DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -Carrio Bennett scored 27 points and Everett Spencer added 21 as South Carolina defeated Bethune-Cookman 85-81 in overtime in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play Saturday.
The win was the third in the last four games for the Bulldogs (11-18, 7-8 in MEAC).
Bennett, who hit five three-pointers, made all six of his free throw attempts during the final 47 seconds of overtime. His work negated Bethune-Cookman's attempts to come back after falling behind by four points early in the extra period.
Dewayne Pettus scored a career-high 31 points to pace Bethune-Cookman (11-18, 6-9), with John Holmes supplying 14, Joey Woods 13 and Jordan Carrier 11.
South Carolina took its first lead of the second half, 53-51, on a Spencer three-pointer with 11:56 left in regulation. It was swapout the rest of the way, with Holmes' free throw at 2:15 tying the score at 68-all. That's the way regulation ended.
Consecutive baskets by Jason Flagler, who finished with 16 points, and Spencer staked the visiting Bulldogs to a four-point lead, 72-68, to start the overtime. Bethune-Cookman never recovered.
The Wildcats led most of the first half, surging to a ten-point lead, 26-26, on Joey Woods' lay-in with 8:56 left in the first half. South Carolina closed to within four points twice in the first half - the last time with 2:01 showing - but could never get any closer.
Bethune-Cookman settled for a 40-36 halftime edge and held on until the Bulldogs scored eight straight points to take that first two-point lead at 11:56.
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