Kent State and Akron: Unsettlingly familiar

Jonas Fortune

Similarities abundant in Friday’s loss to Akron

Sophomore guard Jordan Mincy and redshirt freshman guard Mike McKee react in the final minutes of their 61-54 loss to Akron. BRIAN MARKS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

Watch a multimedia slideshow about the game here.

Over a span of five days, the Kent State men’s basketball team lost to rival Akron twice. The stats were similar, the game play was familiar and the outcomes were the same.

“It was a game of two halves for both teams. We dominated the first half and they dominated us in the second,” Kent State coach Jim Christian said after Friday’s disappointing loss.

Akron coach Keith Dambrot could have said the same thing about last Sunday’s nail-biter.

March 4, the Flashes clawed back from a 10-point halftime deficit to take the game into overtime, eventually losing, 66-64, on a last-second layup by Akron’s Jeremiah Wood.

During the Flashes comeback last Sunday, they shot 13-28 from the floor, 46.4 percent.

“I knew we were going to have to weather a storm,” Dambrot said after watching the Flashes shoot a putrid 18.2 percent in the first half of last Sunday’s game.

Friday night, it was the Zips’ turn to be horrendous in the first half. They shot 26.1 percent while the Flashes sizzled. Again, exactly the same as the previous game, the Flashes were 13-28 from the floor.

“We knew they were going to make a run, and we didn’t weather that storm,” said Mike Scott, Kent State junior forward, after Friday’s game.

Sound familiar?

The statistical comparison is downright eerie. Kent State shot 2-5 from 3-point range in the first half Friday, and Akron did the same last Sunday. The Flashes connected on just six field goals in the first half last Sunday and another six in the second half Friday.

In both of the Flashes better halves, Scott led the way.

Scott scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in the second half last Sunday, and he scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in the first half Friday.

The physicality of the two games was also very similar, as Scott played with a Band-Aid under his eye March 4, more than likely the result of an errant elbow.

In the second half Friday, Akron’s Jeremiah Wood stumbled to the bench after catching a Chris Singletary elbow to the head. The 6-foot-6, 245 pound monster of a man said he was “seeing stars” as he laid underneath the basket, but he was right back in the game just a few minutes later, dominating the Flashes, just like the previous game.

Contact assistant sports editor Jonas Fortune at [email protected].