ORANGEBURG, S.C. (FAMU ATHLETICS) — Senior guard MJ Randolph tied his career-high of 27 points, as Florida A&M (6-9, 5-3 MEAC) claimed a 75-67 victory over Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) foe South Carolina State on Thursday night at the SHM Memorial Arena.
Randolph returned to the starting five after sitting the Rattlers' previous two games while nursing a minor injury. The Pensacola, Fla. native made an immediate impact, connecting on 10-of-18 shots from the floor and drilling 7-of-8 free throws. Randolph also snagged nine rebounds with four assists and one steal.
Senior forward DJ Jones also had a career-night notching a double-double scoring 17 points, the most of his collegiate career, with 10 rebounds, three blocks and one assist. It was his highest scoring output since he tossed in 16 points during FAMU's 70-68 victory over Iowa State on Dec. 31, 2019.
Bryce Moragne also achieved a career milestone against the Bulldogs, snagging a career-high 15 rebounds to go along with eight points. His 15 boards surpassed his previous high of 14 that he grabbed last Saturday against North Carolina A&T.
South Carolina State (0-16, 0-6 MEAC) kept the game tight in the first half, grabbing a brief 29-26 lead with 2:15 left in the period. Randolph put the Rattlers back on top with a mid-range jumper that sparked a 7-0 run to end the first half.
In the second half, the Rattlers built a 12-point lead (51-39) with 12:44 left in the game and looked to completely seize momentum. However, SCSU chomped away at FAMU's lead, eventually pulling within one (65-64) thanks to a three-pointer by Rashaan Edwards with 3:32 left to play.
FAMU extinguished the Bulldog run, clamping down and ending the contest on a 10-3 run to preserve the win.
As a team, FAMU shot 46.2 percent from the field (30-of-65) while connecting on 2-of-8 three-point attempts and drilling 13-of-16 from the free throw line. The Rattlers held the Bulldogs to just 33.3 percent shooting (21-of-63).
FAMU also outrebounded SCSU 48-38.
FAMU gets a day of rest before squaring off against South Carolina State again on Saturday in Orangeburg, S.C. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
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