KSU basketball team hope to find winning ways in final home stand

Photo courtesy of Central Michigan

Photo courtesy of Central Michigan

Nick Shook

With six games left in the regular season, Kent State had hopes of overcoming a one-game deficit in the Mid-American Conference East Division standings to secure a regular season title.

Three games and three losses later, the Flashes are searching for answers.

Kent State lost its third consecutive game Saturday at Bowling Green, 74-58. The loss left head coach Rob Senderoff in an exasperated state, wondering why his team had suddenly entered a losing streak.

“It’s doesn’t surprise me that [Bowling Green] played well,” Senderoff said. “I’m more surprised that we didn’t play the way we’re supposed to play, especially on the defensive end. I’m the coach, so I’m responsible for that. I don’t understand why they’re not playing the way that we’re capable of playing.”

“I think they want to win, but the problem is, everybody wants to win,” Senderoff said. “It’s more than that. Do our guys want to win? Yeah, they want to win. Are they doing the things that are needed to win? No, obviously they’re not. That’s the reason we’ve lost three in a row.”

Kent State struggled on the offensive end of the floor and committed 21 turnovers in the game, which led to 26 points for Bowling Green.

“I don’t know that I can put my finger on one thing,” Senderoff said. “21 turnovers, for a team that averages 11 and a half. We had 16 [turnovers] in the first half. That’s just [not] gonna cut it. That’s the bottom line.”

A Flashes’ victory goes beyond the numbers for Senderoff, though.

“It’s not about [stats],” Senderoff said. “It’s about having a collective will to fight through those things to find a way to win the game, and in this game, find a way to compete.”

Flashes’ senior forward Justin Greene, who finished Saturday’s game with 16 points, isn’t discouraged by the team’s effort or outcome of their last two games.

“I felt like we had a chance to win down the stretch,” Greene said. “Miami and Bowling Green both made plays down the stretch to win the game. We made the plays down the stretch last year and they made them this year, so all you can do is give them credit.”

Although the Flashes haven’t won in almost two weeks, the team isn’t ready to give up on the season.

“[Senderoff] just told us that we just have to calm down and don’t panic and relax,” Greene said. “We’re not panicking. We lost two games on the road, but we have two games at home this week. We’re not panicked. We’re not worried. We’re fine.”

Kent State will return to its home court this week to host two of the MAC’s best teams in Ohio and Akron to finish the regular season. The Flashes hope their home-court advantage will play in their favor as they seek two victories before conference tournament play begins March 7.

“Once we get back in front of our home crowd, we’re going to try to use our crowd to our advantage and make some energy plays and hopefully come out with the win,” Greene said.

Greene is one of four seniors that have been a part of successful Kent State teams in the past. Their final home stand in a Kent State uniform begins this week with Wednesday’s game versus Ohio University.

“Our seniors only have two home games left, and I’m expecting them to play hard and together and to play Kent State basketball,” Senderoff said. “I believe that they will, but it remains to be seen.”

“I’ve got one last chance to make it happen,” Greene said. “Hopefully we can.”

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected] and @NickShookDKS.