KENT, OHIO -- Junior Marcus Keene scored 41 points, including 11 in overtime, as the Central Michigan Chippewas defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes 105-98 Saturday afternoon at the MAC Center.
Central Michigan (13-7, 3-4 MAC) extended its winning streak to three games while collecting its first Mid-American Conference road win. It was also the Chippewas first road victory since December 21st at Montana State.
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Senior Braylon Rayson added 20 points with five rebounds and four assists while junior Josh Kozinski had 18, going a perfect three of three from beyond the arc.
It was the fourth time this season that Keene, a transfer from Youngstown State, scored at least 40 points in a game. He added 10 rebounds and four assists. Last Saturday Keene scored 50 in the win over Miami, the most in a Division I game so far this season.
Kent State (11-10, 3-4) saw its three game winning streak come to an end. Senior Jimmy Hall led the Flashes with a season high 28 points with 12 rebounds, four assists and a steal.
“This was a tough loss. KSU head man Rob Senderoff said. “When we went into overtime, we thought we had the momentum but it did not carry over there. Their guys made some plays down the stretch and into overtime.”
Senior Deon Edwin added 23 points with nine boards, two assists and two steals. Freshman Mitch Peterson scored 19 and sophomore Jaylin Walker came off the bench to score 13.
CMU came out of the blocks hot, hitting five of its first seven shots to build a 12-5 lead at the 16:48 mark on a three from the right arc by Brayson. After KSU tied the game 12-12 on a layup by Hall at the 14:57 mark, two of his 15 points in the opening half, the Chippewas pushed their lead out to seven 19-12 on a driving layup by Keene.
KSU then went on a 10-2 run to take its first lead of the game, 30-25, on an Avery free throw. The Flashes extended their advantage to seven 41-34 on free throw by Danny Pippen and went into halftime with a six-point advantage, 41-36.
Kent State shot close to 50 percent in the opening half (15-of-31) but it was just 4-of-11 from 3-point range, while CMU was 12-of-32 from the floor (37.5%). However, they stayed in touch by going 8-of-9 from the free throw line.
In the second half, KSU opened a six-point lead 45-39 on a pair of Hall free throws before the Chippewas regained the lead 56-54 with 12:40 remaining on a jumper by Brayson.
The lead switched back and forth for a majority of the second half, and CMU held an 83-79 lead with 25.3 seconds remaining. Hall scored seven straight points including a putback off a miss from freshman Jalen Avery with 2.1 seconds remaining. It was the fourth time in the last five games the senior had scored 20 or more points in a game.”
On CMU’s final possession, the long inbound pass followed a missed shot from just beyond the time line to force overtime.
In the extra five minutes, the Chippewas could not miss as they made their first four shots from the field (three of them coming from beyond the arc) to build a 94-84 lead a little over two minutes into the period. They were never headed after that as they picked up their first win in Kent since February, 1997 (a span of 12 games).
Regarding the start of overtime, Davis said "When we are making threes, we feed off of that both offensively and defensively; we have the confidence to make them in stretches.”
CMU was perfect from the field in overtime going seven-for-seven (perfect in four shots from beyond the arc). For the game, they finished at 48.6 percent (34-for-70) and were 23-28 from the free throw line -- a key factor in the outcome.
KSU was 4-of-9 from the floor in overtime and 23-of-76 for the game (44.7%). Over the 45 minutes, they finished at 44.7 percent (34-of-76). The Flashes won the rebound battle 43-36 and had 22 second chance points to the Chippewas 10. However they had no answer for Keene, who scored the mosts points against KSU in a game so far this season.
When asked about Kenne’s performance, Senderoff said “He is just a great player.”
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday with CMU heading to Buffalo to play the Bulls while KSU heads to Ypsilanti to battle Eastern Michigan.