Basketball remains top of conference

Kent+State+redshirt+junior+Jimmy+Hall+gathers+for+the+layup+against+Eastern+Michigan+defenders+on+Jan.+26%2C+2016+at+the+M.A.C.+Center.+The+Flashes+won+73-58.

Kent State redshirt junior Jimmy Hall gathers for the layup against Eastern Michigan defenders on Jan. 26, 2016 at the M.A.C. Center. The Flashes won 73-58.

Zac Sommer

The Kent State men’s basketball team (15-5,6-1 Mid-American Conference) has won its last five games following a 73-58 win over Eastern Michigan University (10-10,2-5 MAC) Tuesday night.

“Good win for us and great, great second half in particular,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “These two guys (Senior center Khaliq Spicer and senior forward Chris Ortiz) certainly played a huge part in us winning. They did a great job getting to the free throw line, rebounding and competing on both ends of the floor.”

Spicer recorded his second career double double, finishing with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in Tuesday night’s win over the Eagles. Senior guard Chris Ortiz added 12 points. 

“I came in(to) the game confident,” Spicer said. “Everything kind of fell into place.”

Following a 13-point deficit, the Flashes battled back at the end of the first half to trail only by one point as the Eagles led 32-31 heading into the second.

Kent State picked up its defense in the second half and went on a six-point run to put them up 45-39 with 12:31 remaining.

“Defensively, (this was) probably our best overall game of the season,” Senderoff said.  “We really guarded well for 40 minutes against a team that scores a ton of points and I’m really proud of the effort from everybody.”

Eastern Michigan hit back-to-back three-pointers to put them within one point of the Flashes, but redshirt junior forward Jimmy Hall scored the next six to give the Flashes a 54-47 lead with 5:44 remaining.

Hall finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists as Kent State won its fifth-straight game.

The Flashes travel to Ohio University Friday to take on the Bobcats (12-7,3-4 MAC) at 9 p.m.

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