By Beacon Journal staff
The swagger was gone.
The shots didn't fall.
The defense was nonexistent in too many stretches.
All that, combined with a season-high 19 turnovers, spelled defeat for Kent State. Buffalo snapped the Golden Flashes' eight-game winning streak Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena by a score of 70-55.
''We were a step slow the whole game,'' KSU basketball coach Geno Ford said. ''But in the first 10 minutes, we were extremely poor. You have to give [the Bulls] credit. They were sharp and maintained a high level of play throughout the game.''
All it took to halt the Flashes' momentum was an early 14-0 run. The Bulls pulled away in the opening minutes and never looked back.
The Flashes started the game with senior guard Chris Singletary converting a 3-point play, but the offense immediately went cold. During Buffalo's big run, the Flashes committed seven turnovers and went seven-plus minutes between baskets.
By the time they finally reached 13 points, the Flashes had no assists and had already turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 11 times.
Buffalo took a 33-19 halftime lead, but Kent State seemed to respond initially with four consecutive points to cut the deficit to 10 in the opening minutes of the second half.
But the Bulls went on to outscore the Flashes 14-5 in the next 41/2 minutes, extending their advantage to 19 points and taking control.
As poorly as the Flashes (18-8, 9-3 in the MAC) played, shooting just 35 percent for the game, the Bulls (14-9, 7-5) played like a team that had gotten itself back on track.
Buffalo shot 47 percent for the game, including 55 percent in the second half to win its third in a row.
''We knew [Buffalo] was going to come out and play well,'' Ford said. ''I don't know if anyone in our league could have come in here and beat them today.''
Singletary led the Flashes with 18 points and eight rebounds, tying Buffalo's John Boyer for scoring honors.
With his effort, Singletary moved into 15th place on KSU's career scoring list with 1,130 points. He also had three steals to take over fourth place on the school's career steals list with 178.
Kent State returns to the M.A.C. Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday to host Ohio University.