The Kentucky State University Thorobreds finally got that winning feeling back.
Now they want to keep it.
Six players scored in double figures and KSU used a dominating second half to beat Clark Atlanta University 83-71 in Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action Monday at the Exum Center.
It was the first win for the Thorobreds (2-6, 1-2) since a season-opening 71-66 win Nov. 8 over Asbury University.
“I think today was a big test as a team to where we want to go,” said KSU senior Brandon Darrett, who finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.
“We just challenge ourselves each day from the starting five to the next ones coming in, it’s just a battle every day.”
Darrett wasn’t the only player to have a nice game for the Thorobreds. Junior Darrien Wilkins had 12 points and six rebounds, sophomore Tryson Ford had 11 points and five rebounds off the bench, senior Antonio Sullivan and junior Ulysses Thomas III each finished with 11 points and sophomore Quentin Henderson added 10 points.
“That’s one of the main things I’ve been stressing to our guys more than anything is how much talent we have on this basketball team,” KSU coach Antwain Banks said. “With as much depth as we have it can be anybody’s night and I think they’re starting to see that, starting to buy in to that.”
Senior Jarrel Joye had 16 points and six rebounds for the Panthers (4-6, 0-2). FreshmanDerek Harper added 14 points off the bench and sophomore James Arnold scored 10.
After going back and forth with 16 lead changes and neither team having more than a six-point advantage, KSU finally took control midway through the second half and ended the game on a 28-15 run. Senior Troy Adams started the run with back-to-back 3-pointers, senior Darquell Pulliam hit another 3 and Thomas followed with an old-fashioned three-point play to give KSU a 67-58 lead with eight minutes to go.
Another 3 by Thomas pushed the lead to 12 and Ford scored five straight points to give the Thorobreds their largest lead of the game, 79-65, with about four minutes left.
“We realized that we had to play for a total of 40 minutes,” Darrett said. “We knew in the first half it was just strictly 20 minutes. Knowing that we had another half to go, it was a challenge in itself — and that’s the hardest part of the games is finishing off the games.”
In the second half, KSU outscored CAU 50-32 by shooting 57.6 percent and making 7-of-11 3-pointers.
“I just want to keep stressing to them that as long as you play with energy and effort you give yourself an opportunity,” Banks said. “If you don’t play with those things you don’t have an opportunity and at the end of the game all you want is an opportunity no matter who you’re playing against. Today we actually we gave ourselves an opportunity and were able to get the victory while doing so.
“I’m going to continue to challenge them to get better each day.”
KSU plays at Claflin University Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in another SIAC game.
CLARK ATLANTA (71) — James Arnold 10, Jarrel Joye 16, Derek Harper 14, Earl Lawrence 8, Kenneth Green 7, Kevin James 8, Glyndelle Poole 8.
KENTUCKY ST. (83) — Ulysses Thomas 11, Tryston Ford 11, Darquell Pulliam 6, Markus Montague 6, Darrien Wilkins 12, Brandon Darrett 10, Quentin Henderson 10, Antonio Sullivan 11, Troy Adams 6.