UCLA ends Kent State’s season in NCAA Tournament

Kent State junior guard Desmond Ridenour and junior guard Kevin Zabo walk off the court after losing to UCLA, 97-80 during the first-round of the NCAA Tournament at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Henry Palattella

The Kent State men’s basketball team’s season came to an end Friday night at the hands of the boys from Westwood, as the UCLA Bruins beat Kent State 97-80 to knock the Flashes out of the NCAA Tournament.

Both teams played at breakneck paces offensively, as UCLA scored 50 points in the second half, while the Flashes scored 41.

Kent State’s senior Jimmy Hall had an excellent showing in his final game, finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Sophomore Jaylin Walker added some scoring depth for the Flashes, finishing with 23 points.

Hall fouled out with 2:10 left in the game, and exited to a standing ovation. Hall, who spent three years at Kent State, will finish as the third-highest point scorer in program history.

The Flashes came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, and eventually cut the UCLA lead down to 54-50 with 16 minutes left.

The Bruins then went on a brutal 29-16 run that not only gave them a 83-66 lead, capitalized by a T.J. Leaf slam dunk.

In total, Leaf finished with 23 points to lead the Bruins, while Lonzo Ball added 15.

Ball, who was named PAC-12 Freshman of the Year, looked to be injured after landing awkwardly at the end of the first half. However, he played for most of the second half. 

Henry Palattella is the sports editor, contact him at [email protected].