The Kent State men's basketball team picked a good time to play their best game of the season.
And while we will not know officially till March, they may have changed the course of their season in the process with an 89-54 blow out over the Buffalo Bulls (10-5, 3-1) on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.
Buffalo has never won at the M.A.C. Center as they fell to 0-13 all time in Kent.
The Flashes took a 10 point lead at halftime (34-24) and exploded in the second half to shoot 74% in the half, 10/14 on three point field goals and score 55 points.
Chris Singletary led six Flashes in double figures with 18 points. Rod Sherman had 13 points while Anthony Simpson, Randal Holt and Tyree Evans all had 11 points. Justin Greene rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points.
“We were ready to play at a high level and really challenged them,” said Head Coach Geno Ford. “Yesterday’s practice was really competitive and fiery and I thought today’s shoot-around was competitive. Our backs were against the wall and the older guys did a good job of setting the tone for us.”
The second half quickly became a highlight reel of made shots from beyond the arc, dunks and other crowd pleasers.
Kent State's defense was solid all night. Buffalo's Rodney Pierce, leading candidate for MAC Player of the Year, struggled all night going just 1/8 from the floor with that one shot made being a desperate banked three at the end of the shot clock. Pierce had scored at least 20 points in eight straight games including a career high 31 on Sunday in a 78-65 win over Akron.
“It was Kent State defense,” said Singletary. “I feel like Kent State defense can stop any player. Kent State defense is team defense. So, when you’ve got team defense, it’s hard for an individual player to dominate. It’s not just one person that guarded him. It took five players to guard him. Tyree did a great job of applying pressure, which made it hard and the times he did get past him, you had someone stepping up making it even harder.”
The Golden Flashes wrap-up the three-game home stand against rival Akron on Saturday (Jan. 23). Game time is set for a 12:00 pm ESPNU broadcast.
The Zips were busy with their own impressive performance on Wednesday night as they beat the Miami Redhawks 69-49 at the JAR in Akron.
JUST LIKE HE SAID - Geno Ford used his ninth different starting lineup on Wednesday night. Ford said after the Bowling Green loss that there would most likely be some changes. Ford inserted seldom used Ian Pinckney in at guard with Mike McKee, Frank Henry-Ala, Anthony Simpson and Justin Greene. Singletary, Sherman, Evans and Holt combined for Kent State to accumulate a staggering 57 bench points. Chances are we will see the tenth different starting lineup on Saturday against Akron.
- The 74 percent field goal shooting in the second half is the highest for a half in the past decade.
- The 35 point margin is the largest margin of victory in a MAC game since KSU beat Eastern Michigan 82-46 on 2/3/06.
- The 86 points are the most scored in a MAC game for KSU since 111 at Buffalo on 2/15/06.
Read Stephanie Storm's coverage in the Beacon Journal.
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