‘We weren’t at our best’: Men’s basketball season ends with loss to Indiana


Janson McNair

Sincere Carry (center right) attempts to get a 2-point-shot past three Indiana defenders at Kent State’s March Madness matchup against Indiana Mar. 17.

Jacob Shondel, Reporter

All season Kent State men’s basketball team has found success in creating turnovers and scoring points off of them. 

The Flashes (28-7) came into Friday’s first round of the NCAA Tournament, averaging 18 points off turnover per game, forcing 11.4 total turnovers. 

Inside MVP Arena in Albany, New York, Friday night, Indiana defeated Kent State 71-60 and turned the ball over seven times, leading to eight points for KSU. 

“I would just say that we weren’t at our best tonight,” redshirt senior forward Miyrne Thomas said. “That reflected in them being able to make plays throughout the game.”

Redshirt senior guard Sincere Carry, who finished with a team-high 15 points, suffered a thigh injury during a shootaround. 

“He would have had to have his leg cut off for him not to play tonight,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “I was worried it was going to be serious … I’m disappointed for him because I do not know if it impacted him during the game, but he had been playing so well leading up to this game.”

Carry had shot 59% and averaged 23.7 points in his last four games. Friday, he shot 5-of-18 from the field and 1-of-7 behind the arc. 

“He [Carry] was able to play, and we as a team didn’t play as well as we needed to,” Senderoff said. “We played hard, and it was just a bad night to have a bad night.”

Sincere Carry (left) tries to get a shot around defender Trey Galloway (center) at Kent State’s March Madness matchup against Indiana Mar. 17. (Janson McNair)

Senderoff said that Friday showed the “resiliency” of his team as they battled to keep the game close. 

“Nobody can sit here and watch the game and say those guys didn’t compete,” he said. “It just wasn’t our night on the offensive end of the floor.”

KSU shot 31.9% from the field; IU shot 46.8%. 

Indiana’s First Team All-American forward, Trayce Jackson-Davis, led all players in points (24), rebounds (11) and blocks (5). 

Hoosier forward Race Thompson finished the game with 20 points. 

“I just give credit to my teammates and coaches for keeping me confident,” Thompson said. “I’ve been banged up all season, and if I can’t practice, they’re always telling me it’s going to be alright.”

For the Flashes, senior forward Chris Payton and redshirt sophomore forward VonCameron Davis each totaled 10 points. 

Jackson-Davis said Kent State is similar to a Big10 team.

VonCameron Davis (center) attempts a lay-up against defender Jalen Hood-Schifino (center left) at Kent State’s March Madness matchup against Indiana Mar. 17. (Janson McNair)

“They’re a great team, and they play really physical like the teams in our conference,” he said. 

Senderoff said the size of Indiana impacted shots close to the rim. 

“There were times when their size impacted shots,” he said. “But we also had shots not go in down there that we normally make.”

KSU scored 26 inside the paint – IU scored 46.

“We knew going in that we were a little bit bigger,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. “The game plan was to go inside because that’s where we’ve been successful all season. 

It was a total team effort tonight because this team [Kent State] could really score the basketball, and the defense set the tone tonight.”

Coming into the game, the Flashes have scored 60 or fewer points in three games. 

With the loss, Kent State heads back home, still searching for its first NCAA tournament win since 2002. 

Indiana will stay in Albany, New York, taking on Miami (FL) at 8:40 p.m. Sunday. 

“We’re going to do our best to get back here,” Senderoff said. “This was a lot of fun.”

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