UNCW answered with four points in a row as Williams converted a pair of free throws and Shane Reybold had a jumper to make the score 13-12 as neither team was able to build more than a three-point advantage for the remainder of the half.
UNCW's Dylan Sherwood tied the game up at 27-27 with a little over a minute remaining in the first half, driving in for a layup off a steal by Reybold. Kennedy responded on the other end as the Bucs took the lead into the break on his strong drive to the baseline with 29 ticks left in the first half, getting fouled in the process. The senior guard converted the second of two free throw attempts, giving CSU the 28-27 lead at the break.
CSU now hits the road for a challenging two-game swing to New Mexico and Baylor. The Lobos are ranked in the Top-25 and earned a number three seed in the NCAA Tournament last season, while the Bears are the defending NIT champions.
Tipoff between CSU and New Mexico at The Pit in Albuquerque, is scheduled for Sunday at 6:05 ET.