Flashes beaten at buzzer by Detroit Mercy in opener

Jonas Fortune

Kent State junior forward Isaac Knight reacts to the Golden Flashes’ 61-60 loss to Detroit Mercy at Calihan Hall in Detroit on Sunday. DANIEL OWEN | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

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In a season where a new logo that reads “Shooting for 10 years of 20 win seasons” can be seen around the M.A.C. Center, losing the season-opener on a last-second 3-pointer wasn’t exactly how the Kent State men’s basketball team envisioned the season starting.

Yet that is exactly what happened in Saturday’s 61-60 loss to Detroit Mercy at Calihan Hall in Detroit.

After watching Detroit Mercy senior guard Jon Goode, who scorched the Flashes for 22 points, sink that 3-pointer at the buzzer, Kent Sate senior forward Mike Scott was already putting the tough loss in perspective.

“You have to put positive twist on things like this,” Scott said. “As bad as we played, we still put ourselves in a position to win the game. So we are going to take it as a learning experience.”

As the only player on the team who has been around for four seasons now, Scott knows a thing or two about staying composed in games like this.

With the inexperience of transfers Al Fisher and Rashad Woods showing, it was Scott who carried the Flashes Saturday night.

Detroit Mercy relied on a 2-3 zone defense, giving the Flashes little room in the paint and forcing them to spread the floor with outside jumpers.

Finishing with 16 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots, Scott, who hasn’t been known as a 3-point shooter, kept the Flashes in the game with his clutch 3-point shooting.

He, along with sophomore guard Mike McKee, spent the second half trading 3-pointers with a red-hot Detroit team, who shot nearly 73 percent (8-11) from downtown in the second half. Scott connected on 4-5 from behind the arc, hitting three of them in the second half.

McKee, who finished the game with 10 points, hit two key second half 3-pointers to help the Flashes come back from an 11-point deficit and take the lead with just 29 seconds remaining.

“We fought back. We didn’t give up,” senior forward Mike Scott said. “.We were down 10 with about six minutes to go. We fought back and put ourselves in a position to win.”

But, with a little better shooting in the first half, the Flashes may not have had to worry about a comeback at all. They shot just 24 percent from the field and 15 percent from 3-point range in the first half, yet only trailed by three, 22-19, at the half. The second half they shot the ball much better, as they hit 50 percent (12-24) of their shots.

The Flashes did excel on their assist-to-turnover ratio. They had 16 assist to just five turnovers in the game.

Despite the poor play, the Flashes still have a full season ahead of them and Scott won’t let one game be the precursor for the rest of the season.

“I just look back to my sophomore year,” he said. “We lost our first game, but we went to the (NCAA) tournament.”

Game Notebook:

The Men in Black

-Saturday marked the debut of the new all-black uniforms. The uniforms are all black with yellow piping and navy blue panels. The navy blue numerals were outlined in gold. After Saturday’s loss, it may be possible we will never see them again.

Scott for three

-Senior forward Mike Scott, who is a career 25 percent three-pointer shooter, connected on 4-5 shots from 3-point range Saturday night. Something Scott says it was something he worked on all off season with former KSU assistant coach Josh Oppenheimer.

Transfers struggled

-Junior transfers Al Fisher and Rashad Woods both seemed to struggle in their debuts with the Flashes. Fisher, a guard from Redlands Community College, seemed to struggle with both his shot and the flow of the offense early before hitting a few key baskets during crunch time. He finished with six points, three rebounds and two assists. Woods, a forward from Lee College, seemed out of rhythm and out of sync with the offense in the first half. He finished with just two points.

A three-point barrage

-Within a ten-minute stretch at the beginning of the second half of Saturday’s game, the two teams combined to connect on twelve 3-pointers and just two other field goals. During that span four different Detroit players connected from downtown, while Mike Scott (3) and Mike McKee(2) were the only players to hit for the Flashes.

Singletary suspended

-Sophomore guard Chris Singletary, who was named to the MAC All-Freshman team last season, did not dress for the season-opener. He is currently serving a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules. He should make his debut Sunday against Coppin State.

Contact Sports Editor Jonas Fortune at [email protected].