Men’s basketball dominates second half for 68-51 win


Sophomore Guard Kellon Thomas works his way past the Kennesaw State defense in the MAC Center on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. The Flashes won the game, 68-51. Photo by Brian Smith.

Carrie Blazina

Kent State men’s basketball soared to an 8-1 record after a 68-51 win Sunday against Kennesaw State to remain unbeaten in its seven-game homestand.

Kent State seemed to be outworked by Kennesaw State early, but the Flashes led the Owls 27-25 going into halftime.

“I’m very happy to get the win, but I wasn’t happy at all at halftime,” Kent State Coach Rob Senderoff said in a press release. “We weren’t playing with enough energy. We weren’t playing Kent State basketball.”

In the second half, Kent State took command by going on a 16-2 run to start the half and outscoring Kennesaw State 41-26 by the end of the half.

“That start to the second half really got us going,” Senderoff said. “I thought (senior forward Mark) Henniger and (junior guard Derek) Jackson played very well again for us, and (sophomore guard Kellon) Thomas gave us another big lift off of the bench.”

Henniger scored 16 points, had six rebounds and made all eight of his free throws. The Flashes’ other top scorer was Jackson, who had 14 points and four rebounds. Sophomore forward Khaliq Spicer added 13 rebounds and three blocks.

Among the bright spots for Kennesaw State were the two players with 16 points, freshman forward Bernard Morena and junior guard Tanner Wozniak, and the 19 turnovers the Owls caused.

But the Flashes had some good numbers, too. Kent State shot 30 more free throws than Kennesaw State, and though the Owls shot 89 percent at the line, they only attempted nine free throws.

Kent State’s next matchup is a home game against Bucknell on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in which it will try to reach its first 9-1 mark since the 2002-2003 season. The game is part of a doubleheader with women’s basketball, which plays Niagara at 5 p.m.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].