Flashes dominate offensively and defensively in victory

Doug Gulasy

Sophomore guard Rodriquez Sherman goes up for a shot at last night’s basketball game versus St. Louis. The Flashes’ won 81-40. CAITLIN PRARAT| DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State men’s basketball team didn’t make every shot it took in the first half of last night’s game – it just seemed that way.

At the other end of the court, Saint Louis made some shots – but not many.

The Flashes (5-2) jumped out to a 42-15 halftime lead en route to defeating Saint Louis 81-40 last night at the M.A.C. Center.

“(Kent State) played a very good game,” Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus said. “They’re a good team, they played very well (and) they took us out of our game. I give them all the credit in the world.”

The Flashes shot 73 percent (16-of-22) in the first half in taking their big lead. Even some acrobatic shots – a shot by junior guard Al Fisher while being fouled and heading out of bounds, for example – went in.

“We just came out and executed the plays,” said Fisher, who had 11 points and nine assists, one assist short of a double-double. “(We) ran it, we did everything we were supposed to do and had open shots, open layups.”

Meanwhile, the team’s defense held the Billikens to 27 percent shooting in the first half. The Flashes forced 10 turnovers and took advantage of them for 16 points in the half.

“These last few days, coach (Jim Christian) preached a lot about following the game plan, about chasing and getting guys out of their system, get them out of what they do and just being solid,” sophomore guard Chris Singletary said. “That’s what we did tonight.”

The tough defensive play didn’t end at halftime. In the second half, the Flashes forced nine more turnovers and Saint Louis shot just 35 percent from the field.

“Coming into the game, they were shooting 59 percent in the second half of games,” Christian said. “You know, especially with a coach like Rick Majerus, you know they’re going to make some adjustments to what you’re doing.

“The focal point for us at halftime was: ‘OK, we understand what they do when they come out of the locker room in the second half. Now, this is a big challenge for us; can we respond to their adjustments, can we respond to what they’re going to try to do?’ … If we want to become a good basketball team, then we’re going to have to maintain this for stretches of the game, and I thought, for the most part, we were committed to doing that.”

Singletary led the Flashes with 16 points, sophomore guard Mike McKee had 12 points and Fisher and senior forward Haminn Quaintance each added 11.

The Flashes will play at UNC-Greensboro Saturday at 7 p.m. in their next game.

Contact men’s basketball reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].