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MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Central Michigan Chippewas

Kevin Zabo led all scorers with 22 points, as Kent State overcomes halftime deficit to defeat Central Michigan, 84-76 in Mount Pleasant.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 16 Western Michigan at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kent State overcame a nine point deficit at halftime to come back and defeat the Central Michigan Chippewas, 84-76. A 22 point effort from Kevin Zabo was a huge factor. Kent State moves to 11-10 (5-3 MAC) with the win and Central Michigan falls to 13-8 (2-6 MAC) after the loss.

Jaylin Walker added 21 points and eight rebounds to go along with Zabo’s performance. Adonis De La Rosa earned a double double, as he added 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds on the night, and Jalen Avery scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds for the Golden Flashes.

The Golden Flashes were able to connect on 28 of their 61 (46%) shot attempts. Kent State also made nine of their 27 (33%) attempts from beyond the arc. They were able to put the game away with their late free throws, making 19 of their 26 (73%) attempts at the charity stripe.

Five different Chippewas scored in double figures. Shawn Roundtree led CMU, as he scored 17 points and dished out five assists. Luke Meyer added 15 points and five rebounds, and Cecil Williams scored 14 points and grabbed six boards. David DiLeo earned himself a double double for the Chips, as he scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Kevin McKay added 11 points of his own, and grabbed seven rebounds.

The Chippewas were able to make 27 of their 65 (42%) shot attempts on the night. CMU connected on just eight of their 28 (29%) attempts from long range, but were able to cash in on 14 of their 18 (78%) shots at the line. Kent State was able to out-rebound the Chippewas 40 to 36 as well.

Central Michigan went into the half feeling pretty good with a nine point advantage. Kent State came out at the start of the second half trying to get back into it, and slowly crawled their way back into the game, as Zabo made a layup to tie the ball game up at 47 a piece with 15:40 left in the game. Both teams would trade runs, and would tie the game up again at 52 after a layup from Gavin Peppers with 9:26 left in regulation. Kent State started to pull away late in the game, as Walker nailed a three pointer to give the Flashes a 69-62 lead with 4:30 left. CMU would get it as close as four, but after a Zabo three pointer with 1:27 left, the Chippewas couldn’t overcome the gap.

Central Michigan will look to shake off this losing streak, as they stay home to host the Northern Illinois Huskies on Tuesday, January 30th. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.

Kent State will look to build off this victory, as they return home to host the University of Buffalo on Tuesday, January 30th. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN3.