Senior guard Reggie Breeden stepped up in a time of need to deliver two clutch free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the win for Kentucky State University men’s basketball over Miles College on Monday night at the Exum Center.
“We didn’t play great but we won, and the guys stayed together,” said head coach Jamaal Jackson. “Our guys didn’t drop their heads when Miles (College) went on their run, they knew what we need to do to win, and they fought to pull it out in the end.”
The Thorobreds (6-12, 4-5) have won three straight games and are now 3-1 against Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West division opponents this season, with their lone loss coming against Lane College on Dec. 2, 72-71. The Golden Bears (3-12, 2-6) have lost four of their last five dating back to Jan. 4 against Claflin University.
Following a last-second three-point bucket by junior guard Ray Croon to put an end to the first half, KSU picked up the pace for a 17-4 run to start the second half for a comfortable 62-44 lead at 15:48 on the clock. The Golden Bears wouldn’t be denied as they put together a 13-2 run covering 4:54 of action to bring the score to a 72-72 tie with just over eight minutes left in regulation.
MC pulled the game to another tie at 85-85 with just over two minutes to play. KSU jumped out again after a made bucket in the paint by senior guard Micheal Stevenson to make it 87-85. KSU maintained its lead by one or more, with Breeden providing the heroics hitting four free throws in the final 21 seconds to capture the win.
Six Thorobreds registered double-digit scoring as junior guard Ditalion Battle led the team with 17 points, hitting five three-pointers, and pulling down six rebounds. Breeden finished his night with 14 points and a team-high nine boards.
Croon saw his streak of 20 point performances come to an end at four as he collected 16 points while swiping three steals. Junior forward David Jelks had another solid performance coming off the bench as he went 6-of-10 from the floor, 3-for-3 from the free throw line for 15 points.
KSU will head south for the lengthiest conference trip of the season for a matchup with Spring Hill College on Jan. 20 at 3 pm ET. The Thorobreds split its season series a year ago against the Badgers by winning in Mobile, Alabama.
by Eric Mathews