No longer perfect: Men’s basketball earns first loss of season

Jacob Hansen, Reporter

Kent State’s basketball team led Wednesday’s game against the College of Charleston for a total of 36 minutes.

Then Charleston hit a 3-pointer and got ahead with 23 seconds left.

Sincere Carry, who has led the team in points in two games this season, missed the team’s final shot.

The Flashes lost 74-72.

 “It was a good team we played,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “We give them credit for making some big plays down the stretch.”

This was the Flashes’ first loss of the season and lowest-scoring game of the season. The team is now 5-1.

Charleston, now on a five-game winning streak, is 6-1 on the season.

A defensive first half

The early part of the game was a lot of back-and-forth action.

The Flashes went on a 6-0 run with 8:47 left in the half. They had a 10-point lead at this point, winning 24-14. Redshirt junior guard Malique Jacobs led the team with eight points.

Kent State controlled the game up till 5:59 left in the first half. Then Charleston went on a 9-0 run and took a 28-26 lead.

The game went back and forth until halftime. Kent State led 40-36 at the end of the first half.

The Flashes’ defense forced 11 turnovers and scored 14 points off them.

“We’ve done a good job pretty much all year creating turnovers,” Senderoff said. “We did a good job with that tonight and it is certainly something we have to continue to build off of those things and try to get better from tonight’s experience.”

The team has been turning the ball over an average of 13 times per game.

Charleston forced nine Kent State turnovers which led to 11 points.

KSU had six steals. The Cougars had five.

Jacobs led the team in scoring with 11 points, three assists and a rebound. He had two steals and two blocks at the half.

Last week, Jacobs broke the program record for most steals in a single game by getting 10 steals.

Redshirt senior guard Sincere Carry followed Jacobs with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.

KSU shot 54% from the 3-point range. Charleston shot 43%.

Kent State committed nine fouls.

Charleston shot 15 free-throws but only converted on eight.

“They are physical, and they drive the ball strong,” Senderoff said. “We have to do a better job with that because it is becoming an issue for our team.”

Graduate student guard Ryan Larson led the Cougars with 11 points.

He was perfect from every category, shooting 4-4 from the field, 3-3 from behind the arc and 2-2 from the free throw line. He added two assists.

A chaotic end 

With just 36.6 seconds left in the game Carry went down with a lower body injury and walked off with some assistance. Kent State was then leading 72-71.

With 23 seconds left on the clock, graduate student guard Jaylon Scott hit a big three to give his team the lead 74-72.

Kent State gained the ball and called a timeout with 13 seconds left.

Carry returned with 3.6 seconds left and took the final shot of the game. He missed for a final score of 74-72, Cougars.

Carry led the team with 25 points–15 points came from the second half. He added five rebounds and five assists.

“He is a great player,” Senderoff said. “He played really well and really helped us in the second half there for sure.”

Larson led the Cougars in scoring with 16 points, five assists and two rebounds. He missed just two shots in the entire game, shooting 5-6, 3-4 from three and 3-3 from the free throw line.

“Good player and a good team,” Senderoff said. “He and all of their guys made some big plays down the stretch when they needed to.”

Jacobs had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and four steals. Redshirt senior forward Miryne Thomas had 13 points, six rebounds and two assists.

“He struggled down the stretch there on offense,” Lewis said. “But he will learn from it and we will get better because of it.”

Kent State had just 10 bench points compared to Charleston’s 26 bench points. In their last two games, the Flashes’ bench totaled at least 27 points.

“Their greatest strength is that they have tremendous depth,” Senderoff said. “They will have a good season, and we’re obviously disappointed that we weren’t able to come out with a win here.”

CofC had 26 free throw attempts and converted 17 points. KSU only had four free throw attempts, converting on three.

Kent State shot 44% (30-68) overall and 45% (9-20) from three. Charleston shot 43%(23-53) and 38%(11-29) from three.

In its second-straight road game, Kent State will take on No. 2 Houston.

Tipoff is 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Fertitta Center.

“We will have to compete on the glass to have a chance in this game,” Senderoff said. “We are going to have to play physically without fouling, that is another area that we are going to have to learn from this game to have a chance there.”

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