Flashes win streak snapped despite Walker’s hot shooting

Kent+State+guard+Jaylin+Walker+drives+to+the+hoop+during+the+Flashes+88-76+loss+to+Ohio+at+the+Convocation+Center+Feb.+20%2C+2018.%C2%A0

Kent State guard Jaylin Walker drives to the hoop during the Flashes’ 88-76 loss to Ohio at the Convocation Center Feb. 20, 2018. 

Ian Kreider

Coach Rob Senderoff frowned as junior guard C.J. Williamson’s pass flew out of bounds over the head of junior forward Phil Whittington.

Senderoff’s frown summarized the day for Kent State (8-1). The Flahes were unable to make the play needed to  shift the momentum in its favor.

Kent State had a particularly difficult scoring consistently as its struggled to move the ball, finishing with 13 assists compared to 11 turnovers. The Cardinals were able to facilitate their offense off those turnovers. Louisville had an 18-4 advantage in points off turnovers en route to the 83-70 win, which snapped the Flashes six game win streak.

“Offensively lower assist numbers than we’re used to,” assistant coach Eric Haut said.

Louisville (8-3) held the Flashes to 28 points in the first half, which is the Flashes second-lowest of the season. Junior guard Antonio Williams and Williamson combined for just 11 points on 1-for-5 shooting with four turnovers.

Haut cited the struggle could be due to the fact that there is more film on them compared to at the beginning of the season.

Senior guard Jaylin Walker continued his impressive shooting, finishing with 28 points on 7-for-10 shooting from deep. He has finished 50% or better from beyond the three-point line in four of his five games this season.

“He’s having a phenomenal year,” Haut said. “He’s not as focused on his shots; he’s playing the right way. He’s sure of himself. He’s playing free and letting it come to him. Last year I don’t think he was as focused. I think he was trying to prove himself since Jimmy Hall graduated.”

The Cardinals responded anytime Kent State went on a run. The Flashes went on an 8-0 run over 1:20, but Whittington picked up his fourth foul and a technical with 13:03 left. Louisville guard Darius Perry drained a three with 12:02 left to extend the lead to 58-40, which ended the run and any hopes Kent State had of getting back in the game.

The Flashes will have another tough road test as they take on Oregon State (6-2) Friday at 3 p.m. inside Gill Coliseum.

 Ian Kreider is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]