Oregon State Beavers 69, Kent State Golden Flashes 50
Coach Rob Senderoff’s Kent State Golden Flashes were presented with an opportunity on Wednesday night, to get the kind of non-conference win that impacts your season. When Kent State scheduled the Pac-12’s Oregon State, its doubtful that they could have envisioned playing a 3-9 team on a five game losing streak. Not to mention, they would get their shot while the Beavers leading scorer wasn’t playing. Well, that was the opportunity placed in front of this talented mid major, looking for a win over a power five conference team.
The game was sloppy from the start, as both teams struggled to score points. The Beavers continuously turned the ball over in the first half, racking up 26 of them on the game. They also failed to rebound the basketball, surrendering an astonishing 34 offensive rebounds. Kent State’s Jimmy Hall hauled in 14 offensive rebounds alone. A statistic like this is great for Kent, sort of. How many missed shots does a team have to be throwing up to put up that kind of number. Well, an unimpressive 55 missed shots were fired in the general direction of the hoop by the Flashes.
Kent State was actually 10 of 52 from the field at the end of the first half and still only trailed by a point, 27-26. The bad shooting would continue in the second half, as the team would shoot 2.4% from three point range, that’s 1-24 for those of you wondering.
The Flashes stayed in the game for most of the second half, which is really an indictment on the Beavers as well, considering Kent was shooting at 27.6% clip from the field. Eventually, Kent’s poor shooting caught up with them and Oregon State put together an 18-0 run, which extended the Beaver lead to 60-42, with 4:27 to play in the game.
Now, Kent is a better shooting team than this and they do not lack for athleticism as seen by their rebounding numbers. Was the national television hype too much for them? Or, was it the fact that a mediocre performance would have notched them a road victory over a PAC-12 opponent? Probably a combination of both but Kent has issues to address before they enter MAC play.
Oregon State finished the game winning by 19 points, 69-50. Kendall Manuel lead the Beavers in scoring with 17 points on 6-11 from the field. JaQuouri McLaughlin was key with 14 points and 8 dimes while Drew Eubanks established a presence down low in the second half, dropping in 13 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and blocking 4 shots. Oregon State moves to 4-9 overall.
The Flashes got 14 points from Jimmy Hall and a career high 19 rebounds, however he struggled from the field again shooting just 7-22. Deon Edwin played well after being moved into the starting lineup and scored 12 points for the Flashes.
The Flashes are going need more from Jaylin Walker as they move forward. His scoring is key to Kent’s success, as it becomes more clear that despite their athleticism, they currently lack options offensively, and are prone to long droughts from the field. Senderoff is using a nine man rotation, which should be shortened up once conference play begins. Desmond Ridenour has been playing well off of the bench, and has been a bright spot along with Edwin in the team’s consecutive disappointing losses. There are times Senderoff has players in and out of the game so often, its no wonder no one can get in any kind of rhythm offensively. It would do him well, to simplify the rotation and not get so cute with the multiple player combinations. Find something that works and stick with it for more than 4 minutes at a time. It seems rather often that a player makes a terrific move to score and is sitting down at the next whistle.
Kent State plays again on 12/27/16, when they head to Austin to take on Texas. The game is at 7 PM EST on ESPNU.