Western Michigan came in to Kent and sent a message for all the MAC to see. Both teams were tied in the MAC standings at 2-2. The Broncos needed a win to say alive in the MAC West. The Flashes needed a win to get out of the basement in the MAC East.
|Final - 1.23.2014||1||2||Total|
|Western Michigan Broncos||34||41||75|
|Kent St. Golden Flashes||24||35||59|
In the first half both teams traded baskets until the Broncos went on a 9-3 run to take a 19-11 lead. Western Michigan would carry a ten point lead into half time.
Kris Brewer drilled a three pointer to start the second half for the Flashes but Western Michigan would have none of it. The Broncos went on a 16-0 run to effectively seal the deal in Kent. The Broncos were led by Shayne Whittington who could seemingly do no wrong. Whittington capped the Broncos 16-0 run with two back to back ally-oop dunks.
The Flashes decided to let Austin Richie and Tucker Hammond shoot wide open threes all night and it came back to bite them. Richie and Hammond combined for 12 points behind the three point line. Connar Tava dominated the glass for the Broncos with ten rebounds.
The Flashes, as seems to be the theme this year, chucked up an ungodly amount of mediocre looks from behind the arc tonight. The Flashes gave the ball away 22 times tonight on errant three pointers. Kent State couldn't seem to get anything going on the boards either as the Broncos more than doubled the Flashes rebound production on the defensive glass.
Western Michigan played a very solid game tonight as the highlighted players, Tava, Brown, and Whittington, played exceptionally well. Richie and Haymond certainly did not hurt the cause tonight either. As someone in attendance tonight, however, it sure felt like the Flashes lost this one more than the Broncos won it. Kent State just prayed for a storm of three point shots to fall instead of actually getting the ball to the hoop. On top of that, the team just looked like their minds were elsewhere in the second half until the game was way to far out of reach.
If Kent State wants any shot to turn things around this season, it is going to have to happen fast. Good basketball teams don't just hold the ball for a couple seconds and then chuck up a horrendous three pointer. Too many guys on this team are trying to do way too much and that's just not how winning teams operate. This is a team that just has not clicked at all together, and it has been an ugly sight to see. Next up for Kent State is Toledo on Sunday.
Western Michigan looked very impressive tonight and could be a surprise force in the conference down the stretch. If the Broncos big three step up on a consistent basis, and they can continue to get help off the bench, without a question, they should make a legitimate run at the MAC West. The Broncos will take on Ball State this Sunday in Kalamazoo.
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