Despite 17 second half points by senior guard Malcolm Smith and a furious comeback, Kentucky State University men’s basketball fell short to Benedict College 68-65 on Saturday afternoon at HRC Arena.

The Thorobreds (2-5, 1-2) went 1-2 against SIAC opponents and will finish up with an exhibition against the University of the Cumberlands on Tuesday to conclude the four-game road stretch.

The Tigers (2-3, 2-0) have now won back-to-back games after starting the season 0-3.

Smith recorded a team-high 23 points, including a sequence of back-to-back-to-back made threes over a two-minute stretch to bring the Thorobreds back, after trailing by as much as 14 points in the final 10 minutes of action. Smith also tied for a team-high in rebounds with eight.

Junior forward Reggie Breeden ended the day with 18 points and four rebounds, while playing all 40 minutes of the contest.

The rebounding battle leaned to the Tigers, 50-31, but it was the Thorobreds stellar defense keeping them in the game. KSU forced 18 Tiger turnovers, while on giving away six in the process.

KSU will be back in action on Dec. 6 in an exhibition against UC at 7:00 p.m. ET in Williamsburg, Kentucky.