Flashes’ winning streak against Eagles continues

Chris Gates

Men’s basketball snaps 3-game losing skid

When a team is in a shooting slump, as the Kent State men’s basketball team has been, sometimes offense needs to come from unexpected areas.

That’s what happened last night at the M.A.C. Center.

The Flashes (9-11, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) beat Eastern Michigan 68-46 to break a three-game losing streak, thanks in large part to senior guard Jordan Mincy.

Mincy scored 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, his highest point total since scoring 15 on Nov. 11, 2006, against IUPUI. Though typically a passer, he said he saw his team struggling and was looking to give it a spark on the way to its 13th straight win over the Eagles.

“With our team . I think it’s best to feed them and get them started and get them going,” Mincy said. “But (last night), it was a night where (we) kind of started out slow.

“It’s something that I think if I’m wide open I can build on.”

The Flashes didn’t start the game well, allowing Eastern Michigan to jump out to a 9-4 lead in the first three-and-a-half minutes. Junior forward Justin Dobbins scored six of the Eagles’ nine points and continued to control the post throughout the game.

However, the Flashes managed to answer with a run of their own. Over the next eight minutes, Kent State went on a 7-2 run, capped off by a layup by Mincy to take the lead 12-11 with 8:43 left in the half.

Mincy added a deep jumper about 1:30 later and the Flashes led 14-11 – a lead they never gave up.

“Jordan Mincy was fantastic, and that really gave us a lot of life,” Ford said. “I thought we played really hard. I thought we defended well.

“For as bad as we shot it in the first half, we kept playing hard and kept defending.”

The Flashes took advantage of Eastern Michigan’s habit of turning the ball over all night long. Eleven first-half turnovers resulted in 15 Kent State points and a 27-21 lead.

The defense continued in the second half, with 10 more points off of turnovers. Mincy stayed productive as well, with seven more points.

Senior guard Al Fisher (17 points) and junior guard Tyree Evans (15) were also in double figures. Such heavy production from the guard position and little from the post has concerned Ford for most of the season.

“We don’t get double-teamed down in the post a lot,” Ford said. “It just doesn’t happen a bunch. It’s hard to get (open) shots (for the guards) if they play you one-on-one down there.”

The team has still expressed confidence in its post players all season, and with junior college transfer Anthony Simpson emerging in his first year, the confidence is still there.

“We’re not too much worried about it,” Mincy said. “We know that our (big guys) step up when the time comes for them to play.”

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