Flashes beat Miami to move on to the semifinals of the MAC tournament


Photo courtesy of Matthew Mergen

Sincere Carry reacts during the quarterfinal round of the MAC Tournament on Thursday, March 10 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jacob Hansen, Reporter

With its win over ninth-seeded University of Miami, Kent State’s men’s basketball team won its thirteenth straight game and moved on to the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

However, redshirt junior guard Sincere Carry doesn’t see it as win number thirteen. 

“We already stopped our win streak,” Carry said. “We are here to win three games, that is all we are focusing on.”

The two-seed Flashes topped the Redhawks 85-75 on Thursday night in Cleveland, and will play Ohio University today, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the second round.

“Great win for us, and we move on to the semifinals in the MAC tournament,” head coach Rob Senderoff said. “One down, we got one tomorrow and hopefully we can play well enough to be playing on Saturday, but it is always tough to win the first one, but these guys were great.”

Kent State played two very different halves in this game.

The Flashes led 41-32 after the first half, a half in which they drained seven threes.

KSU shot 51 percent (16-31) from the field in the first half while out rebounding Miami 19-13. 

Miami struggled from behind the three point arc, shooting 16 percent (2-12) in the first half.

“We didn’t want them to get comfortable,” redshirt junior guard Malique Jacobs said. “We knew they were a good three-point team and a good free-throw team, so we were kinda just making them drive, and we just walled up.”

Carry led the way with 10 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. 

However, it was quite a different story in the second half. 

KSU went 0-8 from three-point range in the second half and didn’t quite have the same shooting half. Kent State shot just 39 percent (9-23) in the second half.

However, the Flashes continued to play tough defense. Miami shot 23 percent 3-13 from behind the arc in the second half. 

Kent State utilized its driving ability to draw fouls in the second half, getting to the line 31 times and making 26 of those attempts to shoot 83 percent.

“Teams are not going to give up in the MAC tournament,” Senderoff said. “A regular season, that game might not become having to make all your free throws, but in a conference tournament game, I actually think this was great for us to be able to recognize these teams are going to keep coming at you, and we did a great job making our free throws.”

Jacobs was a big part of that, getting to the line 15 times and making 12 of the shots. Jacobs finished with 21 points, two assists, three steals and 11 rebounds, a game-high.

The Flashes had four different players score double-digit points in the game.

Redshirt senior forward Justyn Hamilton had 15 points, nine rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Carry also scored 15, while adding four rebounds, two steals and a game-high 8 assists against just two turnovers. 

Graduate student guard Andrew Garcia was the fourth player with double-digit scoring, with 12 points and two rebounds. 

“I was really happy with [Sincere]’s answer,” Senderoff said. “Because his answer is right, we are at a one game winning streak, everybody in here comes in trying to get three wins, that’s it.”

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