Flashes knocked off top of MAC East after 6-game winning streak

Rachel Jones

The Kent State men’s basketball team surrendered its first place position in the Mid-American Conference East to Miami on Wednesday.

The RedHawks defeated the Flashes 84-80 in overtime in Oxford, Ohio.

After a 33-26 halftime lead, the Flashes (17-8, 8-3 MAC) allowed too many free throws, forcing them to play catch-up for most of the second half. Miami’s Nick Winbush, who led both teams with 26 points, did not make this an easy task.

But senior guard Rod Sherman, who led the Flashes with 25 points, brought a second life to the team.

Down 66-63 with eight seconds on the clock, Sherman sank a 3-pointer that moved the game into overtime.

Three minutes into the five-minute overtime period, junior guard Michael Porrini sank two free throws. He then committed his fifth foul, forcing him out of the game.

Sherman closed the deficit to 77-81, but successful free throws kept the RedHawks (13-12, 8-3 MAC) alive.

Final score

Miami (Ohio): 84

Kent State: 80

Game highlights

  • Rod Sherman led the Flashes in scoring with 25 points
  • Carlton Guyton scored 24 for the Flashes
  • Nick Winbush led Miami (OH) with 26 points

Junior guard Carlton Guyton sank a 3-pointer with six seconds on the clock for an 80-84 game and a total of 24 points in the game.

But it was too late.

Two more foul shots sealed the Miami victory and ended the six-game Kent State winning streak.

But the Flashes were not doomed from the beginning.

Junior forward Justin Greene made his presence early with a basket 16 seconds into the game. The junior forward scored nine points total.

Sherman carried the momentum, single-handedly lifting Kent State from a four-point lead to a 13-point lead in four minutes during the first half.

Junior center Justin Manns led the Flashes defensively with ten rebounds and two blocks. The Miami defense proved to be just as strong, boxing the Flashes out of the paint for almost the entire second half.

Not only did Kent State perform better from inside the perimeter, but the amount of jump shots the players took meant only 14 fouls on the Flashes. The RedHawks went 29-for-35 from the foul line.

Kent State’s next stop on the four-game road series is the ESPNU BracketBuster at Drexel on Friday at 9 p.m.

But the Flashes can regain their first place spot in the MAC East with a victory at Western Michigan on Monday.

Contact Rachel Jones at [email protected].