South Carolina State 84, North Carolina Central 79
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) _ Derrick Patterson scored 21 points for South Carolina State and snared nine rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to an 84-79 win over North Carolina Central.
Miguel Burns and Eric Fernandez added 17 points each and newcomer Rodney Blakney 15 in the Bulldogs’ season opener.
Coach Cy Alexander’s team is now 1-0 on the season. The visiting Eagles fell to 2-1.
Mike White had 19 points and LeVelle Moton and Kareem Robinson 17 each for North Carolina Central.
Fernandez scored 10 of his points in the last 5:33 to help the Bulldogs put the game away.
Fernandez’s 3-pointer with 5:33 left gave South Carolina State a 70-65 edge. After the Eagles closed to within 74-71, Fernandez took a feed from Blakney and nailed another 3-pointer for a 77-71 Bulldog advantage with 2:25 showing.
Two free throws each by Blakney and Fernandez gave South Carolina State a 10-point cushion at 81-71 with just 1:42 left. The Eagles would not get within five points for the rest of the game.