PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer
In the second half of this game, SCSU men’s basketball needed an ‘X-factor’ to give them a boost in this close matchup with Pace.
They surely found that on the bench from senior forward Kieran Ramsey.
Ramsey is one of the upperclassmen who has had his playing time cut early in the season.
Ramsey scored eight points with six rebounds in 12 minutes (all in the second half) to help lead SCSU over Pace 64-57 in a Northeast-10 Conference game at Moore Field House.
“The crowd got us going,” SCSU forward Trevon Hamlet said. “We had a great crowd that really brought us into it. We play great here.”
Southern had a two-game winning streak and have won three straight against Pace.
The beginning of the first half was back and forth as the game was tied 12-12 with almost nine minutes in the half.
Southern took an 18-13 lead with a 6-0 run that capped off when freshman Kyle Callanan got a steal and then drove to the hoop for a layup.
Southern brought the score to their biggest lead of the half, 27-19, when sophomore guard/forward Dominique Langston hit a jumper with just under two minutes in the half.
Pace would cut into the lead before halftime to only trail 27-24.
In the second half, Pace started where they left off in the first half, scoring 11 straight points capped off by Delroy Daley’s layup to take a 30-27 lead.
Hamlet tied the game 30-30 with a three-point play after drawing the foul following a layup.
Pace would go on a 7-0 run to take a 41-35 lead after a three-pointer by sophomore guard Denzel Primus-Devonish from the top of the key with 12:14 to play.
Southern got within 46-45 with 9:12 to play after Ramsey’s tip-in off Hamlet’s miss and then Hamlet’s layup.
With the game tied 50-50, freshman guard Tylon Smith caught a nice pass from Hamlet for a layup.
And with the game tied 52-52, the Owls would grab the lead for good when Ramsey hit a jumper to take a two-point lead. Greg Langston then made it 56-52 with a jumper that banked in off the backboard with 3:03 to play.
SCSU head coach Michael Donnelly said the team had not seen a game like this before this season.
“The last 10, 12 minutes we were fantastic,” he said. “We played under control. We took a gamble at the end and decided to go big with Tylon playing the point. The last group (on the floor) made us look big.”
“Kiernan went in angry but with a ‘good angry’. He was physical, and he played loose.”
Greg Langston said this was a big game to show how this team can play together.
“We performed really well,” Greg Langston said. “Tylon and Kiernan stepped up. A lot of people stepped up. Pace was a big game.”
Southern made fouls shots and played tough defense down the stretch to put the game away. Pace would call timeout while the Owls roster got the crowd on their feet with this run.
Trevon Hamlet led the Owls with 16 points, five rebounds and five blocks. Dominique Langston also had 13 points, four rebounds and four assists. And Greg Langston chipped in eight points.
Denzel Primus-Devonish led Pace with 13 points and five assists. Senior forward Delroy Daley also had 10 points and six rebounds.
The Owls shot 26-48 for 54.2 percent from the field. Southern held a 35-32 edge on the rebounds, 28 on defense and committed 19 turnovers in the game.