NORFOLK, VA—Ninth-ranked South Carolina State advance to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament with an , 63-54, victory over eight-ranked Maryland Eastern Shore Tuesday (March.12th ) at the Scope Arena.
Virginia Beach native and senior point guard Janai Raynor-Powell led the Bulldogs with a team-high 15 points and five assits, along with the assistance on teammate Second Team All-MEAC forward Damani Applewhite who recorded the games only double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior guard Jahmari Etienne added 10, while sophomore guard Rayshawn Neal and junior forward Ozante Fields added nine points each respectively in the win.
"First I would like to give Maryland Eastern Shore credit for a hard fought battle tonight," said head coach Murry Garvin. "The win wasn't pretty but we will take it any day. I am proud of the way my guys held their composure down the stretch and didn't let turnovers change the motion of the game."
South Carolina State dominated the first-half leading 38-22 during intermission.
The Bulldogs built their largest lead of the night 19, 41-22, off a 3-pointer by freshman guard Allen Hatchett, Jr.at the 19:04 mark.
UMES sparked a late rally to cut the lead and pull within four, 51-47, off a 3-pointer by senior guard Ryan Andino with 5:18 remaining. The Bulldogs were too much down the stretch converting on seven straight free-throws from charity stripe to extend the lead to nine, 60-51, with 0:25 second remaining in regulation.
Despite a lofty 15 turnovers, South Carolina State held on to a 63-54 win to advance to the next round. UMES was led by Bryan Urrutia with a team-high 14 points and six rebounds, while teammate Issac Taylor added 12 in the loss. All-MEAC performer Ryan Andino was limited to just nine points in the loss. Andino shot 3-of-16 from 3-point range.
Garvin stated, "This is a good win for our program and our guys this evening. We won't have time to sit around we have to prepare for a very good Norfolk State Spartan tomorrow. It will be a like a home game for them so the atmosphere will be crazy."