Flagler’s 23 point lead South Carolina State to MEAC victory

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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.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
Dominique Whatley Dominique Whatley
6-10,  16 Pts
5 Rebs, 3 Assists
 S. Carolina St.
Jason Flagler Jason Flagler
8-13,  23 Pts
3 Rebs, 1 Assists

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Tuesday, Mar 11