Men’s basketball loses to OSU

Deanna Stevens

Junior forward Mike Scott goes up for a layup last night against Ohio State University. The Flashes lost to the Buckeyes 81-59. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

It took the seventh-best team in the nation to hand the Kent State men’s basketball team its first loss of the season.

Being outscored 48-29 in the second half, along with 20 turnovers, led the Flashes (2-1) to an 81-59 loss to the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) in the championship game of the BCA Classic last night.

“With teams like Ohio State, you can’t let them go on runs like that,” Kent State coach Jim Christian said. “You got to do your best to limit their run and stay solid. We came apart there, and they did a great job taking advantage of it.”

The Flashes shot 36 percent from the field after halftime. No Kent State player scored double digits, while four Buckeyes did.

Turnovers also helped the Buckeyes to the championship. The Flashes had 15 in the first half alone.

Despite their mistakes, the Flashes went into halftime only down by three points. Ohio State coach Thad Matta said that the Flashes “knocked us on our heels early.”

“I think that it was very good for this team to face some adversity” Matta said. “It was good to see some players step up, and I know David Lighty hit some big shots for us and others as well.”

Lighty finished with 10 points and four rebounds.

“As good as they are, we have to out-hustle them as much as we can,” Christian said. “And I think for the first 20 minutes we did a good job of that. But if you’re going to have a chance, you have to do it for 40 minutes, and we didn’t play as well as we would have liked for 40 minutes.”

Christian said the Flashes got away from their defensive strategy after halftime.

The Buckeyes took advantage of the Flashes’ veering, shooting 57 percent in the second half and 50 percent from the 3-point line.

Tournament MVP guard Ron Lewis led the Buckeyes with 18 points, while forward Othello Hunter added 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Flashes did lead the Buckeyes in one area of the floor – the boards. Kent State out-rebounded Ohio State 33-27. Junior forward Haminn Quaintance, freshman guard Chris Singletary, senior guard Armon Gates and sophomore forward Julian Sullinger each had five rebounds.

On the way to the meeting with the Buckeyes, the Flashes posted a 105-50 victory over South Dakota State in the first round on Friday.

Kent State shot 63 percent from the floor to advance to the second round. Senior guard Armon Gates and junior forward Mike Scott led the team with 16 points each. Four others also hit double digits.

The Jackrabbits had a 38 percent field goal percentage while turning the ball over 24 times. They were also out-rebounded 38-23.

In the second round, the score was closer but the result was the same. The Flashes beat IUPUI 81-74 on Saturday.

Junior forward Haminn Quaintance led Kent State with 16 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Jordan Mincy added a career-high 15 points.

Kent State will return to the court for its home opener Saturday at noon to face Detroit-Mercy.

Contact basketball reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].