Strong second half gives Flashes momentum heading into conference play


Kent State guard Anthony Roberts attempts a shot during the Flashes’ matchup against Norfolk State on Dec. 1, 2018. Kent State won, 78-67.

Ian Kreider

The Kent State men’s basketball team (11-2) shot just 8-for-29 from the field in the first half, which finished with the Flashes holding onto a narrow 25-20 lead over Oberlin (6-4) 25-20.

It was the Flashes worst shooting half since their opening half 8-for-25 showing against Liberty on Nov. 16.

However, unlike the game against Liberty, Kent State was able to come away with the win. The Flashes shooting improved drastically in the second half, mostly as a result of points off turnovers and fast break points, leading to a 71-48 win.

Kent State forced the Yeomen into 21 turnovers, which resulted in 22 points for the Flashes. They also did not allow a single Oberlin player to score in double digits.

Another driving force for the win was the presence of junior Philip Whittington, who finished with a career-high 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting. He also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

The Flashes found a way to win for the third straight game despite a lackluster performance from deep, as they finished just 2-for-12 combined with senior guard Jaylin Walker’s worst performance of the season and senior guard Jaylen Avery’s continued struggles to shoot the ball efficiently.

Walker finished with 14 points, but shot just 1-for-5 from deep an area that he has dominated since his return.

Avery finished with four points on 1-for-5 shooting. This is the third time since Walker’s return that he has finished with four points or less, while shooting 20% or less on five shot attempts or more.

The Flashes open conference play against Bowling Green (8-5). The Falcons are currently riding a four-game win streak, but they struggled early in the season against the likes of Cleveland State and Detroit Mercy, losing by an average of 16.5 points. Kent State was able to pull out tight wins against both teams earlier this season, beating them both by four points.

Kent State will take on Bowling Green Saturday at 7 p.m. inside the M.A.C. Center.  

Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]