KENT - Redshirt junior Rod Sherman went to coast to coast on Saturday afternoon to rise up and throw down a thunderous dunk with 2.4 seconds left that led to an 'and one' and a Kent State victory over Western Michigan 74-73.
The rim rattler was so impressive it made it at #5 on ESPN's "Sportscenter" on its list of top plays.
“When I went to the basket, I knew I had to dunk it because he might block it,” said Sherman of his highlight real play. “When I got past the guard, I saw a little bit of lane and my eyes got real big. I still can’t believe it right now.”
"It was a heckuva play," WMU's Donald Lawson said. Lawson was the one who got 'posterized' by Sherman. "He got past some of our guards and went above the rim, got the foul and made the shot. I tip my hat off to him. All I could try to do was make a play on the ball. He got there quicker than I did and I tried to make a play on the ball and try to stop him."
The Golden Flashes (14-7, 5-2) found a way to win in a classic game at the M.A.C. Center. The game was a sloppy, foul prone game that saw the whistle be used 48 times for personal fouls called, but the game wasn't the complete mauling that you might expect with that many whistles. At many times, the contact was at a minimum.
Chris Singletary put on a show, scoring 21 points in the second half and finished with 24 points. Getting to the basket with ease and drawing contact, Singletary went 12-16 from the foul line.
“Chris was getting the ball in the mid-post and driving it and drawing some fouls and at least getting us to stay in contact with the game,” said Head Coach Geno Ford. “If not for him carrying us offensively, we would have been down 10 or 12 and it would’ve been over. He was big for us today throughout the whole game.”
Kent State somehow won a game in which "The David Kool Show" was on all day on every channel at the M.A.C. Center. The senior guard who recently became WMU's all-time leading scorer finished with a career high 38 points with seemingly every answer and every tough shot.
“We couldn’t guard him," Ford said. "We tried different guys on him; we put bigger guys on him, we put smaller guys on him. We double-teamed him about five or six times, and he scored during a couple of them. He was playing at a high level today. He’s a very, very good player. He’s a tough matchup because he can post you and make jump shots. We were just fortunate that we made the last great play.”
In the end it was Kent State who had the ball last, and in a game taken over by arguably the two best players in the MAC, it was Sherman who made the surreal play to send the M.A.C. Center crowd into a frenzy and to pull out the victory.
Kent State has now won 13 in a row against the MAC West, including 18 straight at home.
The Flashes will host the talented Northern Illinois Huskies on Monday night at 7:00 p.m.
FOUL GAME - Let me see If I can sum up the game I just saw on Saturday afternoon on the campus of Kent State University. It was the best game I have ever seen for a game that had entirely no flow or rhythm due to the constant toots of the whistle from the officiating crew of David Walker, Frankie Bordeaux and Sid Rodeheffer. 28 fouls were called total including some that had Steve Hawkins and Geno Ford more baffled than usual on the sidelines. “We just couldn’t get the whistle to stop blowing,” Broncos coach Steve Hawkins said. “ ... It was one of the most foul-plagued games I’ve ever been a part of. Both teams got people in foul trouble. We couldn’t keep them off the free-throw line and we had the wrong guys committing the fouls.”
MORE OFFICIATING - As a certified basketball official in the state of Ohio by the OHSAA, I have a little officiating experience and knowledge in me. Saturday's game had no flow or rhythm due to the whistles. Some of the fouls were non-existent, violations that didn't occur. WMU being called for a backcourt violation on a ball that was tipped. Frankie Bordeaux tried to explain that the Bronco player had established himself with the ball in the frontcourt after the ball was tipped then went into the backcourt, but that wasn't the case. A player control foul called on Sherman in the second half that just looked like an ugly drive that should have been a no call. Not to mention a lot of ticky tack calls with minimal contact during the course of the day. And how an official calls a foul on Singletary with 31 seconds left as Kool is in the process of calling a timeout is beyond me. As a game manager, you can't make that foul call in that situation, but they did.
BRACKETBUSTER TALK - Kent State has put themselves in a good position for a nice, televised matchup in the BracketBuster game on February 20. The pairings will be announced on Monday. The Golden Flashes had an RPI of 71 according to RealTimeRPI.com going into Saturday's game.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - KENT STATE 80, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 71
Junior Jamilah Humes scored a career-high 33 points to lead Kent State to an 80-71 win over Northern Illinois at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Ill., on Saturday.
Humes, a 5-foot-8 guard, made 11-of-18 shots from the field and 10-of-13 shots from the free-throw line. She also had nine rebounds.
Taisja Jones (20 points) and Jena Stutzman (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Golden Flashes, who have won four games in a row and are 13-7 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
''I was proud of our team's effort, especially in the second half,'' KSU coach Bob Lindsay said in a prepared statement. ''I thought we played really hard, and I thought we made some big plays to get the lead in the game. It was a good win for us.''
Huskies junior guard Marke Freeman recorded her first career double-double with 25 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
KSU overcame a 36-31 halftime deficit by scoring 49 points in the second half.
NIU (8-12, 2-6) made just two field goals in the game's final 4:35.
The Flashes held a 41-35 rebounding advantage and made 68.2 percent (15-of-22) of their shots from the field in the second half.