Buzzer-beater lifts South Carolina State by DSU men 63-60

DOVER — Delaware State had the defense it wanted on the final possession against South Carolina State.

And it did exactly what the Hornets planned, but still wasn’t enough to win the game.

Patrell Rogers drilled a long three-pointer right before the buzzer to deal DelState a 63-60 defeat on Saturday night in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest. Delaware State dropped to 0-2 in the MEAC and 2-15 overall.

South Carolina State was inbounding under its own basket with 15 seconds left with the score tied 60-60. Delaware State went with a press and forced the Bulldogs into a trap at halfcourt.

The ball worked its way across the court to the right side to Rogers. Rogers pulled up from NBA-range, double clutched and still made the shot right in front of his own bench.

“He took a deep, deep three, double-pumped and made it,” said DSU coach Keith Walker. “It’s just a great shot. You have to get him credit.”

Both of Delaware State’s MEAC defeats have been by one possession. The Hornets fell 65-62 to defending conference champion North Carolina Central on Wednesday at home.

The Hornets still have not beaten a Division I opponent this season.

“We’ve had a lot of adversarial situations but we have to fight through that,” Walker said. “I give the guys all the praise in the world for having the fortitude to continue to compete at this level. We’re going in the direction we want to go but we’ve got to get on the other side of one of these one-possession games.”

The Hornets trailed 60-56 but mounted a rally in the game’s final minute. They forced a shot clock violation before Kavon Waller converted a bucket underneath the basket to make it a two-point game.

James Richardson missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity for South Carolina State to give DelState a chance to tie or take the lead. Waller missed a three-point attempt for DSU but Marquis Collins grabbed the offensive rebound.

Collins was fouled on a follow-up and converted both free throws to tie.

But that’s when Rogers made his three-pointer with four tenths of a second left. Pinky Willey’s desperation heave from the other free throw line fell well short as the final buzzer sounded.

The Hornets only made on three-pointer on 17 attempts on the night

“Again it was one of those days, we got perfect looks,” Walker said. “The offense created for our guys, it just wasn’t a night when the shots were going down. Our best shooters couldn’t capitalize on the open shots. To shoot six percent from three, that’s not going to help us for all.”

Simon Okolue was the only Hornet in double figures with 16 points. He also recorded 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Collins followed with nine points while Joe Lewis added eight.

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