Whittington, Flashes extend win streak against Norfolk State

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

Junior forward Philip Whittington threw the ball off the rim twice during the dead ball.

Both were point blank misses, which was indicative of Kent State’s (7-1) first half where it finished 10-for-30 from the field.

Whittington started the game 0-for-3, but made his final six shots en route to a team-high 16 points and nine rebounds.

“My teammates found me for open shots,” Whittington said. “CJ had a nice assist to me from a slip ball screen, we practiced that prior to this game. The slip got me a wide open dunk.”

The Flashes went on to beat Norfolk State (4-6) 78-67 behind an offensive driven second half during which it scored 48 points on 15-for-26 shooting from the field to go with 6-for-12 shooting from behind the arc.

“The first half we struggled to score, but our defensive intensity, defensive pressure and communication was really good,” coach Rob Senderoff said.

The Flashes allowed a season-low 21 points in the first half. They forced the Spartans to shoot 6-for-21 from the field, including 0-for-6 from three point range.

“That was probably our best half of defense this season,” Senderoff said. “In the second half we were scoring much easier, but we did not defend at the level that we did in the first half. Some of that is the flow of the game, and some of that stuff we have to get better at. We have to be able to defend for 40 minutes.”

The Flashes also saw a solid contribution from senior guard Jaylin Walker who finished with 15 points. Walker’s presence jump started the Flashes during their slow first half. He shot 3-for-5 from deep and had a team-high 10 points through the first 20 minutes.

Senior guard Jalen Avery continued taking care of the ball, finishing with a team-high five assists to go along with zero turnovers. Avery finished just 2-for-9 from the field, but both makes were timely second half three pointers.

“From a point guard spot (the way he is distributing the ball) is more important than how he is shooting the ball,” Senderoff said.

The Flashes will look to extend their win streak to six as they take on Wright State (4-4) Saturday at 4 p.m. inside the M.A.C. Center.