Flashes’ struggles continue in loss to Buffalo

Chris Gates

Fisher’s big night can’t save poor performance

View photos from the Flashes’ game.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – After each loss this season, Kent State men’s basketball coach Geno Ford comes back to the word consistency. After the Flashes’ 64-53 loss at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, he continued that trend.

Senior guard Al Fisher’s 26-point performance could not outweigh the Kent State men’s basketball team’s inability to string quality possessions together.

“We have been the most erratic, inconsistent group you have ever seen in your life,” Ford said. “The only thing we’ve done consistently all year is not rebound and be a bad free throw shooting team. Those things we seem to do on a nightly basis.

“We just have no ability to do anything well on a day in, day out basis.”

The Flashes (8-10, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) started strong, which has been something they have struggled with in the last two games. Senior forward Julian Sullinger hit 1 of 2 free throws to put Kent State up 13-7 with 11:24 remaining in the first half.

That lead lasted until the Flashes started turning the ball over. With just under eight minutes to play in the first half, Kent State led 17-14 and had committed just three turnovers to Buffalo’s five.

By halftime Kent State’s turnovers increased to nine and the Flashes trailed 28-23. Ford said that was an issue, but so was stepping up and hitting open looks.

“What they did do was they forced us to miss a lot of shots,” Ford said. “I thought they played really well.

“When we did get some good (shots), guys didn’t knock them in.”

The second half brought little relief. Five more Kent State turnovers helped Buffalo extend its lead to as many as 14 points with 7:22 remaining in the game.

Fisher had little help from his teammates in the second half.

Junior guard Tyree Evans continued his shooting slump, going 2-for-12 from the field and scoring six points in the game. Evans has shot 4-for-28 in the past three MAC contests.

Junior guard Chris Singletary’s ailing shoulder added to the Flashes problems on the night. Singletary did not dress for the game and is listed as doubtful for Saturday night’s game at Akron.

Fisher said the loss of Singletary hurt, but the team could not use his injury as an excuse for its overall performance.

“We still (have) to come ready to play,” Fisher said. “We knew he wasn’t (going to play). That means everybody else has to step their game up even more.”

The Flashes now find themselves with as many losses in MAC play as they had all last season. They also reached 10 losses for the first time since the 2006-07 season, when they finished with 11.

Fisher urged after the game that there is still confidence on the team, but they have to have the right work ethic throughout

“We just need to stay focused the whole game,” Fisher said. “We go, we practice hard every day and then we come out here and have a good first half and it’s the same thing.

“The intensity drops off offensively and defensively. We’ve just got to stay focused and stick to the game plan.”

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