Double the fun: Men’s basketball

Cody Erbacher

Flashes hold off Penguins for 70-61 victory

Junior guard Rodriquez Sherman protects the ball during the first half of Kent State’s game against Youngstown State yesterday. Sherman scored 15 points in the 70-61 win for the Flashes. Jessica M. Kanalas | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Senior guard Tyree Evans fired off four 3-pointers last night to lead Kent State to a 70-61 win over Youngstown State.

Evans scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, as the Flashes (3-1) rolled the Penguins at the Beeghly Center in Youngstown.

Youngstown State (1-3), which was trying for its 300th win at home, led only once during the game.

Senior forward Anthony Simpson hit a 3-pointer with less than five minutes left to play to give Kent State a 13-point lead over Youngstown State. The Penguins narrowed the gap to six points, but with less than a minute left, couldn’t complete a comeback.

Ford said the inexperience at the point guard position gave Kent State a bit of a struggle because the point guards weren’t willing to take chances. Running point, junior guard Rodriquez Sherman and freshman guard Randal Holt combined for 18 points but also 10 turnovers.

“I think what happened is we have a freshman point guard and a first-year point guard, and they played like it was their first year,” Ford said. “They played great the whole game, and then when we got the lead, they were trying to not turn it over.”

Three Kent State players supported Evans with double-digit scoring: sophomore forward Justin Greene (17), Sherman (15) and Simpson (12).

Evans said having multiple players in double-digits was great for team moral after losing senior guard Chris Singletary to injury. Singletary, who will have surgery Friday to repair a meniscus, will be out for an indefinite amount of time.

“It’s great that guys are stepping up, so now they know we can win even though we don’t have Chris,” Evans said.

Behind Evans and a 2-of-3 night from Sherman, Kent State topped Youngstown State in 3-point shooting, making 7-of-12 shots from long range, compared to the Penguins’ 30.8 percent (4-of-13).

The Flashes made a powerful statement after the tip-off when senior center Brandon Parks dunked the ball to give Kent State a 2-0 lead in its first possession. The dunk ignited an 8-0 run to start the game.

Youngstown State managed to slip by Kent State and take a one-point lead with eight minutes left in the first half. Evans and Sherman answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to retake the lead.

The Penguins chipped away at the lead up to halftime and trailed the Flashes 30-24.

The game marked the 43rd time the duo has played. After last night, Kent State leads the series 26-17.

Kent State will play their final game of the Hispanic College Fund Classic, which began last weekend, this Sunday as they welcome Rochester to the M.A.C. Center at 7 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].