The Bulldogs (4-18, 1-9) gave interim coach Murray Garvin his first win since replacing Tim Carter earlier this month. South Carolina State also ended a 25-game losing streak in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games.
The Bulldogs led 34-31 at halftime, thanks to Palmer—who grabbed 12 rebounds—and Khalif Toombs and Adama Adams, who scored 15 points apiece.
NC A&T (13-13, 6-5), which got 18 points from Jean Louisme and 11 each from Adrian Powell and Austin Witter, kept it close throughout the second half.
NC A&T’s Lamont Middleton’s two foul shots with 0:37 left cut it to 69-67. But free throws from three different Bulldogs made it 72-67 with 0:14 left. Witter hit a trey, but Toombs’ two last-second missed foul shots didn’t matter.