Ohio routs Flashes men’s basketball, 87-65

Kent guard Michael Porrini makes his way through the Bowling Green defense during Saturdays game.

Kent guard Michael Porrini makes his way through the Bowling Green defense during Saturdays game.

Nick Shook

Kent State faced arguably its toughest road test of the season this Wednesday night against the Ohio University Bobcats. In front of 5,924 at the Convocation Center in Athens, The Golden Flashes shot 70 percent from the floor in the first half and entered halftime trailing the Bobcats, 41-38.

The second half was a different story.

Ohio (14-4, 2-2 MAC) went on a 21-0 scoring run and Kent State (12-5, 2-2) scored only six points in the first 10:09 of the second half as the Bobcats ran away with a 87-65 victory over the Flashes. Ohio’s Walter Offutt led all scorers with 19 points and played a key role in the Bobcats’ victory, but it was Kent State’s lack of ball security that spelled their doom.

“We turned it over, they got offensive rebounds, they scored in transition, and we didn’t respond at all,” Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said. “I give them a lot of credit, though. They played with a chip on their shoulder. They deserve a lot of credit.”

The Flashes finished the game with 19 total turnovers and lost the rebounding battle by a large margin, 37-25. Senderoff was not pleased with the second-half efforts of his team.

“Very frustrated,” Senderoff said. “I didn’t see much. I saw 19 turnovers, I saw 16 offensive rebounds for OU…that’s not Kent State basketball.”

Kent State started the first half by falling behind 17-5, but came charging back with a 14-2 run to tie the score at 19-19. Led by junior forward Chris Evans, the Flashes continued to ride their offensive momentum to a five-point lead, but Ohio regained its composure and finished the half on a 14-6 run. Evans scored 11 of his 18 total points in the first half, but even after making 14 of 20 shot attempts, the Flashes trailed by three at halftime. 

Stats

Michael Porrini:

14 points, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal, 4 turnovers

Chris Evans:

18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks

Justin Greene:

10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 6 turnovers

Kent State FG percentage:

1st half- 70 percent; 2nd half- 40 percent

Flashes’ 3-pt FG percentage:

23.1 percent (3-13)

Second-chance points:

OU-22 KSU-4

“The first half they jumped us pretty good,” Senderoff said. “We battled back and they went into halftime up three. When you shoot 70 percent from the field, you’re supposed to be up 10 at halftime, not down by three.”

Flashes’ senior forward and reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Justin Greene was held to just four shot attempts in 27 minutes. Greene entered the night averaging 23 points over his last two games, but had an off night on Wednesday, finishing with 10 points and six turnovers. 

“Coach (John Groce) emphasized a lot of post defense after the Akron loss, so I think we did a good job,” Offutt said. “I’m guessing we probably did a good job taking the ball away and our post guys did a good job of trapping and defending (Greene),” Offutt said.

Kent State will travel to Akron Saturday to take on arch-rival the Zips in an important game early in the MAC East.

“We’ll see how they respond,” Senderoff said. “We play Akron on Saturday on the road. They lost, we’re coming off a loss. It’s a big game, rivalry-wise, and obviously important in the MAC East, so we’ll see.”

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected]