Senior Orlando Fikes wasn’t going to allow the Kentucky State University men’s basketball team to lose at home Monday.
Fikes (Detroit, Mich.) drilled a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, drained another triple in the extra session, and then assisted on a junior Kevin Wharton-Price (Pittsburgh, Pa.) three-pointer to give Kentucky State to a seven-point overtime lead.
The Thorobreds overcame 2-of-10 shooting from the foul line to secure the 78-75 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Benedict.
Kentucky State trailed by seven points midway through the first half, and trailed for most of the opening stanza. However, the Thorobreds went on a 16-5 spurt to take its first lead – and its largest lead (seven) of the half.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Fikes kick-started the aforementioned run. Kentucky State’s defense limited Benedict to just 4-of-12 down the stretch of the first half.
KSU maintained the lead with some key baskets, and led by as much as seven with 4:25 remaining. It was then Fikes went to the bench for a quick breather, and Benedict skyrocketed back into the contest. Back-to-back turnovers against the BC press energized the visitors, and before you knew it, the Tigers led by two.
Freshman Jalen Fisher (Ypsilanti, Mich.) gave the ‘Breds a brief lead, and four straight Benedict free throws had the Tigers leading by three with 49 seconds remaining.
Fikes missed his first attempt, but a team offensive rebound allowed KSU to keep possession. Another offensive rebound by senior Jordan Little (Jersey City, N.J.), who found Fikes at the top of the key for the tying three-pointer.
It was a career night for Fikes, who finished with a career-high 19 points, three assists and no turnovers in career-high 28 minutes of action. Little recorded back-to-back double-doubles with 18 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three assists and three blocks. It was his sixth double-double of the season.
Wharton-Price finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, while senior Shaq Athie (Cincinnati, Ohio) continues to attack the boards – pulling down 11 rebounds. He has recorded double-figure rebounds five times this season.
Kentucky State (5-5 overall, 2-1 SIAC) travels to Albany State 7:30 p.m. Thursday for a SIAC road contest.