Kent State gets sixth-straight victory in win against rival Akron

Redshirt+junior+guard+Sincere+Carry+makes+a+shot+in+the+Kent+State+mens+basketball+teams+win+over+Akron+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+12+in+Akron%2C+Ohio.

Redshirt junior guard Sincere Carry makes a shot in the Kent State men’s basketball team’s win over Akron on Friday, Feb. 12 in Akron, Ohio.

Jacob Hansen Reporter

It was a game of seconds as Kent State’s basketball team beat Akron 66-64 as time ran out. 

This marks Kent State’s sixth straight victory, improving to 15-9 on the season, and 10-4 in the Mid-American Conference. 

“We knew tonight was going to be a tough, hard-fought contest,” head coach Rob Senderoff said. “We came in with a great mindset, getting a lot of stops early.”

The Flashes now move to third place in the MAC. The Zips are now in fourth place (16-7 overall, 9-4 MAC).  

Kent State’s defense kept the team in the game for the first half, leading Akron 30-25 going into the locker room. 

The team forced eight turnovers, scoring 12 points off the turnovers. 

The Flashes held the Zips to 34 percent (9-26) shooting and 30 percent (4-13) from the three-point line in the first half. 

KSU shot the ball well, shooting 43 percent (10-23) and 55 percent (5-9) from behind the arc in the first half. 

The second half was a different story as each team shot the ball very well. 

Kent State shot 54 percent (13-24) in the second half and 62 percent (5-8) from the three-point line. The Zips improved dramatically in the second half, improving to 70 percent (14-20) shooting and 60 percent (3-5) from three-point range. 

Senderoff talked about the improvement of the team’s three-point shooting percentage over the past six games. 

“It has definitely opened things up for us offensively,” he said. “Having Gio back, and playing the way he was playing last year has certainly helped, and we are playing together and sharing the basketball.” 

Redshirt junior guard Sincere Carry made two clutch free throws to put Kent State up by two. Akron drove the ball down with a little over 13 seconds left, missing the final attempt as time expired. 

“In my eyes [Carry] is one of the best players in the country,” Senderoff said. “Those guys step up in big moments and that’s what he’s done all year.”

Carry led the Flashes with 19 points, two rebounds and an assist. Redshirt sophomore guard Giovanni Santiago added 15 points with two rebounds and a steal.

Redshirt junior guard Malique Jacobs had a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and four steals. 

“We are just going to continue to play together and try and have fun,” Senderoff said. “If we do that we are going to give ourselves a chance.”

Kent State will look to extend its win streak to seven games when the team travels to take on Toledo (19-5, 11-2), which is tied for first, on Tuesday. 

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