Senior forward Markeith Cummings nailed a jumper with 0:02 seconds left in overtime to give Kennesaw State a, 67-65 victory over South Carolina State, Monday at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.
The Owls avenged last season's double-overtime loss to the Bulldogs 104-98 on Nov. 26, 2011.
JUCO transfer Louie Adams (6-1, 170) poured in a game-high 26 points, while teammate Matthew Hezekiah (6-11, 235) recorded his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
"Anytime you drop a close one at home against a good team it's always tough," said SC State head coach Tim Carter. "I have to give our fans credit tonight they came out to support us and we just didn't get it done."
The Owls jumped out to a quick 16-5 lead off a dunk by senior forward Aaron Anderson (6-7, 220) at the 13:22 mark. Freshman forward Nigel Pruitt (6-7, 180) nailed a jumper with 6:20 left in the half to extend Kennesaw State's lead to10, 25-15.
The Bulldogs pulled within seven, off a three-pointer by freshman guard Shaquille Mitchell (6-4, 185) with 1:38 remaining. Mitchell tossed in another shot with 0:34 seconds left to pull SC State within five, 27-32.
South Carolina State closed out the first-half trailing 32-27.
SC State came out gunning in the second-half with Adams knocking down a three-pointer, followed by a jumper to pull the Bulldogs within one, 33-32 at the 18:16 mark. Hezekiah tossed in a pair of free-throws to move ahead, 46-45 with 9:26 left in regulation.
A layup by Adams with 1:39 lifted SC State to a four point advantage, 57-53. Kennesaw State would not be denied as forward Markeith Cummings (6-6, 240) nailed a jumper to pull the Owls within a basket, 57-55 with 1:25 left.
Sophomore guard Delbert Love (6-0, 185) tossed in a pair of free-throws with 0:28 seconds left to force overtime. The Owls jumped out to a quick four point lead, 63-59 in overtime off an Anderson layup with 3:25 left.
Hezekiah powered the Bulldogs back with a thunder dunk, followed by a jumper with 0:54 seconds left in overtime to tie the game, 65-65. Cumming's sealed the victory for the Owls tossing in a baseline jumper with 0:02 seconds remaining to give Kennesaw State a 67-65 victory over South Carolina State.
The Bulldogs had a costly 19 turnovers in the contest, while only shooting 12-of-21 from the free-throw line (57.1%) down the stretch. Senior guard Khalif Toombs (5-9, 165) added 11 points, five rebounds, and six assists in the loss.
Carter stated, "Whenever you get in a hole down the stretch you have to make your free-throws. We are a young team and got a lot of growing to do but we will be ok."
The Owls were led by Markeith Cummings with 18 points, while senior Aaron Anderson added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Teammate Delbert Love tossed in 16 in the victory.
SC State will return to action on Thursday when they host Webber International in a non-conference matchup. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.