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Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Central Michigan Chippewas men's basketball recap: Chips make a statement, roll past Flashes 88-61

Feeling the absence of Xavier Pollard, Kent State could not keep up with Central Michigan in the second half, losing in a blowout.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The good times just keep on a'rolling in Mt. Pleasant.

Jimmy Hall led all scorers with 24 points and 9 rebounds in a losing effort, but Josh Kozinski (17 points, 5 rebounds) led five other Chippewas in double digits in a rout of Kent State by a final of 88-61.

The Chippewas (13-9, 6-3 MAC) had a Phoenix as their patronus on Harry Potter Night, scorching the nets early and often on their way to securing a fourth straight win and a potential share of the MAC West lead. Kent State (15-7, 6-3 MAC) was not able to overcome the injury to senior guard Xavier Pollard, running out of magic in the second half after keeping it close in the first 20 minutes.

The first half was mostly a two-possession game in favor of the Chippewas. Central Michigan held the lead for all but the first 1:36 of the game. The Chips were able to shoot the lights out, starting right away in the first half. Rayshawn Simmons, John Simon, and Braylon Rayson all contributed with converted three-point attempts in the first twenty minutes. The Golden Flashes had issues contesting these shots, as Central Michigan shot for nearly 50% (48.3%) from beyond the arc.

The turnover margin fell in favor of the Chippewas big-time. The Central Michigan defense forced 14 turnovers, while only committing seven turnovers.

Guard play was also a major factor in this game. The trio of Braylon Rayson, Rayshawn Simmons, and Chris Fowler combined for 41 points and 20 assists. On the other hand, the entire Golden Flash team mustered one mere assist the entire ballgame, a stat that isn't seen all that often. Without Xavier Pollard to direct most of the offense, no rhythm could be found, and chaos ensued.

In the second half, the Chippewas piled on a seven-point halftime lead. No resistance was shown, as Central Michigan easily reached a 27-point victory, shooting 60.7% from the field, and outscoring Kent 50-30. The 88 points scored tonight by Keno Davis's team is the most for the Chips since the 92-point performance against Akron on January 12.

Kent State will attempt for a rebound performance on Saturday, February 6, against Toledo, while Central Michigan will face off against Akron in an important top-of-the-table tilt Friday, February 5th on CBS SPorts Network.

Game Leaders

Player Central Michigan Kent State
Points Josh Kozinski (17) Jimmy Hall (24)
Rebounds Josh Kozinski (5) Jimmy Hall (9)
Assists Chris Fowler (10) Deon Edwin (1)
Blocks DaRohn Scott (1) No recorded blocks
Steals Chris Fowler (2) D. Edwin/K. Thomas (1)