What winning streak?

Jonas Fortune

Western Michigan’s hot shooting ends KSUs’ six-game run

It was another dominant game featuring Kent State in Mid-American Conference play. Unfortunately, the Flashes happened to be on the other end this time.

The Kent State men’s basketball team was dominated, 79-57, from start to finish by a sharp-shooting Western Michigan squad at Kalamazoo, Mich., ending the Flashes’ six-game winning streak.

“We got off to a bad start defensively,” Kent State coach Jim Christian said. “We were a step off the pace right from the beginning of the game, and we never picked it up from there.”

Although the Flashes did seem sluggish defensively, the Broncos were on fire from the field. An opening 3-pointer by freshman David Kool set the tone for the rest of the game.

Western Michigan shoots 38 percent from behind the arc, good for second in the MAC, and on Sunday, they made their first six 3-pointers, finally missing from behind the arc at the 8:34 mark.

By that time, the Broncos held a 10-point lead, 24-14, and control of the game. The Flashes were unable to mount a legitimate comeback.

Kent State never found an answer for Western Michigan’s blistering offense. Sophomore forward Derek Drews didn’t miss an open look, hitting five 3’s alone. Drews tied his career high with 17 points.

The Flashes also had a difficult time containing guard Shawntes Gary, who was all over the court, netting 15 points, six rebounds, four steals and four blocks.

Not only did the loss snap Kent State’s six-game winning streak, but it also prevents the Flashes (15-9, 8-3 MAC) from advancing into a first-place tie in the MAC East with Akron (18-5, 9-2 MAC), who lost to Toledo Saturday.

Western Michigan, who snapped a two-game losing skid, torched the nets in the first half to the tune of 8-15 from 3-point range, a red hot 53.6 percent. The Flashes, on the other hand, were ice cold in the first half, going 2-11 from downtown and only 33 percent from the field, overall.

It was the same story in the second half. At one point, the Broncos led by 29, but they did cool off a little from beyond the arc, shooting only 36 percent.

“Sometimes things like this have to happen to get a team to realize what they have to do to win,” Christian said. “We were starting to form an identity, but that is hard work. It takes a while and sometimes you will have a setback.”

Sophomore forward Julian Sullinger was the lone Flash in double figures with 12 points. Freshman Rodriquez Sherman set a career high in rebounds with seven.

Kent State will look to rebound Wednesday against a Miami squad they lost to Jan. 7, 65-63, at Miami.

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