AUSTIN, Texas – The Kent State Falcons (8-5) finished nonconference play with a marquee victory on the road Tuesday, defeating the University of Texas Longhorns (6-6), 63-58.
The Flashes won the game playing their brand of basketball. Entering the night as the best offensive rebounding team in the nation, the Flashes outrebounded Texas, 53-34, and doubled them up on the offensive glass, 22-11. The Flashes clamped down on defense, holding the Longhorns to 36.2 percent (21-for-58) shooting from the floor and 11.1 percent (2-for-18) from distance.
"Obviously a big win for us playing . . .
Jaylin Walker led the way in the scoring column, with 24 points on 50 percent shooting. He also pulled down seven rebounds, one shy of his career-high. Deon Edwin recorded his first career double-double, with a career-best 12 rebounds and 15 points. Jimmy Hall also had a double-double, with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. It was the first time two players earned double-doubles in the same game for Kent State since March 10, 2011.
"We were talking about rebounding hard and feeding," said Walker on the team's mentality at halftime. "If you have an open shot, take it. If not, move the ball and put it inside the paint. That was our talk."
Texas played well to start the second half, and reestablished a six-point advantage at 37-31 with 14:56 left. However, Texas then went without a field goal from 16:56 to the 6:45 mark,. The home team's drought allowed Kent State to go on a 15-2 run and take a lead it would never give up.
While Kent State held the lead for nearly the last 12 minutes, UT would make the road team earn it. Texas made it a one-point game on multiple occasions, finally on a Jarrett Allen dunk to make it 57-56 with 1:19 left. Playing with four fouls, All-MAC forward Hall made a clutch jumper in the paint.
Up three points, Desmond Ridenour made his fourth steal and found Jaylin Walker for a breakaway dunk. After one last Texas field goal, the Longhorns had a chance to tie the game down three, but Hall came up with a block with six seconds left, and found Walker for another fast break dunk to end the game.
In the end, Ridenour led the team in assists with five, and filled out the rest of the box score. He finished with four steals, six points and three rebounds. Alonzo Walker finished with seven points on 3-for-3 shooting with five rebounds.
The Flashes will begin conference play on Jan. 3 when they host Ball State at 7 p.m.
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics)