KENNESAW, Ga. -- The Kennesaw State men's basketball team rallied from a 10-point second half deficit to knot the score at 60-60 in the closing minutes before visiting Stetson scored the final 10 points to register a 70-60 victory in an Atlantic Sun Conference game at the KSU Convocation Center on Wednesday.
After freshman guard Myles Hamilton hit a jumper to even the score at 60-60 with 1:29 remaining, Stetson senior center Adam Pegg scored inside, was fouled and completed a three-point play to give the Hatters (4-9, 1-1) a 63-60 lead with 1:09 left in regulation. Following a missed three-point attempt by freshman guard Yonel Brown, junior guard Chris Perez converted a second straight three-point play with 36 seconds remaining to increase the Stetson lead to 66-60 and seal the victory.
"It was a tale of two halves. I think the frustrating thing for me was they had their veterans step up and we weren't quite as fortunate tonight," head coach Lewis Preston said. "The difference in this game is they killed us in the paint, scoring 20 of their 38 points inside, basically off the dribble.
"It's very frustrating because you're close and right there and just can't get over the hump," Preston added. "I don't care who are playing, you can't let somebody shoot 65 percent in the second half and you shoot 31 percent. You're not going win games that way."
Behind 10 first-half points from senior forward Markeith Cummings and 48.3 percent (14-for-29) from the field, the Owls (1-13, 0-2) took a lead into halftime for the second straight game. However, Stetson came out in the second half and shot 65 percent (13-for-20) from the field while outscoring Kennesaw State 20-14 inside after scoring just eight points in the paint during the first 20 minutes.
Perez scored a game-high tying 19 points to lead four Hatters in double figures. Junior guard Aaron Graham poured in 15 points while Pegg and senior guard Joel Naburgs chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively. Pegg also collected a game-high eight rebounds.
Cummings scored 19 points and totaled a team-high seven rebounds while leading the Owls in scoring for the ninth time this season. Senior forward Aaron Anderson contributed 12 points and six rebounds while sophomore guard Delbert Love added 10 points and five rebounds.
The Owls twice trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before outscoring the Hatters 24-15 over the final 11:37 of the period. Anderson and Cummings each scored seven points each to spark the comeback.
After trailing 56-46 with 7:42 remaining, Kennesaw State used a 14-4 run tie the score, but was unable to complete the comeback.
The Owls close out their three-game homestand on Saturday when they host A-Sun rival Mercer at the KSU Convocation Center beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Kennesaw State University