Behind a career scoring high from both senior guard Antonio Williams and sophomore guard Anthony Roberts, the Kent State men’s basketball team put up 98 points on Friday against the University at Buffalo.
That doubled Kent State’s total points of 49 it scored against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, but this would prove to be too little against an equally potent Buffalo (18-9, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) attack.
Kent State fell 104-98 in double overtime to lose its second game in a row and fall to 7-7 in MAC play.
Williams was scoring from every angle in the paint, dashing through the defense on his way to a career high 34 points, while also grabbing five rebounds and giving out four assists.
“Certainly the best game of [Williams’] career,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “He played really, really hard, he got to the rim and he finished. I mean, some unbelievable finishes.”
The unusual thing about how much Williams scored was the fact that he went 0-5 from the 3-point line, meaning he had to score all of his points in the paint.
“We was just going with what was working as a team,” Williams said. “Once a guy was hot we just tried to get him the ball and get him some space. I feel like we were just getting to our spots and making the right plays.”
Roberts, Williams’ fellow starting guard, also scored a career high against Buffalo, putting up 23 points, which tops the 21 he scored against Ohio University just one week ago.
Roberts had a run in the second half during which he scored all of the Flashes’ 12 points, virtually single handedly answering Buffalo’s scoring and preventing the Bulls from pulling away.
“I just kept being aggressive,” Roberts said. “[Danny Pippen] told me to start getting to the rim because I was settling in the first half, so I started attacking, playing inside out and my shots started falling.”
Danny Pippen is Kent State’s junior forward and one of the team’s top scorers, but he injured his back in practice before the game and did not suit up.
Missing Pippen certainly had an impact. He had a 20-point double-double the last time Kent State played Buffalo, but the offense did not struggle by any means in his absence.
The Buffalo offense was clicking in its own right, with guards Jayvon Graves and Davonta Jordan scoring 33 and 20, respectively.
The guards on either team were battling all night, trying to one-up each other on seemingly every possession.
“It was a battle,” Senderoff said of that showdown. “Just a tough, hard-fought game and they did a better job finishing.”
Playing well and still losing can be heartbreaking, but Williams said the team is sticking together.
“I mean we a team, and we a family,” he said. “A family, they argue and they go through everything, but when they go through it together. I feel like everything emotional we go through together every game.”
Kent State is back in action on Tuesday at home in a rematch against Miami University.
The last time the teams met Miami won a close game to hand the Flashes their first in-conference loss of the season.
Owen MacMillan is ab assigning editor. Contact him at [email protected]