Orangeburg, S.C. (Jan. 21, 2017) --- Delaware State was outplayed in the final seven minutes of the game, leading to a 74-64 loss to South Carolina State at the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Center today. After a 2-0 start in the MEAC, the Hornets have dropped three straight to fall to 5-15 overall and 2-3 in conference play. The Bulldogs won their fourth straight against DSU to improve to 5-12 and 2-2.
Delaware State trailed 33-28 at the break, but rallied to take a 49-48 lead on a basket and free throw by Dana Raysor with 8:03 left to play.
On the ensuing possession, South Carolina State had three shots at the basket. Ozante Fields hit a lay-up and free throw after an offensive rebound to put the Bulldogs ahead 51-49 at the 7:07 mark of the second half.
Delaware State would not lead again the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs opened up a 64-56 lead on another three-point play, by Greg Mortimer with 2:11 remaining.
Delaware State pulled to within 64-60 on a three-point play by Devin Morgan with 1:32 left, but SC State’s Tashombe Riley was perfect on four free throws and J.J. Richardson scored on a slam over the next 40 seconds to give the Bulldogs a 70-60 lead in the final minute.
South Carolina State shot 58.3% from the field (14-for-24) and 10-of-11 at the free throw line (90.9%) in outscoring the Hornets 41-36 in the second half.
Artem Tavakalyan, starting his fifth straight game in place of injured forward DeVaughn Mallory (calf), was Delaware State’s leading scorer with 14 points to tie his season best. Tavakalyan was 6-for-10 from the field and 2-of-3 on three-point shots in the game.
Devin Morgan added 11 points and DeAndre Haywood 10 for the Hornets, although they combined to shoot just 7-of-27 from the field.
DSU freshman guard Kobe Gantz led all players with six assists to set a career-high.
Eric Eaves led four South Carolina State players in double figures with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
The Hornets won the rebound battle 36-32, while each team committed 14 turnovers.
Delaware State will look to snap their three-game slide on Monday at Savannah State. Game time is 6 p.m. in Savannah, Ga. The Hornets return home next Saturday (Jan. 28) to begin a three-game homestand against Florida A&M (4 p.m.).
… DSU’s Kavon Waller has at least one three-point field goal in 11 straight games
… Tavakalyan also scored 14 points in DSU’s season-opening win against Clarks Summitt on Nov. 11.
…Gantz has 13 assists in the last three games