FAMU (7-21, 5-10 MEAC) was led by juniors Desmond Williams with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Marcus Barham with 11 points.
The Rattlers contended throughout the game, trailing by just four points, 29-25 at the half.
South Carolina State (10-18, 7-8 MEAC) pulled away in the second half mainly by shooting 60 percent (15 of 25) from the floor to FAMU’s 48 percent (17 of 35), outpacing the visitors, 46-39.
Free throw shooting, which has often hurt the Rattlers in close games this year, did so again Saturday, as FAMU hit just seven of 17 charity tosses, including a two of nine second half performance.
Eric Eaves led all scorers with 22 points for South Carolina State, followed by Greg Mortimer with 22 points and Tashombe Riley with 15 points and nine rebounds.
WHAT’S NEXT: FAMU will close the regular season Thursday night at Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Florida (7:30).