Poor shooting for Kent State men’s basketball leads to BracketBuster loss

Nick Shook

Kent State falls to College of Charleston in BracketBuster game

Nori Johnson scored 27 points as the visiting College of Charleston defeated Kent State Saturday night in front of 3,682 at the M.A.C. Center.

Kent State trailed by as many as 19 points in the second half before going on a 23-6 run to come within two points of tying the game with 3:53 remaining. During the run, Kent State junior Randal Holt made three consecutive 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 10 points, and senior Carlton Guyton added five points.

Unfortunately for the Flashes, their comeback attempt would not be enough as the Cougars were able to preserve their lead and leave Kent with an 80-73 victory.

The non-conference match-up started well for Kent State. Sophomore forward Mark Henniger started in place of the injured Justin Greene and scored four quick points to lead the Flashes on a 13-3 run to take an early lead. However, Charleston’s Johnson got into an early shooting rhythm and made 4-of-6 3-pointers in the first half to help the Cougars take a 36-33 lead into halftime.

Charleston began the second half much like they ended the first. The Cougars outscored Kent State 9-0 in the first 2:11 of the second half to take a 12-point lead. Kent State had difficulty making long-distance shots and missed their first 18 3-pointers before finally making one with 10 minutes left in the game. The Flashes made five of their next 11 3-pointers to quickly erase the Cougars’ double digit lead, but couldn’t make the shot that mattered most.

The Flashes never led the game in the second half and Charleston’s Antwaine Wiggins made 3-of-4 free throws to put the game out of reach for Kent State, which fell to 19-7 overall.

The non-conference game was part of Sears’ 10th annual BracketBusters series. Kent State wasn’t the only MAC team to lose in non-conference play, as Akron fell to Oral Roberts and Buffalo lost to South Dakota State. MAC East member Bowling Green defeated Morehead State, 73-60.

Kent State will travel Tuesday to Oxford to play MAC East opponent Miami. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted live by SportsTime Ohio

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected].