Moses, Teague dominate the paint in Cardinals’ win over Flashes

Kent+State+senior+guard+goes+up+for+a+layup+in+an+88-80+overtime+win+over+Ball+State+on+Jan.+23%2C+2018.+Zabo+led+the+Flashes+with+21+points.%C2%A0

Kent State senior guard goes up for a layup in an 88-80 overtime win over Ball State on Jan. 23, 2018. Zabo led the Flashes with 21 points. 

Cameron Hoover

For the first time since Jan. 2, 2005, Ball State (16-9, 7-5 Mid-American Conference) beat Kent State (12-13, 6-6 MAC), 87-68, behind frontcourt domination from Trey Moses and Tahjai Teague.

Moses led the Cardinals with 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting, and Teague added 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting and a season-high 14 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. The tandem controlled the paint all game, and Ball State finished with a 39-26 rebounding advantage and scored 50 points in the paint compared to the Flashes’ 30.

This is a polar opposite to the first time these two teams squared off, an 88-80 overtime win for the Flashes at the M.A.C. Center on Jan. 23. Kent State won the battle of points in the paint that night, 44-28.

“First time we played them, our frontcourt really dominated theirs,” Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said. “Tonight, their frontcourt — offensively at least — really dominated ours.”

Two of Kent State’s leading scorers, Adonis De La Rosa and Jaylin Walker, were held scoreless in the first half, and the Cardinals entered the break up, 41-30. De La Rosa spent much of the game in foul trouble, earning his second foul of the game just three minutes and 19 seconds into the game while Ball State scored its first 11 points either in the paint or at the free-throw line.

De La Rosa fouled out with 5:20 left in the game, the 7-footer’s seventh disqualification of the season.

“Adonis getting in foul trouble hurt,” Senderoff said. “But we’ve got to compete harder for longer. We’ve got to play a little bit better.”

Kent State’s road record now stands at 2-8, including 1-5 in MAC play. The loss for the Flashes snaps a 15-game winning streak over the Cardinals.

Sophomore forward Danny Pippen led the Flashes with 17 points and added seven rebounds. Walker finished with 15 points, all in the second half, eight rebounds and seven turnovers.

Senior guard Kevin Zabo added 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting with six assists, and De La Rosa scored 10 points before his disqualification.

For the Cardinals, Sean Sellers added 15 points, while Tayler Persons poured in 13 of his own. Sellers, Persons and Moses each pulled down five rebounds.

Kent State returns to the court in a divisional showdown with MAC East-leading Buffalo (18-6, 10-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the University at Buffalo Alumni Arena. The Flashes are the only team to have beaten the Bulls this season, a 82-79 thriller at the M.A.C. Center Jan. 30.

Cameron Hoover is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]