Kent State’s defense shuts down Eastern Michigan for a second straight win

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Kent State Athletics Communications

Redshirt freshman forward VonCameron Davis celebrates during the Kent State men’s basketball team’s victory of Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Michigan on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Jacob Hansen, Reporter

Defense led to offense as Kent State’s basketball team shut down Eastern Michigan University in a 56-47 victory.

Kent State gets back to a winning record overall and in the Mid-American Conference, improving to 9-8 overall and 4-3 in the MAC.

The Flashes made their presence felt on the defensive side from the start as they held Eastern Michigan to 20 percent shooting (5-25) and 15 percent (2-13) from behind the arc.

“We certainly work on that,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “Our team is a defensive oriented group, and we did a really good job against their leading scorer tonight on the road.”

Kent State finished the half on a 10-2 run to take a controlling 26-17 lead into halftime.

KSU controlled the lead for the rest of the game.

The Eagles (2-3 MAC, 7-9 overall) are tied with Miami for eighth place. Kent State (4-3, 9-8) is in fifth place.

It was the first time Kent State has held a MAC opponent under 50 points since January 2013.

The Flashes forced 19 turnovers, a season high against Division I opponents, allowing the team to score 21 points off of them.

“It was a big part of the game,” Senderoff said. “For us to be able to get out in transition really helps our offense. Scoring off their turnovers really gives us a good cushion.”

Redshirt junior guard Malique Jacobs was all over the place finishing with 17 points, five rebounds, two blocks and four steals. Redshirt junior guard Sincere Carry added 11 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals.

“[Jacobs] had a tremendous game,” Senderoff said. “His defensive intensity really lifted our team up.”

Carry had some extra fire in him tonight as he was seen flexing at the television camera and hyping up his bench.

“[Carry] was awesome on the defense,” Senderoff said. “His energy was contagious throughout the team.”

Freshman guard Noah Farrakhan, who is EMU’s leading scorer and is seventh in the MAC by averaging 16.2 points per game, only scored one point and went 0-for-7 in shooting with Carry being his primary defender.

KSU ended up holding Eastern Michigan to 25 percent shooting (11-43) and 12 percent (3-24) from three point range.

Kent State had their own struggles from behind the arc shooting 25 percent(3-12) with all three point shots being made from redshirt senior forward Tervell Beck.

Beck finished with 11 points and two rebounds.

“Those were big shots,” Senderoff said. “We have a lot of confidence in him and it was great to see him step up and hit those big shots.”

The Flashes made up for the bad night of three point shooting by scoring 34 points in the paint, and shooting 42 percent (20-47) on the night.

“That was a big part of our game plan, to score inside,” Senderoff said. “We knew that was going to be a big part of the game, to do that tonight was important.”

 The win makes it back-to-back MAC wins for the Flashes as the team looks to take fourth place when they travel to Buffalo (3-2, 9-6), which is currently tied for fourth with Akron, on Friday.

Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Jacob Hansen is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]