KENT, OHIO – The Kent State Golden Flashes used a 19-4 run early in the second half to defeat the Stetson Hatters 77-53 in Ohio State Classic action Saturday afternoon at the MAC Center.
The win moved . . .
“A good win for us” KSU head coach Rob Senderoff said. “We have to continue to grow as a team.”
KSU had five players to score in double figures, led by sophomore Anthony Roberts. He came off the bench to lead all scorers with 17 points, going 7-of-12 from the field. Senior Phillip Whittington added16 with nine rebounds. Senior Troy Simons added 12, and senior Antonio Williams had 11 with five assists.
The Flashes led virtually the entire game, opening a 25-16 lead at the 5:43 mark on a layup by Whittington.
The visitors from Central Florida and the Atlantic Sun Conference were led by junior Christian Jones, who came off the bench to score 15 points. Freshman Mahmadou Diawa added 14.
SU stayed in the game and closed to within six points (35-29) at halftime after Jones connected on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
KSU shot almost 50 percent from the field in the opening stanza, going 14-of-29 and held Stetson to just 12-of-32 from the floor, although SU held a narrow 18-15 rebounding edge
The three by Jones gave the Hatters some momentum as they closed to within two points on a jumper by Perry and a pair of free throws by junior Kenny Aninye when play resumed.
That, however, would as close as the Hatters would get for the remainder of the game.
Kent State's decisive run started on a conventional three-point play by Whittington. He provided eight points in the run, including a pair of and-ones, while sophomore Anthony Roberts had six points.
By the time the run was over, KSU owned a 55-37 lead with 11:27 remaining, essentially putting the game out of reach.
The game’s biggest differential came with 5:06 remaining when the Flashes opened a 75-48 lead on a three by Simons.
One of the keys was KSU’s defense on freshman guard Rob Perry, who came into the game as the Hatters leading scorer, He was held to just four points, going 2-of-7 from the field.
On the afternoon, KSU shot 30-of-63 from the field (47.6 percent) and won the battle of the boards 37-36. Stetson finished shooting just 20-of-61 from the floor (32.8 percent). They were only 8-of-29 from the floor in the second half and just 4-of-18 overall from three-point range.
Kent State continues its three-game homestand on Tuesday night when the Titans of Detroit Mercy from the Horizon League comes to Northeast Ohio