"I thought our last game was the best defensive game of the year for us," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff, referring to last week's 58-46 win at Kennesaw State. "I'm now going to tell you that this was our best. Arkansas-Little Rock is a team that averages 77 per game. Even with overtime we held them to just 55 points on their home floor. It was a great win and great effort.
After playing to a 51-all tie through regulation, Kent State used five points off UALR turnovers on the way to a nine overtime points. Derek Jackson’s trey just 11 seconds into the overtime session gave KSU the lead for good. James White responded with a put-back dunk at the other end, but that was the last Trojan field goal until a layup with five seconds left.
Hall drew a foul while banking in a layup to cap a pick and roll from Kris Brewer with 35 seconds to play. The old-fashioned three-point play gave the Golden Flashes a two-possession lead at 59-53. Hall finished with a team-high 14 points to reach double figures in scoring for a eighth consecutive game. He also grabbed eight rebounds in 36 minutes.
Chris Ortiz came off the bench to add nine points and eight rebounds, helping the Flashes out-rebound the Trojans 42-34. Kent State also dominated the offensive glass while out-scoring UALR 19-6 in second-chance points. Ortiz helped KSU to a 22-5 advantage in bench scoring.
Devareaux Manley chipped in 12 points for the Flashes, who improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 away from the M.A.C. Center. UALR fell to 4-4.
Roger Woods scored 12 points to lead Arkansas-Little Rock, but the Trojans forward had his pocket picked by Jackson with 36 seconds to play in regulation. A breakway layup by Woods, who had stolen an inbound pass, would have given UALR the lead. Jackson's steal allowed the Flashes to play for one final shot and a chance to win, but a shot by Brewer at the buzzer was off the mark.
James White and Ben Dillard both added 11 points for UALR. The Trojans shot just 36 percent from the field all afternoon, including 31.6 percent (6-of-19) in the second half and 25 percent (2-for-8) in overtime.
Kent State is back in action on Friday at 7 p.m. when North Carolina A&T visits the M.A.C. Center.
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics/MRO Edit)