Kentucky State University, men’s basketball, recorded a second consecutive SIAC win with an 86-83 victory over Morehouse College at Forbes Arena on Thursday night.

The Thorobreds (4-9, 3-3) picked up back-to-back wins for the first time this season and are tied for second in the SIAC at three wins against conference opponents. The Maroon Tigers (6-5, 1-3) have now lost three straight against SIAC competition.

“We played very lackadaisical defense in the first half,” said head coach Jamaal Jackson. “We gave up close to 30 points in the paint, and many of those were off of fast break up layups. Our guys picked up their transition defense in the second half, and I think that’s what won us the game.”

With 17:06 on the clock in the second half, KSU gradually chipped away at the 53-40 Maroon Tiger lead, taking a 69-68 lead on a layup by senior forward Julius Barton at the 7:46 mark. The visiting Thorobreds extended their lead to six at 76-70 before the Maroon Tigers mounted a comeback of their own taking an 83-82 lead with 23 seconds remaining in the contest.

Barton struck again with a layup to give KSU an 84-83 lead with only 10 seconds remaining. Following a missed three by the Maroon Tigers, junior guard Reggie Breeden pulled down the rebound and drew a foul, adding to the Thorobreds lead at 86-83 on two made free throws. KSU sealed the victory forcing a turnover with three seconds remaining, to claim the win.

“For our guys to step up and win an ugly game like this on the road says a lot about them,” said Jackson. “We want to keep improving and strive to peak at the end of February.”

Breeden finished the night with a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds, notching his second straight double-double and his fourth game of the season of scoring 20 points or more. Senior guard Malcolm Smith matched Breeden’s performance, scoring 24 points, his fifth contest of 20 points or better.

Barton scored 20 points and snagged a game-high 15 rebounds for his third double-double of the year. While junior guard Dorian Jordan added 14 points and 13 assists, accounting for his third double-double of the season.

KSU will look to add a third straight SIAC win with a Saturday afternoon matchup against Clark-Atlanta University. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m. ET.

by Eric MAtthews

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