KENT — Warm and fuzzy feelings generated by the Kent State men's basketball team's 11-2 start were washed away by an ugly setback in Saturday's Mid-American Conference season opener.

Bowling Green scored the game's first seven points and never looked back while rolling to an 86-64 triumph over the Golden Flashes, who had won nine of their past 10 games and were 7-1 at home against nonleague opposition.

The Falcons (9-5, 1-0) owned the Flashes (11-3, 1-0)) in every facet, and claimed their fifth consecutive triumph in stunningly resounding fashion.

“This is the worst loss I can remember being a part of,” KSU coach Rob Senderoff said. “We weren't ready. That's on me. We've got to get better. That's the bottom line.”

Although the Flashes had been winning, Senderoff believed his team was trending downward heading into conference play. Saturday's result confirmed that suspicion.

“We've struggled since we came back from Christmas [break]. We've struggled with our assists, struggled with turning the ball over, struggled with creating turnovers. We haven't shot the ball as well. You name it,” said Senderoff. “We got bailed out against Albany [Dec. 28] — Jaylin Walker just made a big-time play [to win the game]. We were horrible against a Division III school [Oberlin on Monday]. Horrible. Tonight we didn't play a Division III school. We played a good team in our league that was ready to come out and make a statement, and they made a statement. We also made a statement, but not a good one.”

Sophomore guard Justin Turner led the Falcons with 20 points and five assists, while senior forward Demajeo Wiggins contributed a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Freshman guard Anthony Roberts scored a career-high 17 points off the bench to lead Kent State.

“That's a positive for him, something to build on. He's a freshman, so he's got to grow and get better,” Senderoff said. “There's a lot more to it then scoring though, and that's a problem for us."

Senior point guard Jalen Avery scored 13 points and senior shooting guard Jaylin Walker finished with 12, but they combined to make just 8-of-25 field goals with one assist. Junior forward Philip Whittington had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Walker entered the game shooting 46 percent from the floor, but went 4-of-12.

“Everybody's going to key on him,” Senderoff said. “He's got to be able to find ways to be efficient and score, and also reverse the ball and get the ball to other guys and find ways to score off of his defense, draw some fouls. But it's not just him. It's everybody, starting with me and filtering down.”

A 7-0 spurt pushed Bowling Green's lead to 16-5, and the Flashes never got closer than eight the rest of the way. The Falcons were ahead 42-2 at the half and pushed the lead past 20 five minutes into the second half, and never let Kent State get closer than 18 down the stretch.

Bowling Green shot 51 percent from the field, finished with 21 assists compared to 14 turnovers and outscored the Flashes 46-26 in the paint.

Kent State finished with just eight assists to 16 turnovers and shot 39 percent from the floor, including 8-of-28 from 3-point range.

“Poor shooting had a lot to do with the shots we were getting,” Senderoff said. “The ball didn't move, we didn't have assist opportunities. It was all one-on-one.”