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‘It just doesn’t look like we play to win’: Men’s basketball drops third consecutive home game

Yasmeen Matthews
The tipoff in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center with the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Ohio Bobcats on Jan. 26, 2024.
Golden Flashes’ highlights from the rivalry basketball game against Ohio Friday night.

After finishing last season undefeated at home, the Kent State men’s basketball team has now lost three consecutive games inside the M.A.C. Center after falling to Ohio, 71-64, Friday.

“We have struggled to put back-to-back performances together this year,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “We just can’t do it consistently.”

The last time KSU won consecutive games was Nov. 30 – Dec. 9 when it defeated Shawnee State, South Dakota State and Cleveland State

The Flashes (10-10, 3-5) had some momentum coming off an overtime win over Bowling Green, but the Bobcats (10-10, 4-4) came prepared for a battle.

Senior Tyem Freeman celebrates after his layup in the game against Ohio University on Jan. 26, 2024. (Yasmeen Matthews)

The first half was back and forth, as Ohio made multiple runs, including a 13-0 run that ended with twelve minutes remaining. 

Kent State kept itself in the game by shooting 6-7 from the free throw line and 46% from the field; however, the Flashes turned the ball over ten times in the half. 

“It just doesn’t look like we play to win,” Senderoff said. “We are playing to play well individually, and it just doesn’t work that way.”

At halftime, the Bobcats led 33-32 despite shooting 5-15 from three.

In the second half, Kent State struggled to produce points behind poor shooting. 

The Flashes shot 2-of-15 from three and 4-of-11 from the free throw line in the half. 

Ohio took advantage by shooting 6-of-14 from three while continuing to handle a Flashes comeback attempt. 

In regards to defending Ohio’s shooting, Senderoff said, “We did a horrible job. Some of those threes are going to happen, but we are just struggling at these little things that become big things.”

Graduate student forward Tyem Freeman led Kent State with 16 points and nine rebounds, while graduate student Chris Payton scored 13 points along with six rebounds.

Ohio University forward Aidan Hadaway and Kent State forward Chris Payton Jr. both being helped up by teammate on Jan. 26, 2024. (Yasmeen Matthews)

The Flashes will look to bounce back with another home game against Miami (OH) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

KSU has a six-game winning streak over the RedHawks (9-10, 3-4), winning by an average of 8.8 points.

“I go into the game tonight feeling like we’re on point with what we need to do. We’re ready in terms of the scouting report,” Senderoff said. “Then we come out, and it’s just not that we start the game great. 

”It’s just we have not been able to do what we need to do for 40 minutes often enough this season.”

Matt Franos is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Michael Neenan, Reporter
Michael Neenan is a sophomore journalism major who enjoys two things: writing and sports. Contact him at [email protected]
Yasmeen Matthews, Assistant Photo Editor
Yasmeen is a sophomore Photography Major and KentWired's Assistant Photo Editor. She enjoys taking photos of the various sports teams as well as student life on Kent's campus. Contact her @[email protected].

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