The Flashes started the half with an electrifying dunk from Chris Payton Jr, followed by a jumper made by Cli'ron Hornbeak. Despite the strong start from the Flashes, James Madison did not let up. With eight three-point shots made during the first half alone, the Dukes outshot the Flashes from the three shooting 48.6 percent to the Flashes' 39.3 percent. The Flashes left the first half down by five, 38-43.
The Flashes turned the game around in the second half, with a three-pointer by Jalen Sullinger assisted by Reggie Bass. This was 1 of 7 three-pointers that contributed to Sullingers' career-high 30 points, with four assists and two rebounds. Kent State Guard, Reggie Bass, contributed 22 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Although the Flashes put up career-high numbers, James Madison did not back down. TJ Bickerstaff found the net for a layup, giving the Dukes another two points on the board.
With seconds left on the clock, the Flashes had an 89-84 lead. With the Dukes hot on the Flashes' heels, they closed the gap with a three-point shot, narrowing the Flashes' lead by two. Noah Freidel closed out the second half for the Dukes with a layup to send the game into overtime.
Heading into overtime, the intensity was at an all-time high with Kent State leader, Giovanni Santiago setting the tone with an assist to Chris Payton Jr. with his second slam dunk of the night. Payton Jr ended the game with a career-high 25 points and 17 rebounds and added three assists, and three blocks, finishing his night with a double-double.
Payton Jr wasn't the only member of this Golden Flashes team with a double-double, Santiago contributed to the Flashes' overtime performance with 10 points and 11 assists. One of these assists to Jalen Sullinger, with seconds left in overtime, led to Sullinger making the three that tied the game and forcing a second overtime.
At the start of the second overtime, both teams struggled to find momentum with numerous fouls and missed-shot opportunities. Coming off the bench, redshirt sophomore Julius Rollins extended the lead by one with a free throw, making the score 105-104. However, James Madison started finding their rhythm when James Madison's Terrence Edwards sunk a three-pointer, extending their lead by three. With 13 seconds left, the Dukes' Xavier Brown made both free throws, with the score now 106-113. As the final seconds dwindled down, James Madison clinched the win over Kent State, 113-108.
-- KSU Athletics --