Kent State’s second half rally secures 65-59 victory over EMU


Sophomore forward Marquiez Lawrence jumps for a ball in the game against Eastern Michigan at the M.A.C. Center on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2014. The Flashes won 65-59.

Zac Sommer

Box Score

A strong second half performance helped push Kent State men’s basketball team past Eastern Michigan with a score of 65-59 Wednesday night.

“Great second half, great team win, and I am really proud of how we came out in the second half and really defended,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “We had some guys who did not play great offensively but continued to defend and show great leadership in huddles.”

Eastern Michigan had a commanding 16 point lead over the Flashes with 6:21 remaining in the first half, but the Flashes battled back and cut the lead down to ten points before the start of the second half.

The momentum soon shifted early in the next period after Kent State redshirt senior guard Derek Jackson converted off of his own steal helping the Flashes cut the lead down to eight.

“Derek had a steal to start the second half,” Senderoff said. “Everybody’s defensive energy was significantly better than it was in the first.”

Jackson also hit a crucial three point shot helping the Flashes maintain a four point lead with forty seconds to go in the second half.

“I just took it with confidence,” Jackson said. “I was working on that shot before the game and knew I was going to have those types of shots because they were playing zone.”

Junior forward Chris Ortiz, now in his fourth start with the Flashes, consistently led the team in scoring with nine points in the first half and ten points in the second, giving him a season-high 19 points and two assists.

“I was just being aggressive and finishing at the rim,” Ortiz said. “I’m just trying to stay confident and it feels good to have my coach and my team behind me.”

The Flashes (11-5, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) will play Ohio University, 7 p.m. Saturday at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Zac Sommer at [email protected].