Flagler’s 23 point lead South Carolina State to MEAC victory
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Jason Flagler scored 23 points, and South Carolina State rallied in the second half to take a 78-69 victory over Bethune-Cookman in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament Tuesday night.
The eighth-seeded Bulldogs (13-19) will take on the tournament’s top seed, Morgan State (20-9), in the quarterfinals Wednessday night.
Jesse Burton scored 15 points for the Bulldogs, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Reserve Julius Carter scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Everett Spencer added 12 for S.C. State.
After trailing 30-25 at halftime, South Carolina State shot 18-of-30 for 60 percent in the final 20 minutes.
Bethune-Cookman (11-21) had to depend on its starting five to carry most of the load as the team had only three substitutes due to injuries.
The ninth-seeded Wildcats did a good job in shutting down forward Jason Johnson, a second-team All-MEAC center, holding him to just seven points. All-Freshman guard Carrio Bennett was held scoreless.
Dewayne Pettus and John Holmes led Bethune-Cookman with 17 points apiece. Dominique Whatley added 16 points as the Wildcats forced South Carolina State into 10 first-half turnovers and outscored the taller Bulldogs 18-8 in the paint and 42-32 overall.