HOUSTON, TX—The South Carolina State Bulldogs posted a signature victory after knocking off the University of Houston, 71-63, in the final game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Regional Round at Hofheinz Pavilion Saturday.
The win was the first ever over the Cougars in school history and first under second-year head coach Murray Garvin.
“This was a very big win for our program and university,” said SC State head coach Murray Garvin. “It would have not been possible without a total team effort from everyone involved in the program.”
“Our guys played hard today and it showed on the court,” stated Garvin. “I couldn’t be more proud of their effort but now it’s time to move on to the next game out in Las Vegas.”
Freshman guard Edward Stephens led the Bulldogs with a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds, while teammate sophomore guard Jalen White added 17 in the win.
Junior forward Darryl Palmer and freshman forward Tashombe Riley each chipped in 10. Palmer recorded the teams only double with a game-high 13 rebounds and eight blocks.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early nine point advantage, 30-21, off a driving layup by Palmer with a 1:58 remaining before half-time. Redshirt sophomore forward Danrad Knowles closed out the half on a tip-in to cut the lead to five, 32-27 before intermission.
A pair of free-throws by Stephens with less than 2:00 minutes remaining gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the day 11, 65-42. Free throws seemed to be the deciding factor down the stretch for SC State, shooting 15-of-21 (74%) from the charity stripe to seal the 71-63 victory over American Conference foe Houston.
SC State merely dominated in every category from start to finish outrebounding Houston 50-35, while shooting 42.9% (6-of-`4) from behind the three-point arc. The Bulldogs also dished out a game-high 17 assists.
The Cougars finished with three players in double-figures with Knowles leading with way with a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, junior guard L.J Rose added 14 and Jerrod Staggers 12 in the loss,
South Carolina State improves to 4-8 overall, 2-0 in the MEAC, while Houston falls to 5-3 on the season.
Courtesy: South Carolina State Sports Information