Men’s basketball begins homestand with win over St. Peter’s

Senior forward Darren Goodson scores for Kent State in the MAC Center, Sunday Nov. 17, 2013. Kent State defeated Saint Peters 75-58. Photo by Kristi R. Garabrandt.

Senior forward Darren Goodson scores for Kent State in the MAC Center, Sunday Nov. 17, 2013. Kent State defeated Saint Peters 75-58. Photo by Kristi R. Garabrandt.

Tim Dorst

The Kent State men’s basketball team returned home to the M.A.C Center after two games on the road and delivered a solid performance for fans in attendance.

The Flashes (3-1) took control of Sunday’s game early on and never looked back, claiming a 75-58 victory against the St. Peter’s Peacocks (0-3) for their second home win of the season thus far.

The team’s offense clicked throughout the afternoon as the Flashes shot 51 percent overall and made 7-of-17 on 3-point tries. Head coach Rob Senderoff said the keys to the team’s success Sunday were not only its offensive attack but also its effort on getting to rebounds.

“I was most proud of the way all of our guys were committed to rebounding the basketball,” Senderoff said. “St. Peter’s is a very good offensive rebounding team, and we kept them from hurting us in that area.”

Senderoff chose to run with a bigger lineup in the second half putting two 6-foot-9 forwards, seniors Mark Henniger and Melvin Tabb, together in the frontcourt. As a result, Kent State outscored St. Peter’s 36-18 in points in the paint and scored a total of 42 points in the second half alone.

“It’s nice because it gives us two big bodies on the floor at the same time,” Henniger said. “Melvin is athletic and can take people off of the drive. That helps to open up the court for us.”

Henniger did not miss a shot against the Peacocks — converting on all five of his attempts — on his way to 13 points and added four rebounds and two blocked shots to the effort. Tabb came off the bench and pitched in with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting while grabbing five rebounds.

Kent State trailed the Peacocks midway through the first half before the offense began getting the Flashes back into the game. Back-to-back jumpers from senior forward Darren Goodson and junior guard Kris Brewer tied the game at 23-23, and Henniger finished off a pass from sophomore guard Kellon Thomas with a two-handed dunk to give the Flashes the lead.

Goodson scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half, and Kent State took a 33-29 lead into halftime.

The Peacocks kept the game relatively close to start the second half, but an 18-2 scoring run by the Flashes quickly pushed their lead to double digits with 10 minute remaining in the game. Kent State followed with a 10-0 run to bump the lead up to 20 points, the team’s biggest of the game.

The Flashes received help from its backcourt players as well. Brewer finished with 12 points, including a pair of layups in the final three minutes, as Kent State sealed the victory. Junior guard Devareaux Manley made three shots from 3-point range for nine points in the game, and sophomore guard Kellon Thomas tallied five points and three assists off the bench.

Kent State will get three days off from game action to prepare for the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, an annual event designed to raise funds for cancer research. The first game of the three-game series begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, when the Flashes face Western Carolina.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].