If Kent State would have played the first half of the game like they played the second half, everything would have been fine. Unfortunately that didn't happen.
Kent State's first half was certainly one to forget. The Flashes only scored twenty-two points in the first half, which isn't necessarily bad but when the opposition scores forty in a half it's not ideal. That's the situation Kent State found themselves in at halftime.
Loyola was white-hot in the first half, shooting 57% from both the floor and beyond the arc. Kent State, meanwhile, hit just 26% of their shots and were outrebounded 22-11. The Flashes aren't a team that can come back quickly, so digging themselves a big hole in the first half wasn't ideal.
The second half was quite a different story. Kent State burst out of the locker room with a 13-2 run, cued by five points from Derek Jackson. Loyola got the lead back to thirteen, but the Flashes stormed back. Kellon Thomas' layup with 7:12 to go cut the Rambler lead to three at 53-50.
That was the closest Kent State would get though. Behind eight straight points from Jeff White, the Ramblers pushed the lead back to ten with less than a minute to go, and the game was essentially over.
Not helping things was a 2-10 showing from the free throw line in the second half. While it's not feasible to expect that Kent would have made every free throw, even just three or four more made free throws would have made this a much closer game.
The Flashes had a really balanced scoring effort in the loss. Jackson led the way with twelve while Thomas and Jimmy Hall had ten. Khaliq Spicer had a game-high twelve rebounds, with five of them being offensive.
Christian Thomas led the way for the Ramblers with sixteen points and seven rebounds. Devon Turk and White also were in double figures, scoring fifteen and thirteen points respectively.
The Flashes get a few days off before traveling to Georgia to take on Kennesaw State on December 6th. The Owls are 3-4 but are on a three-game winning streak.