The Owls (2-5) came out with a strong second half, putting up 37 points to the Mastodons’ 36.
“As a coach, I have to have our guys ready to play,” Kennesaw State coach Lewis Preston said. “I’m going to give IPFW credit — they did what we talked about before the game. They were the most defensive team we’ve played these first seven games and they played just like that”
After IPFW (5-2) won the opening tip, it jumped out to a quick double-digit lead at 17-5 with 13:11 remaining in the first half before the Owls went on the offensive run. Kennesaw State cut the deficit down to just six points after back-to-back 3-pointers — one from Tanner Wozniak and the other from Orlando Coleman.
Andrew Osemhen then put in both of his two free-throw attempts as the Owls regained the momentum with the 8-0 run, setting the score at 19-13 in IPFW’s favor with just over 9 minutes on the clock.
IPFW then bumped its lead up to 16 before Kennesaw State again rallied offensively, slimming down a 31-15 Mastodon edge to just six points with a 3 and a dunk from Nigel Pruitt off of a steal on the other end of the floor. Pruitt’s dunk made it 35-29 IPFW with 1:57 to play before a free throw just before the half put IPFW up 40-29.
Three straight field goals from IPFW right out of the half put the Owls down by 17 before KSU once again responded, bringing it back down to just 10 over the next 3 minutes, thanks to 3s from Pruitt and Yonel Brown.
The Mostodons held onto their 10-point lead for the majority of the second half and held their largest advantage of the night at the 3:18 mark with a 70-51 score before Kennesaw State sparked the comeback attempt. Brown sank a pair of free throws at the 3-minute mark before an alley-oop dunk by Coleman off of a Brow assists made it 72-55 IPFW.
Shortly thereafter, Osemhen connected on a layup after grabbing his own offensive rebound, followed by a defensive board and basket from Delbert Love. Brown then hit two more from the line and then hit a big 3 to make it a 10-point game at 74-64.
Pruitt had one of his best games to date, putting in 15 points with five rebounds and a pair of steals to go with his three 3-pointers. Brown also continued his string of hot games, with 11 points, seven assists and a 5-for-6 day at the line.
Coleman fell just shy of the double-double, putting in nine points with his game-best seven rebounds.
As a team from the line, Kennesaw State was good on 14-of-17 attempts, a season-best success rate for the Owls.
Kennesaw State will play its final home game until the first week of January when it hosts NAIA opponent Truett-McConnell on Tuesday.