Ray and the Owls Win it Late as Kennesaw Beats NJIT 54-53

Ray’s Layup with 4.3 Seconds Remaining Gave the Owls the Win 
BOX SCORE (PDF) | BOX SCORE (XML) | RAY’S GAME WINNER

NEWARK, N.J. 
 – After NJIT hit a shot to go up one, Kendrick Ray drove the ball to the basket with time winding down and hit a layup over two defenders with just under five seconds remaining in the game to give the Kennesaw State men’s basketball team a 54-53 victory over NJIT in the Fleisher Center in Newark, New Jersey.

 
The win is Kennesaw State’s 10th victory of the season and gives them a 4-4 record in the ASUN.
 
Ray led all scorers with 22 points going 10-15 from the floor. On a night where offense didn’t always come easy, Nick Masterson was the other Owl in double figures with 15, and 10 of those coming in the final 20 minutes.
 
Kennesaw State trailed by six points with 5:02 remaining, and Ray and Masterson hit back-to-back threes to tie the score at 46. After the Owls capped a 10-0 run to go up 50-46, NJIT came back to tie the score with 1:08 left in the game.
 
With time winding down and the Owls clinging to a one-point lead, the Highlanders briefly took a lead with 17 seconds after sprinting the ball up the floor after a missed free throw. Calmly, Ray came right back at them by putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket to hit his game-winning layup.
 
Offensively, the Owls struggled only shooting 37.9 percent from the floor for the game, but their defense stepped up throughout the night. The team only allowed NJIT to score 28 points in the first 20 minutes and held the Highlanders scoreless for the last 3:32 of the first half.
 
The scoreless drought continued into the second half as NJIT didn’t get their first bucket in the second half until the 14:34 mark, but KSU struggled to make up any ground.
 
Kennesaw State needed a spark to get going and their senior captain provided it five minutes into the second half. Ray finished a fast break with a thunderous jam bringing every fan in the gym to their feet. That was just what KSU needed to get going as they took their first lead of the game a couple minutes later.
 
Playing in front of their home fans, NJIT had another run in them though pushing their lead back out to seven points before Masterson and Ray fueled the Owls comeback.
 
After completing the season sweep of NJIT, Kennesaw State will now head back home to host USC Upstate on Saturday, February 4 at 4:30 p.m.

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