The Flashes picked up a double-double from center Adonis De La Rosa, who posted team-bests of 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Although he shot . . .
"Good to get a road win," said head coach Rob Senderoff. "We had a lot of guys step up, especially in the second half. We were down 12 in the second half and battled back to build a 12 point lead. Our second half defense was great, and that's a big key for us moving forward. I'm really happy with the effort tonight."
Despite bringing in a disappointing record, Norfolk State looked strong in the first half, feeding off its home crowd. NSU took the lead in the first minute of the game and held onto it for most of the period. Kent State started the game 1-for-12 shooting from the floor, causing the road team to fall behind by as much as seven points. The Flashes eventually led 28-27, but a five-point run at the end of the half allowed the Spartans to go up at the break, 32-28.
The five-point run grew into a 12-4 streak in which Norfolk State took a 44-32 lead with over 16 minutes remaining. From there, Kent State took over the game and flipped the narrative. An Avery 3-pointer sparked a Kent State offense that went 14-for-26 from the floor and 6-for-12 from beyond the arc.
The Flashes tied the game at 56-56 with eight minutes remaining. Another 3-ball from Avery gave them a lead they would never give up. Kent State built its lead at the free throw line as the game progressed, scoring exclusively at the line over the final three minutes. Kent State led by as many as 12 points at 77-65 in the last minute. A 3-pointer to end the game for Norfolk State sealed the final score.
Overall, Kent State shot an even 40 percent (22-for-55) from the floor and 39.1 percent (9-for-23) from deep. Norfolk State shot 39.1 percent (27-for-69) from the floor. Kent State created the advantage at the line, making 18 more free throws. The Flashes won the rebounding battle, 44-36.
Danny Pippen finished with eight points and Mitch Peterson six, each ending with seven rebounds. BJ Duling notched six points, five rebounds and three blocks. Desmond Ridenour logged six points with a pair of steals. Ryan Bernstein played nine minutes Wednesday, making his debut with Kent State.
The Flashes return home to Saturday to face Cleveland State at 7 p.m. ET
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics)