Flashes defeat Temple on road for second straight win

Junior guard Derek Jackson makes a shot at the game against Ohio Northern on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. The Flashes won 84-48. Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

Junior guard Derek Jackson makes a shot at the game against Ohio Northern on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. The Flashes won 84-48. Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.

Tim Dorst

After defeating Ohio Northern 84-48 in Friday’s season opener at the M.A.C. Center, the Kent State men’s basketball team hit the road for its first challenge away from home this season against Temple.

The team was well prepared for the challenge.

The Flashes (2-0) overcame a first-half deficit to defeat the Owls 81-77 Monday evening, beginning their season with back-to-back victories.

Trailing by eight points with 7:30 left in the second half, the Flashes turned up the defense intensity and used a 14-2 scoring to shift the momentum and control of the game. Kent State gained the lead and held on to it for the remainder of the night.

For head coach Rob Senderoff, it was a great win against a team that has always given the Flashes a tough challenge

“Any time you beat Temple, which is a team with so much tradition, with a coach like Fran Dunphy … it is a great win,” Senderoff said. “They don’t lose very often on their home floor.”

The Owls defeated the Flashes 80-66 a year ago at the M.A.C. Center.

The Flashes got a boost offensively by newcomer Derek Jackson, who played his second game as a member of the team. Jackson, a transfer from Central Michigan, scored 17 points while grabbing six rebounds and shooting 6-11 from the floor.

Kent State fell behind by 10 points early in the first half. A string of missed shots by the Flashes allowed the Owls to get out on the fast break and score easy baskets while the Flashes tried to get back in transition.

Jackson helped the Flashes by scoring 7 points to close the deficit to 6 points. The team then took a 30-28 lead at 5:26 of the first half off Jackson’s second 3-point of the half, 3 of his 13 first-half points.

Outside shooting became one of the keys for the Flashes, as the team made 11 of its 22 3-pointer attempts for the game. Along with Jackson’s three 3-pointers, junior guard Devareaux Manley made three of his own from long range en route to 17 points and senior forward Darren Goodson added two more, finishing with 12 points and six rebounds.

Kent State took a 70-69 lead following a layup by senior forward Mark Henniger. Temple attempted to regain the lead later with time running down, but junior guard Kris Brewer drained a jump shot and put the Flashes up by four points heading into the final minute.

Brewer then drew an offensive foul on the other side of the floor and made a pair of free throws to push his team’s lead to six.

Brewer scored eight points on just 1-6 shooting, but his play down the stretch was just what the Flashes needed to hold on.

“I’m proud of Kris for being able to shake off what wasn’t a great game for him and to be able to come up with two big plays at the end of the game that saved it,” Senderoff said. “If he had not taken the charge, I don’t know what happens down the stretch.”

Kent State will return home for its next game, a midweek contest against Seton Hall scheduled for 7 p.m Wednesday at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].