The Wright State Raiders of the Horizon League traveled to the MACC Center to face the Kent State Golden Flashes on Sunday evening. Kent came into the game riding a three game winning streak, with their two most difficult out-of-conference match-ups following their bout with the Raiders, as they travel to Oregon State and Texas for their next two games.
Wright State jumped out to an early lead on two triples from junior guard Mark Alstork, who would prove to be the best player on the floor this night. He would add a third triple before the under 16 timeout pushing the Raiders out to an early 11-6 lead.
Alstork and 6-8 senior Steven Davis were able to keep the fleshes at arms length until Coach Scott Nagy decided to go small late in the first half and the Flashes pushed their way back into the game with tremendous bench production from guards Deon Edwin and Desmond Ridenour, who combined to score 14 first half points and cut the lead to 36-32 at halftime.
Kent State came out in the second half ice cold, missing their first eights shots. The flashes registered just 2 points before the under 16 timeout came. A combination of sloppy play and poor shooting soon had Kent trailing by 17 points with 11:19 left in the game.
Kent State Head Coach, Rob Senderhoff sparked his team though. Choosing to employ full court pressure on the Raiders, Kent’s pressure forced them into turnovers and poor shots, allowing Kent to mount a late game run that cut the deficit to 8 at 65-57, with just under 4 minutes to go.
With 2:41 to play, Kent State sophomore guard cut the lead to just 2 point after he converted a 3-point play. Kent would have their chances as they the had two consecutive possessions with a chance to tie or take the lead in the game. On the second of those possessions the Flashes missed 4 shots and before finally surrendering a defense rebound fouling with 15 seconds to go.
The Kent State defense had no answer for Alstork who dominated offensively with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Steven Davis pitched in with 14 points for the Raiders and was a key factor in slowing down Kent State forward Jimmy Hall. Wright State shot 12 of 25 from three point range and improved their record to 8-4 overall.
Jaylin Walker lead Kent in scoring with 17 points but was just 6-18 from the field and 1-10 from three point range. The Flashes as a team shot a dismal 6-26 from distance. They struggled to get the ball to forward Jimmy Hall in position to do any damage. Hall consistently received that ball at the foul line extended instead of on the low block and looked uncomfortable because of it. Hall finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds in the 68-63 loss.
The Kent State bench outscored the starters 33-30, lead by Ridenour with 15 points and Edwin with 12 points. Kent moves to 7-4 overall and will travel to Oregon State for Wednesday night’s 11 PM EST. game on ESPNU.