Victory in Oxford

Doug Gulasy

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The layup is the easiest shot in basketball. Last night at Miami, the Kent State men’s basketball team proved it again and again.

The Flashes (14-3, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) defeated defending MAC champion Miami 74-62 at Millett Hall in Oxford, using good ball movement to create easy shots.

“That’s the way we have to play,” Kent State coach Jim Christian said. “We have to play unselfish, and we have to play together.overall, we played pretty unselfish basketball, I thought.”

Junior guard Al Fisher set a new career high with 21 points, many of them coming on layups.

“(Layups are) the easiest way,” Fisher said. “If you could get a layup every play, I would take it. I’m sure everybody would take it.”

Fisher shot 7-of-11 from the field and made all six of his free-throw attempts, impressing Miami coach Charlie Coles.

“Whoo, he’s good,” Coles said. “Oh, that’s the thing about Kent; they always have a guy that’s good. You think you’ve got them, and they add a guy that’s off the charts.he’s good. We had no shot against him. No shot.”

“He gets to the basket, he knows when to pass it, he knows when to shoot it. He’s calm, cool, collected. Oh, he has no contradictions in his game.”

The Flashes got off to a fast start. The team shot 70 percent (14-of-20) in the first half to jump out to a 39-23 halftime lead.

Fisher scored 13 points in the half and sophomore guard Chris Singletary added 10. Meanwhile, the defense forced 11 turnovers and converted those into 11 points.

“We’re a running team, so on misses and turnovers we just had to get out and run and take advantage of what they messed up on,” Fisher said.

The second half began nearly the same way as the first half ended. The Flashes led by as many as 22 points (at 47-25 and 49-27).

But Miami didn’t go away quietly. The RedHawks sliced into the Kent State lead, getting as close as 66-58 with 1:14 left in the game.

Miami’s Michael Bramos scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half after spending the first-half in foul trouble.

The Flashes made their last eight free-throw attempts to close out the game. For the game, Kent State shot 27-of-36 from the free-throw line.

“It was huge, especially down the stretch,” Christian said. “When you have the lead on the road, you’ve got to go to the line and make them, and everyone who went up there stepped up and knocked them in.

“.In order to win on the road, you’ve got to defend, you’ve got to rebound and you’ve got to make free throws. And we did all three of those things tonight.”

Senior forwards Mike Scott and Haminn Quaintance each scored 14 points for the Flashes, with Quaintance also pulling down 11 rebounds. Singletary added 12 points.

For the RedHawks, forward Tim Pollitz scored 18 points and guard Kenny Hayes added 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half.

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].