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Southern Illinois vs. Kent State basketball final: Salukis down Kent State 72-69

Kent State's last second three rims out as the Salukis go to 3-0 on the season.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Southern Illinois defeated Kent State Golden Flashes 72-69 in tight battle between undefeated teams. The Salukis were led by Anthony Beane who led the Flashes with 32 points and 8 rebounds. The Salukis won the free throw battle 23-16 as the Golden Flashes struggled from the line, shooting an abysmal 16-36. The two bright spots for Kent State were Khaliq Spicer and Kellon Thomas who combined for 27 points and 8 rebounds.

The Golden Flashes struggled from beyond the arc as the absence of last year's shooters is really starting to be glaring. 7-24 on 3-pointers isn't ideal, and in a road matchup, just a few more needed to fall to make a difference. Jimmy Hall was able to contribute with 11 points, but the KSU offense has to run through him for Kent to win games.

The Golden Flashes missed a 3-pointer as time ran out in the second half and wasted a 43-32 rebounding edge over the Salukis. It's not like the effort wasn't there for Kent State, as the team plucked 20 rebounds off the offensive boards. They look to rebound at home as they start a two-game stretch with their first game against Marist. If the Golden Flashes can clean up the free throw shooting they should be poised to play very competitively not only in the MAC but in their non-conference schedule. Kent State showed some great things when playing on the road but simple mistakes cost them in a very winnable game tonight. As mentioned above if they can shore up their free throw shooting and limit turnovers they'll be able to pull out close games like tonight.