Strong second-half play leads to Flashes’ victory

Cody Erbacher

KSU beats OU 74 to 67.

Senior guard Chris Singletary scored 12 of his team’s first 18 second-half points as the Kent State men’s basketball team defeated Ohio University 74-67 last night in the M.A.C. Center.

“Coach just ran some good plays to get me some great looks,” Singletary said. “My teammates did me a great job at getting me the ball.”

Singletary shot 7-for-15 from the field and added 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

“It’s amazing how Chris leads for us,” junior guard Rodriquez Sherman said. “He tries to get everyone involved.

Sometimes he’s a little bit too unselfish. Sometimes he has a shot and he just tries to make a play for someone else to keep someone involved so we can vibe more.”

Although Singletary kept the Flashes close in the beginning of the second half, the Bobcats took a 43-41 lead with 15:05 left.

Freshman guard D.J. Cooper helped the Bobcats maintain a big lead as he hit a 3-pointer with 11:53 remaining, giving Ohio its biggest lead at 52-44.

The Kent State defense wouldn’t allow Ohio to take any bigger of a lead as they inched back into the game.

Senior guard Mike McKee gave the Flashes their first lead in 16 minutes by sinking a 3-pointer with 3:56 remaining to make the score 61-59.

Ohio followed with a jumper to tie it up again, but the Flashes forced two straight turnovers, taking the score to 65-61 with 2:13 left in regulation.

The Bobcats would not be able to overcome the deficit as the Flashes eased their way to a 74-67 victory.

Although the last four minutes of regulation brought Kent State success, the first half was a different story as both teams suffered from sloppy play.

This left the Kent State fans with nearly nothing to cheer about until the halftime event of Laing Kennedy appreciation night, when the fans at the M.A.C. Center honored the athletic director of 16 years.

The Flashes led the Bobcats 36-34, but never had a comfortable lead. Kent State received its biggest lead at 34-29, with 1:15 left in the half following a layup off a give-and-go from sophomore forward Justin Greene.

Following the five-point lead, Cooper scored five points for the Bobcats and Evans would score two for a 36-34 Kent State lead.

With three seconds left in the half, Singletary inbounded the ball past half court to senior guard Frank Henry-Ala for the last shot, which would be a deep 3-pointer. But the ball bounced off the front of the rim and the Flashes would go into halftime leading by a meager two points.

Kent State hosts Western Carolina at 8 p.m Saturday in an ESPN U BracketBuster game.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].