The Golden Flashes were a perfect 31-for-31 from the free throw line, setting a new MAC record for most free throws made in a perfect night. The previous record for the conference was 25, and the previous program record was 13. The Flashes were three short of the NCAA record.
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Jimmy Hall scored 20 points against the Cardinals, and led the Golden Flashes with nine rebounds and five assists without a turnover. Jaylin Walker was the team's leading scorer at 21 points, finishing 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. Kevin Zabo had his best game for Kent State, finishing with 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting with four rebounds.
The Flashes put on a show for the fans in the M.A.C. Center in one of the most up tempo games played by Kent State this century. Ball State threw the first punch, nailing a 3-pointer for the game's first bucket. The Flashes then rattled off seven straight points, establishing a lead they would hold for over 34 minutes Tuesday.
Still, Kent State would lead by single digits for most of the first half. With the hosts up nine points, Ball State went on a 19-10 run to tie the game at 37-37. A Jaylin Walker 3-pointer with 16 seconds left in the half put the Flashes up, 49-46 at the break.
Ball State came out strong in the second half, outscoring the home team 13-9 to take a one-point lead with 13:27 remaining. From there, the Flashes worked the ball into Hall, as four straight free throws from the senior started a 16-2 run. That run gave Kent State its largest lead of the game at 74-61.
Ball State cut its deficit to seven points on multiple occasions, but never came within a pair of field goals. KSU scored six points at the free throw line in the final minute to seal a 10-point win.
The Flashes reached the century mark for the third time this season, one short of the program record set in 1965-66. It was Kent State's first 100-point game in MAC play since scoring 105 points on Central Michigan on Feb. 10, 1993.
Overall, Kent State shot 41.7 percent (30-for-72) from the floor and 9-for-19 from 3-point range to go along with its perfect free throw shooting night. Ball State shot 47.6 percent (30-for-63) from the floor.
Kent State won the rebounding battle, 38-30, with 17 offensive rebounds and had the lower turnover mark, 13-16.
Five players scored in double figures for Kent State, including a 14-point effort from Deon Edwin. The senior also recorded six rebounds and two steals. Desmond Ridenour had another solid game, scoring 13 points, eight from the foul line. Adonis De La Rosa finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
Ball State also registered five double figures in the high-scoring contest. Ryan Weber led the way with 16 points, connecting on 6 of 8 from the field overall and 4 of 6 on treys.
Taylor Persons tallied 16 points. While he made just 4 of 13 from the field and was 0 for 3 from distance, Persons nailed all eight free throws. Franko House and Tahjail Teague scored 12 apiece for the Cardinals, while Trey Moses chipped in 10 points and a team-high eight boards.
Kent State will carry back-to-back wins into its next game at Ohio Friday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. Ball State hosts Bowling Green Saturday (1 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of Kent State Athletics)