The #2 seed Kent State Golden Flashes had a very pedestrian performance by their standards to hand the #7 seed Miami Redhawks an 85-75 defeat in quarterfinal action at the 2022 Mid-American Conference Men’s Tournament in Cleveland on Thursday evening, but it was a performance which allowed them to advance— and keep their double-digit winning streak alive.
The Flashes appeared to be on the verge of running the RedHawks out of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on several occasions, in both the first and second halves. But to Miami’s credit, they never stopped playing.
The Flashes used some hot three-point shooting early to lead as much as 15 points in the first half. However, they failed to score the last 2:30 of the half and Miami was able to get within 41-32 at the intermission. It seemed that the Flashes were dominating the game but only led by nine at the break.
Kent State again had periods in the second half where they were in total control, grabbing its biggest lead of the game at 73-54 with just 3:42 to play.
But Miami was not done. RedHawks coach Jack Owens called for a full court press with about two minutes to play. The Flashes had trouble with the pressure and the RedHawks started getting turnovers and subsequent buckets. Remarkably, they got the lead down six points at 81-75 with just 32 seconds remaining.
Thankfully for MAC Coach of the Year Rob Senderoff, his Flashes managed to get the job done in the final seconds to secure the 85-75 win.
MAC Player of the Year Sincere Carry had a veteran performance for the Flashes with 15 points, 8 assists, four rebounds and two steals. Malique Jacobs led Kent State in scoring with 21 points and added 10 rebounds, while Justyn Hamilton added 15 points off the bench. Precious Ayah led Miami with 15 points.
The Flashes improve to 22-9 on the season and advance to Friday’s MAC semifinals. The Redhawks fall to 14-17 on the season, and will look forward to the next season.