Win No. 5 in a row for KSU, combined with a Northern Illinois loss on Tuesday, gives the Golden Flashes (15-5, 6-1) sole possession of first-place in the Mid-American Conference standings.
Spicer finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots and a steal while going 9-of-12 from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line in 31 minutes.
"Khaliq has really . . .
. . . stepped up like you hope a senior will and was great again tonight," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "Two games ago, he blocked a school-record seven shots and was a big factor again in our win at Bowling Green on Saturday. Now he continued to validate those performanes. He is a senior who is pushing himself and responding to that sense of urgency that you get with only a little more than a month left in your career. As a coach, those are things you love to see."
"This was very much a team win," said Senderoff. "We had guys who didn't put up big numbers in the box score who had a big impact on the game. Deon Edwin had a couple of offensive that were huge at those points of the game. Galal Cancer came in and played terrific defense."
Eastern Michigan (10-10, 2-5) was led by Raven Lee's 15 points. James Thompson IV and Willie Mangum IV added 14 and 12 points respectively.
Kent State struggled early against the Eagles zone while falling behind 17-4 just seven and a half minutes into the contest. After settling in and attacking the middle of the EMU defense, Kent State started building momentum. The Flashes trailed 29-20 at the 4:15 mark before erupting on a run that saw them pull within one at the half, then run away to a double-digit lead after the break.
A 25-foot three pointer by Kellon Thomas beat the buzzer and trimmed the Eagles' lead to 32-31 at halftime. Thomas scored nine of his 12 points before intermission.
Xavier Pollard scored all four of his points in the final 20 minutes after sitting much of the first half in foul trouble. But Pollard didn't need to score to frustrate the Eagles. The KSU senior worked the middle of the Eastern Michigan zone to perfection, dishing out a season-high seven assists and setting up several Spicer dunks.
Jimmy Hall added 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes. Chris Ortiz offered a big lift off of the KSU bench with 12 points and five rebounds in his 22 minutes.
The Flashes controlled the boards to the tune of 48-36. They also outscored the Eagles 32-22 in the paint.
Kent State goes on the road Friday night to take on Ohio University in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU live from the Convocation Center in Athens. Eastern Michigan will be at Western Michigan Saturday (2 p.m. ET).
POSTGAME KSU PRESSER HERE
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics)