Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Kentucky State's Season Ends in First Round of SIAC Tournament

Fort Valley State 79
Kentucky State 73

Final from Birmingham, Alabama

Game recap by KSU:

Birmingham, Ala.—Kentucky State University men's basketball concluded its 2016-17 season with a 79-73 loss to Fort Valley State University in the opening round of the SIAC Tournament on Monday at Bill Harris Arena.

The Thorobreds (10-17, 7-11) have now exited the SIAC tournament in the opening round for third consecutive season. The Wildcats (10-17, 7-10) will head on to the quarterfinals to play No. 1 seeded Claflin University from the East Division on Wednesday.

"We fell behind early," said head coach Jamaal Jackson. "We put together some strong runs in the second half to make it a game, but we had some turnovers in the closing moments that really cost us."

FVSU put KSU in a hole with a 17-3 advantage in the opening seven minutes of play, but the Thorobreds kept the game within reach, pulling within 10, 39-29 by halftime.

Led by junior guard Dorian Jordan, the KSU offense began to click in the second half, chipping at the Wildcats lead. KSU pulled within one 57-56 at 10:11 in the second half, but couldn't surpass the Wildcats in the closing minutes of the contest.

Jordan finished his day with a game-high 24 points, six assists, and five rebounds. An integral piece in the comeback effort was senior forward Julius Barton. The West Memphis, Arkansas native put up 15 points and seven rebounds for the Thorobreds, while performing as a defensive threat in the paint.

Numerous Thorobreds were in foul trouble throughout the afternoon, leading to some much-needed bench production. Junior forward Deion Fields and sophomore center David Jelks combined for 16 points, and 15 rebounds, while each of them logged over 20 minutes of action.

"Sometimes when you take over a program as a head coach, it can be difficult to get everyone to come together," said Jackson. "We didn't have that problem with this group. It's hard to go through the changes they did, but to play like they did all season long shows how special of a group these young men are and I'm proud to be their leader."

KSU's Malcolm Smith and Dorian Jordan were named to the SIAC All-Conference Team. 

2017 SIAC Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team

Dwight Richards, Jr. Central State Junior Forward Fort Wayne, Ind.
Brandon Morris Benedict Junior Forward Lithonia, Ga.
Tyrius Walker Morehouse Junior Guard Atlanta. Ga.
Justin Street LeMoyne-Owen Senior Forward Memphis, Tenn.
Kendarius Ash Lane Sophomore Forward Decatur, Ga.
Malcolm Smith Kentucky State Senior Guard Cincinnati, Ohio
Terrance Bridgeman Lane Senior Guard South Bend, Ind.
Quayshun Hawkins Benedict Senior Guard Columbia, S.C.
Ryan McNeil-Moses Claflin Senior Forward Washington, D.C.
Dorian Jordan Kentucky State Junior Guard Cincinnati, Ohio
Maurice Alexander Lane Junior Guard Chicago, Ill.
Ayinde Russell Morehouse Sophomore Guard Atlanta, Ga.

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