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Florida A&M 68, S. Carolina St. 63

January 21, 1997

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Guy Walton scored 17 points and Jerome James added 15 to lead Florida A&M to a 68-63 win over South Carolina State Monday night.

Florida A&M (3-10 overall, 3-2 MEAC) led by nine points with 57 seconds remaining, but had to hold off a 3-point barrage down the stretch by South Carolina State (5-9, 4-2).

``It was a big win for us,″ Florida A&M coach Mickey Clayton said. ``We’ve been in this position before, but we haven’t always been able to finish the game.

``Tonight, we were mentally tough enough to be successful.″

South Carolina State junior guard Roderick Blakney, who had a game-high 18 points, made two 3-pointers in the final minute, the second of which cut the lead to 65-63 with 14 seconds left.

But Florida A&M’s Sean Black made two free throws with 11 seconds left, Blakney missed a 3-pointer and Olatunda Martin made one free throw with two seconds left for the final margin.

South Carolina State led 33-31 at halftime and held a 42-37 lead with 15:17 left in the game.

But Walton converted a 3-point play with 14:48 left to trigger an 8-0 Rattlers.

South Carolina State’s Rayner Moore scored on a goal-tending call with 6:33 left to cut the Florida A&M lead to 50-48, but the Rattlers outscored the Bulldogs 10-3 over the next 5:39 to build a 60-51 lead.

Two free throws by Darryl LaBarrie put FAMU ahead 62-53 with 57 seconds left, then South Carolina State made three 3-pointers on its next four possessions.

South Carolina State trailed by as many as six points early in the game, but took a halftime lead.

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