Kent State runs afoul against Bowling Green

Kali Price

Senior guard DeAndre Haynes dribbles down the court against Bowling Green senior guard Steven Wright yesterday. Haynes scored 18 points for the night and led the team in assists with seven. STEPHANIE J. SMITH | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

After the undefeated Duke men’s basketball team lost to Georgetown Saturday, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewksi was quoted in The New York Times as saying, “We’ve been in the penthouse all season, having room service. Somebody jammed up the elevator.”

The room service stopped for Kent State last night.

Going into the game, the Flashes were sitting pretty atop the Mid-American Conference with a 7-0 record, but they were brought down hard by Bowling Green.

The 79-74 heartbreaker came down to one thing: free throws.

Sophomore forward Mike Scott’s first technical foul, not even two minutes into the game, was the first indication that the game was going to come down to fouling.

The Flashes totaled 26 fouls at the final, while the Falcons posted 27.

“We emphasize (not fouling) on every play,” Kent State coach Jim Christian said. “I don’t care if they’re making free throws or not, we don’t want to send them to the line.”

To make matters worse, Bowling Green’s junior guard Martin Samarco came into the game as the MAC leader in free-throw percentage at 93.9 percent.

“In a game like this, if they go 34-for-35 at the line and you go 25-for-38, it’s hard to win,” Christian said.

Samarco only went to the line six times, hitting all six shots. But it was senior forward Mawel Soler that had the bigger impact.

Soler posted a double-double, putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds. Thirteen of his 20 points were from the charity stripe.

If the Flashes had shot 97.1 percent from the line as the Falcons did, instead of 65.8 percent, the Flashes would be 8-0 in the MAC.

“The harder you play, the less you foul,” Christian said. “When you’re looking for a shortcut, or you’re not competing hard enough, that’s when you foul.”

Not only did the Flashes make dumb fouls, but the three technical fouls aren’t anywhere close to being smart.

Nor was the scuffle between a few of the Flashes and Falcons as the teams exited the court.

“That’s not the way I want our basketball team to act, ever,” Christian said. “We don’t get technical fouls. We don’t do that. We play the game of basketball. We don’t get involved in personal shoves, we don’t get involved in personal talking. I don’t want our basketball team to behave that way, and they know it.”

Contact sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].