ATHENS - Chris Singletary scored 22 points and made a three-point play with 33 seconds left to lift Kent State past Ohio 62-60 on Saturday afternoon.
With the Golden Flashes (10-5, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) trailing 60-58, Singletary hit a layup and was fouled by Kenneth Van Kempen.
On Ohio's next possession, DeVaughn Washington turned the ball over with 22 seconds remaining and Rod Sherman made the first of two free throws for the final score.
D.J. Cooper, who finished with 21 points for the Bobcats (9-6, 0-1), missed a three with 2 seconds left.
Singletary was 7-of-12 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line to help Kent State win its fifth out of six games.
“Chris was an absolute monster and just refused to let us get beat,” said Head Coach Geno Ford, who won at his alma-mater for the first time in seven years on the Kent State staff. “He is a very talented player and when he comes to compete and not dwell on bad plays he is as good as there is and had another special game today.”
Tyree Evans scored 11 points; Anthony Simpson, 10; and Justin Greene had 11 rebounds for the Golden Flashes.
Ohio shot just 36.4 percent for the game to equal the lowest mark by a Kent State opponent this season. The Golden Flashes shot 39.3 percent. Kent State travels to Miami on Tuesday for a 7:00 pm contest. The game will be broadcast regionally on the Ohio News Network (ONN) available on Time Warner Cable CH. 362, AT&T U-Verse CH. 233, WOW! CH. 14, and Insight CH. 58.
NOTES: Senior Mike McKee moved into the top 10 career three-point field goal list at Kent State with his 118th career three. McKee is now tied with Harold Walton for 10th on the list ... The Golden Flashes had 18 turnovers to 17 for Ohio, marking the first time this year KSU has had more turnovers then the opposition.
SINGLETARY SHINES - Chris Singletary was a lot of things on Saturday. He was a leader. He was Kent State's heart and soul. He was the Golden Flashes answer, making the big play at all the right times. He was their sense of urgency. He epitomized their toughness and physical play, and he willed Kent State to a victory with the help of all of his teammates and coaches. The senior from Chicago's role on Saturday was to score. It won't always be his main role. Some nights it could be going for 10 points, six rebounds and five assists like he has earlier in the season. But on Saturday it was leading his team to a victory on the road in a hostile environment, an environment that hasn't been very kind to Singletary or to Kent State for that matter. Singletary came through when it mattered most. "At every time out, at every huddle he was into it," Associate Head Coach Rob Senderoff said. "He was about the team and it's funny how when you care about others things come back for you."
HIGH PRAISE - Ford had some high praise about Singletary during his post game press conference. "I just met with him two days ago and told him, his production might not necessarily really say this, but in my opinion in the years I've been fortunate to be at Kent State he's the second best player we've had behind Antonio Gates," he said. "He was special out there he was fantastic."
SIMPSON APOLOGIZES, THEN PERFORMS - Anthony Simpson did not have a very fond first impression of the Convocation Center in Athens last season when the Flashes lost to the Bobcats to begin the MAC season 71-65. Simpson only played six minutes and finished with zero points, one rebound and one turnover in his short stint. Simpson made up for it on Saturday with 10 points and eight rebounds, plus a huge dunk in the first half in traffic. "The thing I'll give Anthony Simpson is we walked in for practice last night and he came over to me and apologized for how bad he was last year and promised me that he wouldn't do it again," Ford said. "He came out today, hit some big shots, he had the big blocked shot, a couple of big rebounds, finished in traffic really well. He showed up and played like you'd hope a senior would on the road."
SCHEDULE BENEFITS FLASHES - Ford credited Kent State's non-conference schedule as a reason they will able to pull out this close victory in front of over 8,000 hostile fans, including the "O-Zone", the MAC's toughest student section. "I think that our schedule helped us," he said. "We played one home game in the month of December. We've just been on the road non-stop and so when you're on the road all the time it makes you really earn wins. I thought today that really benefitted us, the fact that we haven't been at home much."
FINALLY - Kent State won their first MAC East road game since March 9, 2008 at Akron. The Flashes went 0-5 last year on the road in the East...Geno Ford wins for the first time in Athens with the Kent State program. He was 0-6 all-time...Ford was able to match up with his younger brother Dustin, who is an assistant on John Groce's staff at Ohio. The older brother did get a small joke in during his press conference. "They're (Ohio) doing a great job. They got great coaches, other than one assistant and they've got really good players."
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - KENT STATE 50, MIAMI 39
Kent State held Miami without a field goal for the final 9:38 of the game en route to a 50-39 Mid-American Conference win Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall in Oxford.
The Golden Flashes (9-5, 2-0) used a 19-5 run to take a commanding lead over the RedHawks (3-12, 1-1).
Taisja Jones led all scorers with 11 points and had seven rebounds. Lorriane Odhiambo grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and scored six points.
''I thought the best part of this game was how we played on the defensive end, no question,'' KSU coach Bob Lindsay said in a prepared statement. ''It was ugly. Neither team's offense executed very well. But this game came down to us doing a good job defensively.''
Jena Stutzman (eight points) and Jamilah Humes (seven points) were also key for KSU.
Ashleigh Brown and Kirsten Olowinski paced Miami with nine points apiece.