Men’s basketball remains unbeaten after quick turnaround this week


Brady Hamilton

Power forward Miryne Thomas goes up for the And-1 in Kent State’s 94-68 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff state on Wednesday afternoon.

Jacob Shondel, Reporter

This season, Kent State men’s basketball opponents have shot 40% or worse from the field.

Wednesday at the M.A.C. Center was no different when the Flashes held Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 40% shooting.

“I think the guys that we have out there, we could switch everything,” redshirt senior guard Sincere Carry said. “We’re always talking when we’re on defense, and each guy is helping each other out.”

KSU defeated the Golden Lions 94-68 and improved to 4-0. UABP falls to 1-4.

This week, the team competes Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at home. Two days earlier, KSU defeated Portland 77-65.

Coach Rob Senderoff said the quick turnaround between matches is challenging.

Point Guard Sincere Carry (3) shoots a free throw in Kent State’s 94-68 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff state on Wednesday afternoon. (Brady Hamilton)


“In the conference tournament, you play day after day, so seeing how you respond early in the year with a one day in between games is important,” he said. “Hopefully, we can look back to this game and talk about how we prepared and where we were for that game.

Coming off a really big win against Portland, everybody who stepped on the floor competed at a really high level.”

Four wins in a row

The Flashes shot a season-low 38% from the field in the first half, but they had a 40-28 lead by halftime.

KSU had forced 13 turnovers and recorded six steals. Redshirt senior forward Miryne Thomas had a team-high three steals.

The Flashes have led by 10 or more points in the first half in its last two games. Carry led the team with 14 points in the first half.

Carry said it was tough to get into the flow of the game with many fouls being called.

“We did a good job of just playing at a fast pace when we got the ball,” he said, “but we had to find ways to execute in the half-court and get stops when we needed to.”

Referees called 14 fouls on UABP and 11 on Kent State.

The Flashes started the second half 5-of-7 from behind the arc to take a 62-43 lead. KSU took its biggest lead of the afternoon with 48 seconds left to go. The score was 92-65.

The Golden Lions did not get within seven points of Kent State the whole second half.

“Teams are going to start pressuring more when we hit shots,” redshirt junior Giovanni Santiago said. “The core is going to be more open for us, and that just makes the game easier.”

Kent State shot 39 free throws and converted on 34. The Flashes had attempted 37 free throws in their two previous games, making 24.

“I knew we were a better free throw shooting team than what we had been,” Senderoff said. “Wednesday, we had an opportunity to get there a lot, and this is more along the lines of what I think we can expect moving forward.”

The Flashes won the rebound battle 43-25.

“We’ve worked and put an emphasis since getting out-rebounded by Baldwin Wallace,” Senderoff said, “making sure that we’re putting bodies on bodies, we’re flying to the offensive glass and we’re physically blocking guys out on the defensive glass.”

In the season opener against Division III Baldwin Wallace, KSU was out-rebounded 35-33.

Effort from all

KSU’s bench outscored the Golden Lions 31-12.

“Overall, those guys all really contributed and helped us for sure,” Senderoff said. “Jalen, in particular, scoring the ball is one thing that he does really well. He had a couple of defensive rotations that I thought helped us.”

Kent State had five players score 10 or more points in the game. Sophomore guard Jalen Sullinger led the bench with 13 points – redshirt sophomore forward VonCameron Davis added nine points and six rebounds.

Point guard Jalen Sullinger handles the ball in Kent State’s 94-68 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff state on Wednesday afternoon. (Brady Hamilton)

“We have different guys that if they’re open, they can make shots,” Senderoff said. “Everybody on the roster has a lot of trust in each other to make plays.”

Carry finished the game with 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Santiago scored 17 points and was 3-of-4 from three. Thomas scored 10 points and grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds.

Quick turnaround, again: Chicago State

The Flashes stay home for their next game at 2 p.m. Saturday against Chicago State (1-2). Last season, the Cougars finished 7-25.

The team has three players averaging 10 or more points per game, including senior guard Elijah Weaver, who has a team-high 44 points this season. Sophomore guard Jahsean Corbett leads the team in rebounds, averaging seven a game.

“We have to just stay hungry and keep wanting to get better each and every day,” Santiago said, “taking care of our bodies and hitting our peak by the second half of the season.”

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