WILBERFORCE — Keandre Graves had a perfect shooting night to lead the host Central State Marauders men’s college basketball team past Urbana University, 79-72, Nov. 19 at the Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium.
With the win, CSU improves to 2-2 overall while UU falls to 1-3.
“Keandre was absolutely on fire tonight. We haven’t seen a shooting performance like that in Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium in quite a while,” Central State coach Joseph Price said of Graves’ perfect night.
CSU used the power of the three-pointer throughout the first half, converting seven of nine attempts from beyond the arc. Graves, who had totaled six points in the first three games of the season, gave a spark off the bench with 11 points in the first half as CSU took a 39-29 lead at intermission.
Behind the hot hand of Tehree Horn, Urbana opened the second half on a 17-8 run to cut the deficit down to one. A three-pointer by Horn tied the game, 56-56, with 9:50 to play.
CSU responded as forward Michael Reeves hit his next four shots from the field to help give the Marauders a 71-65 lead with 4:04 to play. Another three-point make by Horn and a fastbreak dunk by Kyle Kegley brought UU back within one, 71-70.
With under two minutes remaining, Graves stepped up with his fifth make from three-point range to put CSU back up by four as the Marauders ended the game on a 9-1 run to seal the victory on their home court.
CSU shooters combined to make 29 of 52 field goals (55.8 percent) compared to UU’s 26 for 56 performance (46.4 percent). Led by Graves and Reeves, the CSU reserves scored 35 points while UU had 20 points from its bench.
CSU’s 58.8-percentage shooting performance is the program’s best since the 2017-2018 season (Miles on Feb. 19, 2018).
Graves converted all six of his shot attempts to finish with a team-high 17 points. CSU freshman Darweshi Hunter, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Newcomer of the Week, recorded 16 points and six rebounds while Reeves led all rebounders with eight to go along with 12 points and a career-high three blocks.
“I give a lot of credit to Mike Reeves tonight. We challenged him this week and he responded with a great game tonight with some big plays down the stretch,” Price said. “We are always challenging our players to be better. Quite simply, we were better tonight than we were in our previous game. I thought Tom Johnson came in and settled us down when Urbana was making their run in the second half while Darweshi Hunter continues his consistent play to give us some much needed scoring and rebounding.”
Urbana was led by Horn’s 23 second-half points.
Central State played an exhibition game Wednesday afternoon in Oxford against Miami University, losing 80-45. The Marauders next home contest will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23 when they’ll host Goshen College (Ind.) in the Beacom/Lewis Gym.