Flashes topple Falcons

Cody Erbacher

The Kent State men’s basketball team pulled out its third straight comeback victory yesterday, defeating Bowling Green 75-69. The win secures a first-round bye for the Flashes in the Mid-American Conference tournament.

“We showed some heart tonight,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said. “I thought in the first half, guys were into themselves and that’s all we talked about at halftime. We didn’t make any strategic adjustments (in the second half).”

The beginning of the second half gave the few Kent State fans in Anderson Arena a feeling of displeasure as the Flashes (21-8, 11-3 MAC) trailed the Falcons (14-13, 6-8 MAC) by 12 points.

But the Flashes, who have looked like a seasoned comeback team in the team’s previous two games, refused to go away.

It took the Flashes nearly half of the game’s second half until they dipped into the Falcons’ double-digit lead, and it wouldn’t take much longer for the momentum to favor Kent State.

Senior guard Mike McKee hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Flashes a 48-47 lead.

The shot was answered with a shot clock buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Bowling Green freshman guard James Erger, which was quickly followed by McKee’s third successful attempt from behind the arc, which gave Kent State a 51-50 lead.

“I thought that he showed some senior maturity to jump up and have some courage to make some big shots for us,” Ford said.

The Falcons would not be able to overcome that lead for the remainder of the game, but they would put pressure on the Flashes as they cut the lead down to four points with 23.3 seconds left in regulation.

Senior guard Chris Singletary totaled 12 points and five assists on the night, but fouled out with 2:18 seconds left in regulation.

Singletary was in foul trouble early, as he was whistled for his third personal foul in the first half.

“It’s going to hurt us,” Ford said about Singletary’s foul trouble. “He should be player of year in the league if we continue to win. He’s certainly the one guy that you got to game plan the most against to guard.”

Kent State struggled in the first half, as the Flashes trailed the Falcons after starting the game 4-0.

After the Flashes started with buckets by junior guard Rodriquez Sherman then sophomore guard Justin Greene, Bowling Green went on a 10-0 run that troubled the Flashes for the rest of the half.

Kent State followed up with four straight points, but Bowling Green answered by taking a 19-10 lead. From there, the Falcons bullied the Flashes to maintain a large lead until taking a 35-24 lead with under three minutes left in the half.

In an attempt to edge closer to Bowling Green before halftime, Singletary hit a wide-open layup. But he followed up with his third foul of the game, which would limit his productivity for the remainder of regulation.

Back-to-back scores in the paint by Bowling Green gave the Falcons their biggest lead of 38-26 going into halftime.

Greene scored a game-high 26 points in the game, while adding six rebounds.

Kent State returns to the M.A.C. Center on Saturday for the senior day match-up against Miami.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].