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Canisius Golden Griffins vs Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball recap: Kent State's balanced attack defeats Canisius 84-77

Kent State hangs on late over Canisius 84-77 on a balanced effort led by five players in double figures.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kent State improved to 7-2 with a strong win over Canisius by holding off a late run by the Golden Griffins. The Flashes, led by Kellon Thomas' 17 points, three rebounds and four assists, shot an impeccable 54 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 45-29.

Kent State was in the driver's seat throughout the entire game, only giving up the lead for brief moments in the first half. Their big struggle in this game was the free throw line as they only shot 57 percent. On the flip side, they made 32 field goals on 18 assists and topped the 80-point plateau for the first time this season. They had five members from the team in double figures and are poised for a great run in conference play starting in January.

The Golden Griffins (3-6) were led by sophomore Jermaine Crumpton who had 25 points on 15 field goal attempts providing a very efficient effort. He alone kept the Golden Griffins in the game as he scored 10 of his 25 points late in the game. His last chance effort wasn't enough as Jimmy Hall had four clutch free throws to put the game out of reach.

Up next for the Golden Flashes is 19th-ranked SMU. The game is part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. It'll be a must watch as SMU is unbeaten and can be a huge non-conference win for the Flashes if they were to pull the upset. The winner of that game will move on to play the winner of Colorado and Penn State in the championship game. The Flashes then finish out their non-conference schedule at North Carolina A&T and home to Oberlin.

Game Leaders

Player Kent State Canisius
Points K. Thomas (17) J. Crumpton (25)
Rebounds C. Ortiz (10) K. Bleeker (7)
Assists X. Pollard (5) M. McMillan (5)
Blocks Three tied (2) M. McMillan (1)
Steals Seven tied (1) J. Reynolds (2)