Men’s basketball takes down Middle Tennessee in first round of CIT

Junior forward Khaliq Spicer dunks the ball during the first half of the MAC Tournament game against the University of Akron on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

Stephen Means II

Kent State (22-11, 12-6 Mid-American Conference) pulled out a 68-56 win in the first round of the College Insider Tournament over Middle Tennessee (19-17, 9-9 Conference USA).

Redshirt sophomore forward Jimmy Hall led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Senior guards Derek Jackson, who had 16 points, and Kris Brewer, who finished with 12, scored in double figures as well. 

“I just want to congratulate Devareaux Manley and (Kris) Brewer on winning 80 games as members of this program,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “That is just a testament to the careers that those two have had.”

Manley and Brewer are the only two seniors on this team who have played all four years at Kent State.

Though the Flashes did not qualify to play in either the NCAA Tournament or the National Invitation Tournament, Senderoff was still proud of how his team came to play in a tournament that wasn’t necessarily played on a big scale.

“I think that we played with a lot of resiliency tonight,” Senderoff said. “Tonight we played against a very good team who has not lost a lot of home games over the past few years.”

Entering Wednesday night’s contest, the Blue Raiders had a 56-7 record over the past four years.

Senior forward Jacquez Rozier and junior guard Perrin Buford led the Blue Raiders with 10 points each. The Flashes held leading scorer sophomore Reggie Upshaw Jr. to only five points. 

Kent State is one of three MAC teams playing in the CIT, including Western Michigan (20-14, 10-8 MAC) and Bowling Green (21-11, 11-7 MAC). Bowling Green won their first round game against Saint Francis (16-16, 9-9 Northeast Conference) 67-64. Western Michigan lost to Cleveland State (19-14, 11-5 Horizon League) 86-57. 

Kent State goes on to play Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Monday.

Contact Stephen Means II at [email protected].