SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) – Kendrick Ray scored 24 points, Aubrey Williams dropped in the go-ahead layup and No. 5 seed Kennesaw State held off fourth-seeded South Carolina-Upstate for an 80-78 win in the Atlantic Sun quarterfinals Monday night.
Williams’ bucket with 2:11 left put Kennesaw State back on top 75-74 and sparked a 6-2 spurt to the finish. USC Upstate cut the deficit to 77-76 and later to 79-78, both with layups from Jure Span, before Ray hit the first of two free throws to stretch it back to two and Michael Buchanan missed a 3 at the other end as time expired.
Nick Masterson added 18 points for Kennesaw State (14-17), which shot 51 percent from the field. Williams grabbed 10 rebounds to go with eight points.
Mike Cunningham got 18 points for USC Upstate (17-15), Deion Holmes had 15 and Buchanan finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Kennesaw State will play top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday.