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UNA ends five game skid with a 65-46 win over Kennesaw State (Highlights)

FLORENCE – Mervin James had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the University of North Alabama men’s basketball team to a 65-46 win over Kennesaw State Thu...
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FLORENCE – Mervin James had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the University of North Alabama men’s basketball team to a 65-46 win over Kennesaw State Thursday evening at Flowers Hall. The win breaks a five-game losing streak for the Lions and gives the team an 11-16 record, surpassing the win total from a year ago. UNA also moves into fifth place in the ASUN Conference standings with a 6-8 league mark.

Against the Owls, North Alabama used a fast start and never let up. The Lions opened the game on a 15-4 run and only allowed the visitors to come within singles digits once.

James, a freshman from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, scored 11 points during the early surge. He connected on a basket and free throw to complete a three-point play and give UNA the 11-point advantage with 14:37 remaining in the opening half.

After KSU hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 15-6, back-to-back runners in the lane by James Anderson pushed the lead to 13 and the Lions maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

UNA led by as many as 19 in the first half. After Christian Agnew hit 1-of-2 foul shots to give the Lions a 33-14 lead at the 2:24 mark, KSU closed the half with six straight points. North Alabama led 33-20 at the break.

Kennesaw State would get no closer than 13 points over the final 20 minutes of play. After KSU cut the deficit to 36-23 early in the second half, the Lions responded with consecutive three-pointers by Jamari Blackmon and Tavon King.

UNA led by as many as 22 points on four different occasions, including a basket by James to make the score 65-43 lead with 1:50 remaining.

Agnew finished with 13 points while C.J. Brim rounded out the top scorers with 10 points on the night. Emanuel Littles also had 12 rebounds for the Lions.

Ugo Obineke led Kennesaw State (1-25 overall, 0-13 ASUN) with 11 points.

UNA will host NJIT on Feb. 27. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Flowers Hall.