Marist grabbed a 68-65 lead with 2:56 to play on a three-pointer by Khallid Hart, but the Golden Flashes answer with an 8-0 run to pull ahead for good. Galal Cancer ignited the spurt by answering the Hart jumper with a three of his own just 19 seconds later.
Hall was 9-for-11 from the line and 9-of-16 from the field in a double-double night that saw the redshirt junior add 10 rebounds and block a late Marist three to preserve a two-possession advantage.
"We talked about a lot of things coming into this game, including getting Jimmy better looks on the inside and turning around our free throw shooting," said head coach Rob Senderoff. "We accomplished both of those goals. Jimmy got a layup on a deep touch on the very first play of the game and took off from there. Our guys did a great job of looking for him, and I was particularly proud of how our guys handled themselves at the foul line late in the game."
Cleveland native Brian Parker led all scorers with 30 points on 11-for-14 shooting and Hart added 27 points on 9-of-15 from the field and 7-of-11 from three-point range.
Kent State led 36-32 at the half while dominating the boards to the tune of 26-15. The Flashes finished the night with a 37-26 rebounding while also outscoring the Red Foxes 17-10 off of turnovers, 11-4 on second chance points, 10-6 on fast breaks and 14-6 off of the bench.
Kellon Thomas scored in double-figures for the third game in a row for Kent State, finishing with 16 points, including a key breakaway layup off of a Hall steal at the 2:06 mark to break a 68-68 tie.
Khaliq Spicer added nine points and 11 rebounds while Chris Ortiz scored seven points to go with six rebounds. Jaylin Walker provided Kent State with a lift off the bench, dishing out three assists to go with two points and a steal in 19 turnover-free minutes.
The Flashes are back in action on Tuesday when they host St. Francis (Pa.) at 8:30 p.m. as the second part of a doubleheader that will see Kent State's women's basketball team host Minnesota at 6:30 p.m.
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics)