Flashes fail to stop Bramos in team’s second straight loss

Chris Gates

Guard scores 34, leads Miami to win

Senior guard Al Fisher attempts to save the ball from going out of bounds during yesterday’s game against Miami. Despite their efforts, the Flashes lost to the RedHawks 68-63. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

OXFORD – Every time it seemed the Kent State men’s basketball team would be able to come out with a victory against Miami, the Flashes were denied by Michael Bramos.

Senior guard Bramos scored 24 of his game-high 34 points in the second half, preventing any chance for Kent State to come back and sending the Flashes to a 68-63 loss yesterday at Millett Hall.ÿ

With the teams tied at 30 going into the second half, Bramos scored 16 of Miami’s first 20 points to open up a 50-46 lead with 9:45 remaining.ÿ

“You have to have a streak about you, and it’s an internal thing, that when it’s a big-time play that you know you’re making it,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said. “When Bramos is out there, not only does he carry himself like he’s going to make the play, everybody else on their team believes he’s going to make the play.”ÿ

Although Bramos shot 7-of-10 from the field in the second half, Kent State kept the game close. For the first 15 minutes of the second half, the Flashes trailed by no more than five points.

ÿKent State tied the game six times in the second half and eventually took the lead twice. Senior guard Al Fisher gave the Flashes a 56-54 lead with just under five minutes remaining by hitting a 3-pointer. After Miami’s Tyler Dierkers tied the game on the next possession, Fisher hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 57-56 lead a minute later.ÿ

That’s when Bramos took control again, hitting a 3-pointer and a layup to give Miami the lead, 61-57, with 2:34 to play. Dierkers hit a 3-pointer less than a minute later to put the game out of reach.ÿ

“There wasn’t a guy in a white shirt that thought he missed that 3 when we were up one,” Ford said. “They all knew it was in. Hell, their bench was up (and) the ball was barely out of his hands.ÿ

“Dierkers’ three was the final nail. That kind of ended it.”ÿ

Kent State played nearly half of the game without Fisher and junior guard Chris Singletary. Both were plagued by early foul trouble, with Fisher playing just 20 minutes and Singletary 19.ÿ

Without the two on the floor, junior guard Tyree Evans and senior guard Jordan Mincy provided the offense. Evans scored 15 points and Mincy added 14.

Freshman forward Justin Greene saw significant time and produced, scoring 10 points and adding six rebounds and two blocks. Ford said his effort played a large role in keeping the game close throughout the second half.ÿ

“I’m not as good as I want to feel because we didn’t get the win,” Greene said. “I just (wanted) to come in and play hard for coach Ford.”ÿ

Kent State’s loss, combined with wins by Buffalo and Bowling Green, places the Flashes two games out of first place in the MAC East with just two games to play. The remaining two games are both at home – 7 p.m. Thursday against Buffalo and noon Sunday against Akron.ÿ

“We’ve just got to brush this one off,” Greene said. “We can’t dwell on it. We’ve got two more big games left. We still can win out.”ÿ

The Flashes’ chances for a bye in the MAC Tournament are slim, but Mincy said if ever there was a year for a team to get hot and win four games in the tournament, “it’s this year.”ÿ

Contact principal sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].