Flashes run through Broncos

Deanna Stevens

When there is only one upperclassman in the starting lineup, calling a team youthful team is an understatement.

But the Kent State men’s basketball team’s “baby Flashes” were all grown up in their 77-65 win over Western Michigan Thursday night.

“It was great to see those guys give us some really solid minutes,” Christian said.

With senior Armon Gates out the majority of the game due to a shoulder injury and with junior Mike Scott sitting the majority of the first half with foul trouble, the Flashes withstood two double-digit runs by the Broncos in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinal.

“When you get down, or when you are up as we saw both situations tonight,” Christian said. “Everybody fights to the end.”

The win puts the Flashes in the rematch of the season against the Akron Zips in today’s semifinal.

After seesawing back and forth to start the game, Kent State pulled away on a 16-0 run midway through the first half, which made it seem like the game was going to be an easy stop on the way to the next round.

But the Broncos tried to deny the Flashes their chance at a rematch with the Zips. Western Michigan was down by as many as 13 in the first half when they countered with a 21-3 run to end the first half and to begin the second.

Senior guard Omni Smith, who led Kent State with 14 points, said it was junior Mike Scott and sophomore Jordan Mincy who kept the team together during the Bronco’s run.

Scott finished with seven points and five rebounds, while Mincy added seven points, including a 3 pointer to put the Flashes up nine.

In Kent State’s last game against Western Michigan, the Broncos were deadly from 3-point range, shooting 46 percent. But this time the Flashes held them to just 19 percent from behind the arc.

“It was a big key for us tonight to get out quickly to (their) shooters,” Christian said. “And really be aware of where they are.”

Now the Flashes have to move on to the next challenge, which happens to be the only team that has defeated them twice this season.

After the amount of emphasis that was put on the last game against Akron, Sherman said he can’t imagine what is in store.

“I really don’t know,” Sherman said. “I can’t wait to see, though. It’s probably going to be crazy because they’re our rival.”

Contact men’s basketball reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].