Kentucky State University men’s basketball snapped a five-game losing skid with an 86-75 victory over Paine College on Saturday afternoon at the Heal Complex.
“The guys played well, and we were able to knock down shots that we weren’t making over the last few games,” said head coach Jamaal Jackson. “We’ll continue to build on things we did well and correct some errors we made to prepare for next Saturday.”
The Thorobreds’ (4-12, 3-6) first road win of the season couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as they enter the latter third of the schedule with their final 10 games against conference divisional opponents. The Lions (3-11, 2-5) have split their last four games at 2-2 after dropping eight consecutive contests.
PC sat as the front-runner through the first 15 minutes of the game, leading by its most significant margin of 15 at 37-22, but a 17-0 scoring run by KSU showcased its offense ability, and tenacious defense. Junior guard Ditalion Battle led the charge by the Thorobreds with nine points, finishing the day with 22.
As the second half began, KSU surged ahead with an 11-2 run for a 50-39 lead, holding the Lions to only two points in 9:46 of play spanning from the end and start of the two frames. The Thorobreds lead continued to build to highest mark of 20 points with a little over seven minutes left to go in regulation.
Junior guard Ray Croon turned in a well-rounded performance with a team-high 24 points, team-high 10 rebounds, and a team-high seven assists. Croon scored 16 of 24 points in the second, for his third double-double of the year.
Senior guard Michael Stevenson joined in with Croon for his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Thorobreds’ stretch of divisional opponents will begin on Saturday, Jan. 13 when they host Tuskegee University at the Exum Center at 3 pm ET.
by Eric Mathews