Men’s Basketball pulls out tough road win


Kent player, Jimmy Hall, dribbles around a Buffalo player during a game on Saturday Feb. 28, 2015. Kent State lost the game 71-65.

Stephen Means II

Entering the final week of the regular season, the Kent State (20-10, 11-6 MAC) men’s basketball team was in a must-win situation if they wanted to earn a top four seed in the MAC tournament.

The Flashes began its week edging out MAC East leader Bowling Green (19-9, 11-6 MAC) on the road, 81-80.

The Flashes suffered a loss to the Bowling Green Falcons earlier in the season at home, 66-64.

“Tonight was a great win for out guys,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “We knew this week was a big week for us and we knew that we were going to have to play well against a very good team.”

The win puts Kent State in a three-way tie for first place in the MAC East with the Falcons and Buffalo (20-9, 11-6 MAC). If the tournament were to start today, the Flashes would be seeded third, sending them directly to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

The senior backcourt trio of Kris Brewer (21 points), Devareaux Manley (18 points) and Derek Jackson (15 points) combined for 54 points, including 13 three-pointers. Senderoff attributed their mental toughness to how they bounced back from their latest loss to Buffalo on Saturday.

“It’s just them being seniors taking responsibility and coming out with a focus,” Senderoff said. “Those guys played well tonight and don’t allow one game to affect their confidence for the next game.”

Redshirt sophomore Jimmy Hall added 17 points and six rebounds as well.

Senior guard Richaun Holmes led the Falcons with 29 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Jehvon Clarke, who had 12 points, and junior guard David Joseph, with 10 points, also scored in double-figures.

“(Holmes is) a great player,” Senderoff said. “He hits a couple of threes to get going and he played well. But this is a team game and we made just enough plays on offense and got enough stops defensively to come out with the win.”

The win is one of the two must-win games the Flashes will play this week.

With the road win out of the way, Kent State will end its season Friday against rival Akron (18-12, 9-8 MAC) at home. The Zips are coming off a loss to Miami on Tuesday night.

Not only will the game have serious MAC tournament seeding implications, but also it is also senior night for Brewer, Manley and Jackson, along with Craig Brown and Blake Vedder.

“It’s a big game, no matter what,” Senderoff said. “We put ourselves in the position that this game would decide things for the MAC Tournament. The fact that it’s senior night doesn’t change that.”

Tip off is at 7 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Stephen Means II at [email protected]