"It's never easy getting a road win, certainly not against Buffalo, a good team that's well-coached with very good players," said head coach Rob Senderoff. "I'm proud of our guys. The whole team -- everyone on the roster --contributed in a major way to help us get this road win."
The Golden Flashes were led by . . .
He shot 9-for-14 from the floor and 8-for-8 from the foul line in Tuesday’s contest. Jaylin Walker was a big contributor, scoring 22 points on a 4-for-12 shooting night from downtown. Jalen Avery and Kevin Zabo each had a team-best three assists, with Avery also chipping in eight points and four boards.
The first half was a strong defensive showing from both teams, playing out to a one-point home advantage at the break.
Each team led by as many as six points but never pulled away from the other. Kent State was the first to hold a six-point lead at 16-10, capitalizing off an 8-0 run. Buffalo cut into the lead quickly and held its own advantage at 26-20. Over the last four minutes, KSU outscored Buffalo, 12-7, to enter the break trailing, 33-32.
The two teams traded blows at the start of the second half and were tied 43-43 with 14 minutes left.
Kent State worked the ball down to the paint, building a six-point lead on two buckets from Hall and a tip in from Adonis De La Rosa. Buffalo, however, came back to knot a 49-49 tie one last time. Walker scored on back-to-back jumpers that gave Kent State the lead for the rest of the game.
Leading 54-49 with nine minutes remaining, Kent State closed the game out with strong defense. Buffalo shot 7-for-19 over the remainder of the game, staying in the contest but unable to erase the deficit.
Overall, the Flashes shot 45.2 percent (28-for-62) from the floor, but nearly 50 percent (15-for-31) in the second half. Buffalo was held to 41 percent (25-for-61) overall and 37.5 percent (12-for-32) in the second half. Kent State won the rebounding margin, 39-37, and the turnover battle, 11-14.
"In our last two games we have 16 turnovers combined," said Senderoff. "When we do that, we put ourselves in position to be successful. When you don't turn it over, you give yourself a chance to play half-court defense. We're pretty good in the half-court when we give ourselves a chance to play there."
Deon Edwin finished with 10 points, three rebounds and a career-high five steals. Mitch Peterson tallied seven points and seven rebounds.
Kent State hosts Ohio at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. Buffalo is home against Akron (3:30 p.m. ET)