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Smith, Stafford lead North Alabama past Kennesaw St, 76-71

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) Kendarius Smith and Kendall Stafford combined to score 35 points and North Alabama bounced back from its first loss in its last five games to hold off Kennesaw State, 76-71 in an Atlantic Sun Conference battle Thursday night.

After getting walloped in their conference opener at North Florida, the Lions put together ra four-game win streak before falling at Liberty Monday night.

Tyler Hooker hit a jumper with 1:06 left to get Kennesaw State within four, 69-65, but Owls could get no closer. Jamari Blackmon made a steal and scored at the basket to push the lead back to six points, 71-65 with :39 to go. Kennesaw State's only field goal in the final minute was a 3 by Bobby Parker with a second left.

Smith finished with 18 points and Stafford had 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for North Alabama (8-14, 5-2).

Hooker finished with 33 points, going 13 of 14 from the free throw line for Kennesaw State (3-18, 0-6).

Updated January 25, 2019

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