S.C. State led by eight with 1:29 to go. LJ Livingston scored on a dunk, then McKnight tipped one in and Rod Mills made a pair at the line to get within two with 28 seconds left.
After a pair of Ty Soloman free throws for the Bulldogs, Mills scored on another tip-in with three seconds left. Stephens then made a pair at the line to ice it for S.C. State.
Miami led 37-26 at intermission and by as many as 12 early in the second half.