Kent State stayed close most of the first half before Valpo made a run late, building a 32-22 lead with 2:02 left. Adonis De La Rosa scored close while Jaylin Walker hit a three to keep the Golden Flashes in the game. They were only down 34-27 at the intermission.
The two teams battled in the second half, with Valpo holding a 65-63 edge at the 3:41 media timeout. Kent State was able to stick around by being better from beyond the arch. The Valpo bench held a 35-19 point advantage at that point, which would be the deciding factor in the game.
The Golden Flashes had a few chances to take the lead late, and closed to 68-67 on a couple of De La Rosa free throws with just 51 seconds left. Joe Burton, who was 0-6 at that point nailed a three to crush the dreams of Kent State.
Valpo made the shots late to win the game.
Jaylin Walker led the Golden Flashes with 15, but only shot 5 of 16. When he gets his head right, this Kent team is going to be formidable. De La Rosa hit all 3 shots from the field and all 4 free throws to finish with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Kent State takes on Loyola-Chicago tomorrow.