Men’s basketball win second straight home game in rout of Central Michigan

Tim Dorst

Kent State’s men’s basketball game against Central Michigan featured fast-paced offense from both sides early

on, with neither team gaining a clear advantage throughout the first half. In the second half, the

Flashes buckled down defensively while their offense continued to keep up the pace.

Five players scored in double figures to lead Kent State (13-11, 4-6 Mid-American Conference)

to an 87-72 victory over the Chippewas Saturday night in front of 2,384 at the M.A.C. Center.

Kent State finished the night with its second straight home win behind an extraordinary offensive

display, shooting nearly 56 percent from the field and 11 of 22 from 3-point range. Nine of the

Flashes’ 11 3-pointers came in the first half.

Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said it was nice to get another win at home after the Flashes had

struggled at times on their home floor this season.

“I think we did a great job offensively through the night,” Senderoff said. “It was probably our

best offensive performance in league play. Moving the basketball, not turning it over, getting

good shots and shooting a high percentage. We made the plays we needed to in the second half,

and we came away with a much-needed win for us.”

A scary moment occurred late in the second half when senior forward Chris Evans jumped and

appeared to come down on a teammate’s foot, twisting his right ankle. Evans remained on the

floor for a few minutes, yelling in obvious pain, as trainers from the Kent State bench rushed

over to attend to him.

Evans had to be helped off the court and did not put any weight on his right foot. Senderoff said

Evans was treated for a sprained ankle after the game, but could not confirm the full extent of the


Before leaving the game Evans had been leading the charge for the Flashes, finishing with 19

points and eight rebounds. His second-half dunk off of a baseline drive gave the Flashes a 68-58

lead with 8:34 left in the game.

The Flashes put on a shooting display in the first seven minutes of the game, with Evans, senior

guard Randal Holt and junior forward Darren Goodson all connecting from long range. Holt said

much of their success on the 3-point shoot was a product of getting extra shots in practice and

sharing the basketball once in game situations.

“We shot the ball with confidence,” Holt said. “We’ve been getting shots up for the last couple

days in practice. We just stepped in whenever we had an open opportunity and shot it with

confidence. They fell for us tonight.”

Holt, Kent State’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, shot 3-for-6 from behind the arc and finished

with 15 points in the game.

Goodson continued his recent string of success, scoring 18 points Saturday and adding six

rebounds and five assists to his tally. For the last five games, Goodson is averaging 15 points per

game and shooting 56 percent from the field.

Despite the Flashes’ offensive fury in the first half, the Chippewas found a way to keep it close

and trailed only by four points at halftime.

“That showed us that we weren’t doing a good enough job defensively,” Holt said. “At first we

were trading baskets, and that’s something we didn’t want to do. We wanted to get stops. We

knew we were going to get whatever we wanted on the offensive end along as we were patient

and shared the ball, but we had to buckle down on defense.”

Kent State made the necessary adjustments during halftime and came out in the second half

applying more pressure to Central Michigan’s offense. The Flashes held the Chippewas to just

38 percent shooting in the half and forced them into eight turnovers while also recording four

second-half blocks.

Senderoff said defense was the main focal point that he addressed his players about in the locker

room during halftime.

“We didn’t guard at all in the first half,” Senderoff said, “and that was disappointing to have had

not guarded the way we are capable. There was a number of things on the defensive side of the

basketball that we talked about, and then in the second half we got ourselves going defensively. I

think that was the difference in the game.”

Sophomore guard Kris Brewer and junior forward Mark Henniger rounded out the scoring

output for the Flashes with 16 and 10 respectively. Brewer, who also added seven assists, said he

wanted to get his teammates involved as much as possible in this game.

“It was a good game for me and my teammates,” Brewer said. “They really knocked it down for

me today. That was all I was asking from my guys, just knock it down. It came from everybody,

too. That’s the key, getting everybody involved.”

The Flashes will try to continue their home winning streak when they host the Miami Redhawks

in another conference matchup, scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected]

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