ORANGEBURG, SC—Junior forward Damani Applewhite tossed in a game-high 26 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while junior guard Jahmari Etienne added 15 points but the South Carolina State fell short in overtime, 67-71, to Howard for the second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) home game this season at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center Saturday(Jan.19th ).
"This is the second time this season the game came down to one possession for our time," said head coach Murray Garvin. "Being down 15-points and being able to fight back against one of the better scoring teams in the conference shows the fight our guys have in them."
Senior point guard Jani Raynor-Powell finished with 10, while sophomore guard Rayshawn Neal added eight points and five rebounds in the loss.
The Bulldogs dominated in several categories including rebounding (43-38), second chance points (20-6), bench points (25-6), while forcing a game-high 16 turnovers on the day.
Howard led 27-32 during intermission. SC State was down by as many as 13-points in the second-half off a dunk by sophomore guard Charles Williams to make the score, 49-36, at 10:21 mark. A tip-in by Applewhite with less than 0:29 seconds tied the game 57-57.
The Bulldogs had one last shot attempt after a costly turnover by the Bison gave South Carolina State the last shot attempt during regulation. Raynor-Powell's jumper rattled out as time expired to force overtime.
Sophomore guard RJ Cole hit key shots during the overtime to life Howard to a 71-67 victory over South Carolina State. Cole finished with a team-high 26 points, while Chad Lott added 19 points and six rebounds in the win.
"I told my guys let's not let one loss turn into two so we have to get back and prepare for a very big and talented Norfolk State team on Monday," said Garvin.
South Carolina State falls to 2-2 in the MEAC, while Howard improves to 2-3 in the league.