Defense the key as KSU wins big

By LINDA YOUNKIN State Journal Sports Writer Published:

Kentucky State's offense was clicking Thursday night against Clark Atlanta, but that wasn't the most important part of the Thorobreds' game.

"Defense set the tone," KSU coach Thomas Patterson said after his men's basketball team defeated the Panthers 102-64 at the Exum Center. "When they play 'D' like that the offense will come. We tell them that all the time. I'm proud of them."

K-State jumped out to a 15-2 lead, hitting four three-pointers during the run - two by Ricky Green and one each by Michael Dupree and Jason McGowan. The Thorobreds led by as many as 19 points, 31-12, in the first half before taking a 38-22 advantage into halftime.

"That's the way we want to start games every time," said Dupree, who led all players with 20 points. "We were trying to really focus on execution, getting it up tempo and being really aggressive on defense, and we were able to do that."

Clark Atlanta scored the first five points of the second half, pulling within 11 points at 38-27. As they would for the rest of the game, the Thorobreds had an answer for CAU's run.

That was a run of their own. KSU countered with five points, pushing the lead back to 16. The Panthers eventually were able to cut the lead to eight points, 51-43, with 12:49 left in the game.

"We tried not to panic," Patterson said. "We're teaching our seniors when a team makes a run to stay poised, under control and not to panic."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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