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Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Ball State Cardinals Final: It's Jimmy Hall's world; we're just livin' in it

Kent State outplayed Ball State to take control of the lead in the MAC East.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Usually when only five players on a team score in a game, that team loses by a pretty big margin. Usually, teams don't have players like Jimmy Hall. The Kent State big man transfer from Hofstra notched a career-high 32 points on 14-17 shooting from the field to give the Flashes a 63-52 victory over Ball State in Muncie.

The win propels Kent State to a 5-1 record in MAC play, with the only loss coming at home against Bowling Green. Depending on what the Falcons do against Toledo tonight, the Flashes could have the best record in the entire conference (they're guaranteed at least a tie).

The first half got off to a bit of a slow start, as Ball State held a slim 10-9 lead with ten minutes gone by. During the next ten minutes things picked up a little bit. After trading baskets for a couple minutes, the Flashes were finally able to get a little bit of a lead. A 6-0 run over three minutes pushed Kent State out to a 26-21 lead.

A Sean Sellers layup broke up the run, but Kent State responded with another outburst of scoring. The Flashes scored the last six points of the half, with four coming from Kris Brewer. Kent State took a 32-23 lead into halftime and had to be feeling pretty comfortable. Hall scored 20 of his 32 in the first half, and just completely dominated the undersized Cardinals.

Ball State was able to get the lead down to just five behind six straight points from Franko House. Kent State responded with a 7-2 run to push the lead to ten with a little over ten minutes left in the game. The Flashes held that lead throughout the rest of the second half, and put the game away on a Derek Jackson three with 3:05 left to put Kent State up 15. A quick 7-0 Ball State run was a few minutes too late, and Kent State eventually won the game by eleven.

In his inaugural campaign in the MAC, Hall has been a relevation for the Golden Flashes. He was tenth in the conference in scoring before today's outburst and is sure to move up the leaderboard. On the rebounding side of things, Hall sits in eighth in the conference. He's hitting over 50% of his shots from the field and just takes over games. Kent State took a flyer on Hall, and it's paid off dearly.

Other than Hall, only four other players scored. Brewer scored 11 points off of the bench, but only went 3-9 from the free throw line. Devareaux Manley scored eight and picked up five rebounds, while Derek Jackson and Khaliq Spicer both had six.

Ball State didn't do much better to stuff the stat sheet. Only six Cardinals scored, and freshman Sean Sellers led the way with 16 points and six rebounds. House and Bo Calhoun both got in double digits as well, scoring 13 and 12, respectively.

Kent State looks to continue their tear through conference play as the host Central Michigan on Tuesday. It'll be a challenging game for the Kent State defense dealing with the Chips' high-powered offense, but this Golden Flash team have proven that they are a contender.

Ball State meanwhile has to travel to Akron looking to pick up the pieces after a four-game losing streak. It'll be a tough test for the young Cardinals, as the Zips are coming off a huge victory at Western Michigan.

Game Leaders

Points S. Sellers (16) J. Hall (32)
Rebounds S. Sellers (6) J. Hall (8)
Assists F. House (4) D. Jackson (6)
Blocks S. Sellers (1) C. Ortiz (2)
Steals Five Tied (1) D. Jackson (4)