KENT: Jalen Avery has found comfort in making plays in pressure situations for Kent State.

Down the stretch in a close game Saturday at the M.A.C. Center, the junior point guard decided the best option for his team would be for him to put his head down and head to the rim.

It paid off when Avery was fouled and hit two free throws with three seconds left to lift the Golden Flashes to a 64-63 victory over Bowling Green.

“I just think that’s a point guard thing,” said Avery, who finished with 10 points. “Being a point guard, you have to be able to step up in clutch situations; you have to be able to make free throws and uplift my team when we’re not playing as well.”

Bowling Green (16-13, 7-9 Mid-American Conference) had an opportunity to win the game after Avery’s free throws, but a 3-point attempt by junior guard Antwon Lillard rimmed out to seal the Golden Flashes’ 11th home win of the season.

Kent State will host Miami at 7 p.m. Tuesday before finishing the regular season with a 7 p.m. game Friday against rival University of Akron at Rhodes Arena.

Despite Avery’s heroics down the stretch, coach Rob Senderoff said he was more impressed with how well his defense played, especially in the second half when the Flashes (14-15, 8-8)held the Falcons to just 21.1-percent shooting from the field.

“To me, the story of the game was [33.8] percent field-goal defense [for the game],” Senderoff said. “For us, we have to play that way to win. The key to having a great team is being able to win when you’re not playing very well offensively.”

Sophomore forward Danny Pippen continued to find success at home for Kent State, scoring 11 points and adding a career-high seven blocks.

“I was just trying to impact the game the best way I can,” Pippen said. “Blocking [shots] is really my thing, it’s what I do. I was just trying to be everywhere tonight.”

Though he fouled out with 1:56 left to play, senior guard Kevin Zabo led the Golden Flashes with 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Juniors Adonis De La Rosa, who also fouled out, and Jaylin Walker also added 10 points.

Redshirt freshman Justin Turner led the Falcons with a game-high 17 points. Junior forward Demajeo Wiggins and sophomore guard Dylan Frye also scored in double figures with 14 points each.