The Golden Flashes, who fell to 7-3 on the season, will play Penn State at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday in the consolation game on FoxSports1.
Despite being plagued by turnovers and struggles at the foul line, Kent State played right with an SMU team that . . .
"I thought they played well and we didn't particularly play well," said head coach Rob Senderoff said. "We knew they were going to play well with coach Brown coming back. We know they are going to have a great season, but we came here to win.''
It was not the start Kent State hoped for, as it fell behind 10-2 while starting center Khaliq Spicer picked up two fouls in the opening 2:20 of the contest. The Flashes fought back to get within 22-19 on a Xavier Pollard three-point field goal with just over seven minutes remaining in the opening stanza, but SMU responded with a 14-4 run to increase its lead to 13.
The final three minutes of the first half belonged to the Flashes. Raasean Davis converted two free throw out of the final media timeout, Jimmy Hall made a jump shot and Deon Edwin made a three-point shot on back-to-back possessions to pull within 41-33 at halftime.
Kent State remained close and got within 52-47 at the 15:01 mark on a layup by Chris Ortiz before an 8-0 SMU run helped the Mustangs stretch their lead.
A Kellon Thomas three-pointer with 7:20 to play put the Flashes within single-digits at 70-61 for the final time.
Making his seventh consecutive start, Walker had his best game in a Kent State uniform. The Detroit, Mich. native finished with a stat line of 20 points, six rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes — all career-bests. He shot 5-for-9 from the three-point line and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.
The game featured 50 fouls, and the Flashes' frontline played through foul trouble most of the night. Jimmy Hall scored 13 points and had four rebounds before fouling out in 26 minutes, while Khaliq Spicer was limited to four points and two rebounds in 14 minutes.
SMU made half of its shots overall (29-for-58) and at the three-point stripe (7-for-14) while converting 25 of 31 free throw attempts (80.6 percent). Nic Moore led the way with 25 points and eight assists, but the All-American point guard was forced into five turnovers. Keith Frazier (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Jordan Tolbert (18 points, 10 rebounds) both had a double-double for the Mustangs.
(Courtesy of KSU Athletics)