a very talented Aggie team," said head coach Murray Garvin. "I would like to thank the administration and all the Bulldog fans for making this atmosphere a great one for Basketball Homecoming."
"To learn less than 24 hours that one your starting forwards Damani Applewhite will not be able to play because of flu like symptoms was a big blow, "said Garvin. "I'm proud that our guys stuck to the game plan our coaches provided and we were able to come away with the win."
The Bulldogs controlled most of the first-half building a 10-point lead, 38-28, off a three-pointer by Wright with 2:39 remaining. A jumper by Richardson followed by a layup and free-throw by Raynor-Powell closed out the half with SC State leading 45-30 over N.C. A&T during intermission.
The second-half was back and forth with the Aggies finding a spark late in the game to pull within seven, 75-68, with 3:21 remaining. Solid free-throw shooting down the stretch gave South Carolina State all they drive they needed to hold on to a 90-85 victory or league rival N.C. A&T State.
The Bulldogs had their best shooting night from the field of the season finishing 30-of-44 (68.2%), while dominating in points from the bench (39-24).
Several key reserves played a part in South Carolina State's win including sophomore forward Alex Taylor with eight points and five rebounds and Justin Jones with eight respectively.
The Aggies were led by Davaris McGowens with the games on double-double in 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Devonte Boykins added 13 and Denzel Keyes and Amari Hamilton 10 each.
South Carolina State improves to 9-17 overall, 5-6 in the MEAC, while N.C. A&T falls to 15-10 overall, 8-2 in the league.
The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday (Feb. 17) on the road against Hampton in a pivotal Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference showdown in Hampton, VA. Tip-off is 6 p.m.