Walker’s late game heroics seals Senderoff’s record-breaking achievement

Kent+State+coach+Rob+Senderoff+reacts+as+a+foul+is+called+against+the+Flashes+in+the+final+seconds+of+the+second+half+against+Southeastern+Louisiana+at+the+M.A.C.+Center+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+21%2C+2017.+Kent+State+lost+to+Southeastern+Louisiana%2C+70-66.%C2%A0

Kent State coach Rob Senderoff reacts as a foul is called against the Flashes in the final seconds of the second half against Southeastern Louisiana at the M.A.C. Center Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. Kent State lost to Southeastern Louisiana, 70-66. 

Ian Kreider

 

A sluggish start for the second straight game saw the Kent State men’s basketball team facing a 13-3 deficit with 13:15 left in the first half.

Kent State (10-2) would close the half strong, much like they did against Oregon State the game prior en route to their second “Power Five” win of the season, which had not happened since 1974. The Flashes were determined to make history for the second straight game, as a win over Albany (4-10) would give coach Rob Senderoff the title of winningest head coach in Kent State men’s basketball history.

The 31-21 run the Flashes closed the half with, paired with senior guard Jaylin Walker’s continued ability to close out tight contests, allowed for Senderoff to secure his record-breaking 149th win.

Walker finished the game with 26 points on 4-for-8 shooting from deep. He completed his fourth straight game with at least 25 points and three or more three pointers. Walker has failed to score 20 or more points just one time in the seven games he has played in this season.

Walker scored all eight points over the final 2:25 as Kent State took home the 70-68 win. Walker iced the game with two free throws with three seconds left, and Senderoff’s team rang the victory bell for the sixth time this season.

Senior guard Jaylen Avery had arguably one of the worst shooting performances of his career, as he shot 0-for-8 from the field, including 0-for-6 from deep, and 1-for-2 from the line. However, he was able to distribute the ball, finishing with a team-high five assists. Avery also finished with zero turnovers for the seventh time this season.

Junior forward Philip Whittington finished with 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting, including a season best 6-for-6 from the line. The Flashes finished 16-for-20 from the line, which is their best mark of the season.

The Flashes will look to continue their win streak as they take on Oberlin College (5-3) in their last game before conference play begins. The game begins at 2 p.m. inside the M.A.C. Center.

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