As regular season in MEAC winds down, Bulldogs in dogged pursuit to finish on winning note

ORANGEBURG – As the 2010-2011 regular season in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) basketball play winds down, Tim Carter’s South Carolina State (SCSU) Bulldogs recently made great strides in their seemingly dogged pursuit to end a losing season on a winning note.

Such positive action by the hoopsters of SCSU got a huge boost this past Sat. (Feb. 19) and Mon. (2/21), when the Bulldogs avenged earlier defeats to conference rivals North Carolina A&T (NCA&T) and Norfolk State (NSU).

Led by the backcourt tandem of guards Brandon Riley and Tyvon Williams and forward Darnell Porter, who paced all scorers, the Bulldogs spanked the Aggies of NCA&T 71-57 Saturday at Smith-Hammond-Middleton (S-H-M) Memorial Center, on the S.C. State campus. Senior Porter, who had three assists, tossed in 23 points to top scorers in the outing versus the Greensboro-based squad while junior Riley and senior Williams added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Then on Monday night opposite the visiting Norfolk State Spartans, from the Tidewater area of Virginia, Porter followed up his plus showing this past weekend against the Aggies with another noteworthy lead performance (18 points) in the family tilt against Norfolk State.

Brandon Riley added 14, in the 64-62 win over NSU, at S-H-M, as the Bulldogs improved their record to 8-19, 4-10 MEAC.

Agreeing that his team had experienced a lot of tough times to date prior to its Saturday matchup opposite North Carolina A&T, Carter, at the end of the 40-minute duel, at S-H-M, was seemingly more than pleased by the double-digit win over Jerry Eaves’ Aggies (12-15, 7-6).

“After all that we’ve gone through till now, I’ll take it (the win),” said the fourth year Bulldogs hoops leader minutes after the battle of long-time arch-enemies. “It was a game that we really needed (to win), as we try to go into tournament play in a positive frame of mind.

” With this game behind us now, the thing for us to do now is try to follow up this win with another one in our next game (against Norfolk State). If we can get by Norfolk State Monday night, another win will certainly boost our confidence at a time when we most need it.”

Also contributing positive minutes in the win against North Carolina A&T senior forward Rio Pitt, eyeing the team’s second season – which starts when S.C. State and other MEAC schools begin play in the MEAC Tournament Mon., Mar. 7, in Winston-Salem, N.C. – pointed out the need to stay focused on the positive in spite of how bad the season has gone.

“We’re still a team that has the ability to win when we take care of the ball and do what the coaches tell us to do,” said Pitt, who tallied eight points and grabbed seven rebounds in the triumph over NCA&T.

“What has helped us a lot lately is watching a lot of film on the games we played. By doing this, we see a lot of the mistakes we make. If we keep doing this (watching films) and work on correcting our mistakes, I like our chances (to win), as we end the regular season; and head into the tournament.”