Courtesy Kentucky State Athletics
Junior guard Ditalion Battle scored a career-high 23 points as the Kentucky State University men’s basketball team defeated Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference divisional opponent Tuskegee University, 85-79 on Saturday afternoon at the Exum Center.

The Thorobreds (5-12, 4-6) have won back-to-back games after suffering five straight loses ranging from early December to New Year’s Day, but Saturday’s win puts KSU atop the division at 1-0. The Golden Tigers (2-13, 1-6) have dropped six games over their last seven and after knocking off Johnson C. Smith University on Monday, have yet to win back-to-back games this season.

“We scored a high-rate tonight,” said head coach Jamaal Jackson. “We shot 60 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three, but we have to get better at our free throws, 55 percent from the line is terrible, and we have to work on fixing it.”

The impressive shooting numbers played a role for the Thorobreds as Battle provided a hot hand going 6-of-12 from beyond the arc. Joining him was the inside stability of junior center David Jelks as he went 9-of-10 from the floor for a season-high 18 points in just 18 minutes of action. KSU outscored TU in the paint behind Jelk’s performance by 16 with a 44-28 advantage.

The reining SIAC New Comer of the week, junior guard Ray Croon, added 20 points for his fourth straight game of 20 points or better and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.

KSU will host Miles College for its second of game of 10 against west division opponents. The tip is set for 7:30 pm ET at the Exum Center.

by Eric Mathews

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