Kent State wins exhibition game

Sean Ammerman

Junior forward Haminn Quaintance dunks the ball against Northwood during the exhibition game at the M.A.C. Center Saturday. Quaintance had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Photo courtesy ofTom Cammett, KSU Athletic Communications

Credit: Jason Hall

Kent State’s men’s basketball team focused on using as many players possible in its 83-65 exhibition win over Northwood on Saturday.

And if the win is any indication on what’s to come, the Flashes will be a fast-paced, offensive-oriented team this season.

Seven players out of a trim nine-man roster got 20 minutes or more of playing time in the game.

“It was great experience for the younger guys,” Kent State coach Jim Christian said. “I was happy to get them some minutes and get a good game from them.”

Despite the effort to spread out playing time, Christian said his team went full speed throughout its only exhibition game of the season.

This all-out play led to one scary moment when Kent State sophomore starting point guard Jordan Mincy landed awkwardly on the foot of a Northwood player after going for a rebound.

Mincy grimaced in pain on the floor and held his leg before limping off the court. However, he managed to return later in the game and play healthy.

“We wanted to play it like it was any other game of the season,” Christian said.

Northwood scored the first points after the tip-off, but it turned out to be its only lead of the game.

The Flashes went on a 17-2 run, led by redshirt freshman guard Mike McKee, who shot a perfect 4-for-4 in his first-half field goals.

Kent State was set on out-running Northwood, scoring several points off fast breaks and steels.

The strategy worked until the Timber Wolves managed to find their 3-point game. Led by guard Eric Giesow, who hit five threes in less than eight minutes of play, Northwood closed the gap to 46-43 at half time.

The Timber Wolves kept it close in the beginning of the second half, but a spectacular alley oop dunk from junior forward Haminn Quaintance to junior forward Mike Scott moved the momentum to the Flashes’ side.

A newcomer transfer to the Flashes, Quaintance emerged as the leader in the game on both offense and defense. He earned a double-double, with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. He also had three assists, two steels and a block.

“(Quaintance) has a lot of energy,” Christian said. “Our guys can feed off his athletic ability.”

Senior guard Omni Smith also led the Flashes, with 13 points and four assists.

Christian said he was happy with what he saw from his team Saturday even though it gave up a sizeable lead in the first half.

“I am pleased,” he said “Right now defense has to be paramount. We did a good job of it in the second half.”

With the season starting earlier than unusual, Christian said his team has had less time to prepare. Nevertheless, he said the team is ready to get things underway.

The Flashes begin their regular season on Friday when they travel to Columbus to face South Dakota in the 2006 SportsTime Ohio Black Coaches Association Classic.

Contact assistant sports editor Sean Ammerman at [email protected].