South Carolina St. holds off NC A&T’s 2nd half rally, 63-54

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Edward Stephens and Jalen White scored 16 points apiece and South Carolina State outscored North Carolina A&T 11-2 to close the game for a 63-54 win on Tuesday night in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament.

Stephens, a freshman, hit a contested 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down for a 58-54 lead with 1:33 left and White scored the final five points to seal it.

South Carolina State advances to play No. 2 seed Norfolk State in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Gabe McCray had seven points and 10 rebounds for No. 7 seed South Carolina State (11-21). The Bulldogs led 37-21 at halftime behind Stephens’ 13 points.

Bruce Beckford led tenth-seeded North Carolina A&T (9-23) with 17 points and eight rebounds.

NC A&T outscored S.C. State 27-12 to start the second half to cut its deficit to 49-48 with 6:10 left.