Basketball snaps three-game skid


Senior forward Chris Ortiz slams back an offensive rebound during the second half against Northern Illinois at the M.A.C. Center on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. The Flashes won, 75-74.

Zac Sommer

Senior center Khaliq Spicer scored 17 points, seven rebounds and one game-saving block with 20 seconds remaining in the second half to give the Kent State men’s basketball team (16-8, 7-4 Mid-American Conference) a 75-74 win over Northern Illinois University (16-8, 5-6 MAC) Tuesday.

“My heart was beating,” Spicer said. “Chris Ortiz came to my help and once he put it up, I just got happy and … threw it.”

After leading the Huskies 73-64 with 1:25 left, the Flashes allowed Northern Illinois to go on a 10-0 run to take a 74-73 lead with 15 seconds remaining in the game. 

Graduate student guard Galal Cancer hit two free throws after driving toward the hoop and drawing a foul with seven seconds left on the clock, giving the Flashes a 75-74 win over the Huskies. 

“I glanced over to the bench and coach was telling me to attack,” Cancer said. “I was trying to make a play aggressive at the rim.”

Cancer finished with 13 points and six rebounds while redshirt junior forward Jimmy Hall recorded his fifth double-double this season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in Tuesday night’s victory. 

Redshirt junior guards Kellon Thomas and Deon Edwin both contributed to the win. Thomas finished with 11 points and Edwin tallied nine points, four rebounds and four steals. 

“It was a great win for us,” Coach Rob Senderoff said. “I’m proud of the guys for finding a way to get this one done. The defense in the first half was great and then the second half we started to score. Obviously, we could’ve closed the game out better. Some days (we) might be upset about it, but not today … we are going to be happy about it and move on to the next one.”

Kent State heads back on the road this weekend as they look to take on Eastern Michigan University (11-12, 3-7 MAC) Saturday, with tip-off set for noon.

Zac Sommer is a sports reporter for the Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].