ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — Matthew Hezekiah scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds to lead South Carolina State to a 78-71 victory in its conference opener over University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Wednesday night.

SC State (5-9, 1-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) opened up a 17-point lead in the first half on a pair of Jalen White free throws that made it 37-20 with 2:44 left but UMES shaved the advantage to 40-30 at the intermission. The Bulldogs were outscored 41-38 in the second half but held on for the win.

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White and Adama Adams contributed 14 points each and Karon Wright had 11 for the Bulldogs, who shot 55 percent from the field and were 7 of 14 from 3-point range.

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UMES (2-12, 0-2) pulled to within five late in the second half, 57-52, but couldn’t close the gap.

Hakeem Baxter led the Hawks with 23 points and KyRee Jones had 20.

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