Kent State took the lead early, 8-5, and led most of the rest of the game. They seemed in control, and led 44-31 with about 15 and change to go. Northern Illinois had other ideas, and mounted a furious rally to pull within 3 just 5 minutes later. Kent State battled to keep their lead after that, only relinquishing it when Laytwan Porter tied it up with 1:46 to go, and then tied it again after pair of free throws by Kent State’s Deon Edwin.
The Huskies struck first in overtime with a couple of Levi Bradley free throws, but never took more than a 1 possession lead until a Jaylen Key free throw gave us our final score, 74-70.
Kent State shot 43.5% from beyond the arc, but the Huskies were able to counter by crashing the boards. They held a 44-35 edge, and had a whooping 21 offensive boards.
Marin Maric led the Huskies with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Northern Illinois got key minutes off the bench from Porter and Eugene German, who scored 12 each.
Jaylin Walker led Kent State with 22, and was 6 of 10 from beyond the arc. Edwin added 18.
Kent State travels to Western Michigan on Saturday.
Northern Illinois travels to Bowling Green the same day.