COLUMBUS - Ronald Slaughter could not sleep Wednesday night.
He went from room to room talking to teammates and at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning he tuned into a television show featuring Frank Reid, a pastor from Baltimore.
Reid's sermon topic: "How to get into the zone."
Slaughter found the basketball zone on Thursday afternoon as he scored all 16 of his points in the second half as Paine upset Kentucky State 73-58 in the SIAC quarterfinals at the Columbus Civic Center.
Paine (16-12), the No. 3 seed from the SIAC East, advances to today's 6:30 p.m., semifinal against the winner of Thursday's late quarterfinal between Clark Atlanta and Miles.
Kentucky State (22-6), which received a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed from the SIAC West, concludes its season.
Slaughter, who did not score and only took one shot in Tuesday's win over Morris Brown, called Paine coach Ron Spry to tell him to watch the religious television show.
It was then that Spry told Slaughter that he was going to need his offense against Kentucky State.
"It's amazing how it fell into place," said Slaughter, a junior from Orlando. "I was up all night praying, reading the Bible, watching TV and keeping my roommate (John Jackson) up."
The game featured 20 lead changes and 12 ties but Slaughter gave Paine the lead, 54-53, for good when he hit a jumper in the lane with 6:54 remaining in the game.
Neither team had led by more than three points until Slaughter scored 11 of Paine's 13 points during a stretch to give Paine a 47-40 lead with 12:06 remaining.
Kentucky State rallied but Slaughter gave his team another lift with the short jumper. He was 4-for-4 in the second half from 3-point range.
Paine shot 64 percent from the field (16-for-25) in the second half and finished at 50 percent (26-for-52).
"I thought Ronald Slaughter came in and hit some big 3s," Spry said. "If I had to give a game ball after today's game, it would have to go to him."
On Tuesday, Paine received a big lift from starting guards Maurice Wright and Benjamin Kohn. On Thursday, reserve guards Slaughter and Dominique Johnson got into the act.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game and we had to have them pick it up some," said Spry of his reserve guards.
Star forward Leroy Grant said the Lions are used to staying up late but Slaughter took it to new levels. Grant led Paine with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Grant said Slaughter's shooting was a big boost and opened up things for him in the paint.
"I don't know what it was," Grant said. "Maybe, he was just nervous or anxious or something. But if that what it takes to get him ready. I'll have him up all night again.'
PAINE (73)- Benjamin Kohn 2-8 2-2 6, Ronald Slaughter 6-7 0-2 16, Dominque Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Maurice Wright 2-5 2-3 6, Sha'drach Qawiy 2-3 1-6 5, Tim Alexander 3-4 0-0 6, John Jackson 1-1 0-0 2, Marlon Potts 4-5 3-4 11, Leroy Grant 6-17 9-13 21. Totals 26-52 17-30 73.
KENTUCKY STATE (58)- Anthony Helterbrand 2-6 0-0 4, B.J. Bufford 0-4 0-0 0, Michael Douglas 5-8 3-7 14, Adrian Tillman 5-10 2-4 15, George Slaughter 0-2 0-0 0, Juan Byars 2-12 2-2 6, Sylvester Gurnell 1-4 0-2 2, James Crutcher 5-18 4-6 15, Paul Hagans 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 21-65 11-21 58.
Halftime: Kentucky State, 32-29.
3-point goals: Paine 4-10 (Grant 0-1, Kohn 0-2, Slaughter 4-5, Johnson 0-1, Alexander 0-1), Kentucky State 5-17 (Byars 0-3, Crutcher 1-3, Helterbrand 0-1, Douglas 1-2, Bufford 0-4, Tillman 3-4). Rebounds: Paine 37 (Alexander 8), Kentucky State 43 (Crutcher 12, Tillman 10). Assists: Paine 14 (Qawiy, Grant 3), Kentucky State 9 (Helterbrand 5). Turnovers: Paine 11, Kentucky State 14. Total Fouls: Paine 15, Kentucky State 23. Fouled Out: Qawiy. Technicals: Paine bench.
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