Flashes down Texas, end two-game losing streak

Senior+guard+Deon+Edwin+of+the+Kent+State+mens+basketball+team+goes+for+a+jump+shot+at+Game+1+of+the+Gulf+Coast+Showcase+in+Florida+on+Nov.+21%2C+2016.

Senior guard Deon Edwin of the Kent State men’s basketball team goes for a jump shot at Game 1 of the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida on Nov. 21, 2016.

Nick Buzzelli

Over the past two seasons, Deon Edwin has played in 44 games for Kent State – starting 28 of them – and racked up 325 points and 147 rebounds. But the redshirt senior never recorded a double-double.

However, that changed Tuesday.

Edwin’s 15 points and 12 rebounds sparked a 38-point Kent State second half and helped the Golden Flashes (8-5) snap a two-game losing streak by defeating the University of Texas (6-6), 63-58, at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX.

“Obviously a big win for us, playing a team like Texas with the tradition they have, the history they have, the coaching staff they have and the players they have currently,” head coach Rob Senderoff told Kent State Athletics following the win. “It’s a great win for us. We battled through some adversity throughout the game.”

Sophomore Jaylin Walker led all scorers with 24 points on a 9-18 performance from the field, while senior Jimmy Hall chipped in 11 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes.

Down six with 14:56 remaining, Kent State used a 15-2 run to take a seven point advantage at the midway point of the second half.  

However, the Longhorns cut the deficit to one courtesy of a freshman Jarrett Allen dunk and back-to-back layups by sophomore Tevin Mack with 1:19 left.

After Senderoff called a timeout, Hall hit a turnaround 10-foot jumper to put his team up, 59-56, with under one minute to go.

Kent State then managed to get a stop on the defensive end after Hall — who was in foul trouble all game — blocked Eric Davis Jr.’s shot in the paint and was able to break Texas’ half-court press by finding Walker streaking down the floor for an easy, uncontested dunk.

Despite shooting 37.7 percent from the floor, Kent State’s win can be contributed, in part, to its performance on the glass. The Flashes outrebounded Texas by 19 and grabbed 22 offensive boards, compared to the Longhorns’ 11, to secure the win —its first over a Power 5 program since 2012.

Kent State begins Mid-American Conference play next Tuesday by hosting Ball State University (8-4) before traveling to Athens three days later to take on Ohio University (7-3), which boasts wins overs Georgia, Sam Houston State and Milwaukee. 

Nick Buzzelli is a sports reporter, contact him at [email protected]