Men’s basketball secures season sweep over Central Michigan

The Kent State men’s basketball team has now won six of their last seven games, defeating Central Michigan 83-76 at the M.A.C. Center and securing a season sweep of the Chippewas. 

Led by senior forward Danny Pippen with 26 points and 11 rebounds, Kent State improves to 6-3 in the Mid-American Conference and is currently third in the MAC standings. A total of four Flashes scored in double digits, with senior forward Justyn Hamilton and junior guard Malique Jacobs having 14 points and 13 points respectively and junior guard James Jordan adding 10 points off the bench. 

Coach Rob Senderoff was pleased with his team’s offensive performance, but emphasized a need for improvement in other areas.

“I thought we were okay offensively,” he said. “You look at the second half we didn’t shoot it very well, but we got to the foul line and made our free throws.”

Despite opening up the second half with a 9-2 run, and securing a brief 57-56 lead, Central Michigan could not hang onto the lead and an 11-0 run powered Kent State to a commanding 67-57 lead. 

Pippen and Jacobs both had key threes during that span, but overall the team did not do well beyond the arc. The Flashes went 3-15 from three in the second half, and 9-30 for the game.

“I thought late in the half we took some ill-advised shots when we were up 14,” Senderoff said. “We got a little loose, and it allowed them to have a chance. But for the most part I’m gonna say 90 percent of the shots were probably good. You gotta make good plays for each other; we had 19 assists on 28 baskets. We tried to be very unselfish and from that perspective I thought we played very well.”

With 12:52 left in the first half, senior guard Mike Nuga was taken out of the game with a leg injury and ruled out for the rest of the game. Senderoff said Nuga was undergoing treatment, and he did not have an update on the senior’s status. Hamilton experienced back tightness at the end of the game and also had to be substituted. 

The Flashes are back in action Tuesday at home against Miami University at 7 p.m. The RedHawks are coming off a 65-56 win over Western Michigan in Oxford yesterday. 

Dante Centofanti is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].