Five games that have defined the Flashes

Cody Erbacher

Kent State’s men’s basketball team has played 32 games this season, but some have stood out more than others – for various reasons.

The Flashes started the season 8-11 but have rebounded to win 11 of their last 13 games, including a 64-61 victory over Northern Illinois in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Tuesday.

With Kent State set to take on Buffalo at 2:30 p.m. today in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament, sports correspondent Cody Erbacher takes a look at the games that have defined the Flashes’ season thus far:

1. Jan. 24 at Akron Zips 68, Flashes 54

The Flashes’ loss to their arch-rival dropped them to 8-11 on the season and 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference.

While losing to Akron always hurts, this game helped the team because the players decided it was a new season from that point on.

“We wanted to clear our minds, watch no film or (anything from) the previous games,” Fisher said. “This is a whole new season; (we have) to go out there and do everything that we need to do.”

2. Feb. 10 at Northern Illinois Flashes 86, Huskies 83 (2OT)

A game that finishes in 40 minutes drains every last player, but that energy drain is magnified when two overtimes are played on top of that.

Still, the Flashes overcame a late-game deficit and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Northern Illinois in the first overtime to escape DeKalb, Ill., with a victory.

“We were tired, worn down and just trying to find a way to win,” senior guard Jordan Mincy said. “But we learned from that game to (fix) our mistakes on the last few games.”

3. Feb. 17 vs. Ohio Flashes 64, Bobcats 51

Mincy did the unexpected during this game.

The senior guard came into the game averaging 2.3 points per game, but he scored 27 to help the Flashes continue to rise in the standings and extend their winning streak to seven games.

“I got in the zone,” Mincy said. “I didn’t know I scored 27 until my teammate told me.”

4. Feb. 21 vs. Morehead State Flashes 79, Eagles 76

Morehead State provided a huge scoring threat through Leon Buchanan, who scored 31 points. But that wasn’t enough to stop the Flashes from winning in the ESPN BracketBuster.

Senior guard Al Fisher scored 17 of his 27 points in the final 4:30 to lead the Flashes to a late-game comeback and the victory.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we stayed with it and kept fighting,” Fisher said.

5. March 8 vs. Akron Flashes 67, Zips 63

It was Senior Day and the last time Fisher, Mincy and Sullinger would play Akron at home, but it was also a day in which the Flashes had to win to avoid a season sweep from their arch-rivals.

Junior guard Mike McKee hit a clutch 3-pointer to give the Flashes the lead with 1:02 remaining. The M.A.C. Center erupted, and the seniors were left with a great memory of their last home game.

“Any time (we’re) at home, the crowd is like our sixth man – the other teams get nervous because of them,” Fisher said. “We love playing in front of this crowd.”

Contact sports correspondent Cody Erbacher at [email protected].