Flashes can’t finish against Miami

Chris Gates

Men still plagued by inconsistency

The opening and closing five minutes of the game prevented the Kent State men’s basketball team from beating Miami and climbing above the .500 mark for the first time since Jan. 3.

The Flashes (8-9, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) found themselves in an early hole after falling behind by 11 points, 15-4, just 5:05 into the game. Then, with 5:18 remaining in the game, the Flashes failed to capitalize on a one-point lead and allowed the RedHawks to go on a 12-2 run to eventually win the game, 66-55.

This, Kent State coach Geno Ford said, is because of a lack of consistency his team has shown so far this season.

“We haven’t had anything consistent all year,” Ford said. “. We’ve just had no ability to find a consistent theme to our team so far, and we’ve got to do that quickly.”

The Flashes turned the ball over three times in the opening five minutes, which spotted Miami (9-6, 2-1 MAC) a 7-0 lead. Then, in the final five minutes, Kent State missed its final eight baskets of the game.

“We just weren’t getting the stops we needed,” junior guard Mike McKee said. “And then on the offensive end we weren’t getting to the rim. We just couldn’t finish.”

After falling behind by 11 to open the game, the Flashes went on a 17-5 run and earned their first lead with 9:18 remaining in the half. That lead lasted for nearly three minutes until senior guard Eric Pollitz tied the game again, this time at 23.

Miami took a two point lead into halftime and held it until junior guard Chris Singletary hit a jumper with 5:34 remaining in the game. That put the Flashes ahead 53-52, but also signified the end of their scoring touch.

“We missed the front end of a one-and-one and we missed a layup,” Ford said.

“You’re not going to get much better than a one foot layup or a free throw and we just didn’t covert any of them.”

Playing in spurts has been a problem for the Flashes all season. After opening with three wins to start the season, the Flashes then lost five straight. They followed that up with wins in four of the next five games, but have gone 2-2 since.

“I think we look at the negatives more than the positives and (although) I can’t say it starts to spread, it just keeps us down and we can’t reach our full potential,” McKee said. “If we can get everybody on the same page and be positive . we’ve just got to be that way all the time, not just some of the time.

“I’m a little surprised by it.”

Contact sports reporter Chris Gates at [email protected].