The two teams that came into Tuesday's game at the M.A.C. Center are going in opposite directions this season, but that didn't forecast a blowout victory for the home team. Kent State held a consistent ten-point lead throughout the second half, but Miami eventually made it a contest. The RedHawks were down just two with a little over a minute left, but just couldn't make enough shots end the end to knock off the Golden Flashes on the road.
Kent State's second-half play certainly had this young fan feeling good:
Jimmy Hall had eight of Kent State's first twelve points as the Flashes seemed to have control early in the contest, leading 12-4 after six minutes of play. Miami did well to not get discouraged by their poor shooting though, and went on an 11-0 run to go on top 18-14. The run was fueled offensively by two straight 3-pointers from Eric Washington and Abdoulaye Harouna and defensively as well, as the RedHawks held Kent State scoreless for over five minutes of game time during that stretch.
Three straight 3-pointers by the Flashes, including two from Jaylin Walker, helped to stop the bleeding. The Flashes took the advantage into the locker room, ending the half on a 9-2 run after the game had been nodded at 25 just three minutes before halftime. Hall and Walker combined for 20 points to pace the Flashes in the first half
Miami was led by Geovonie McKnight who scored eight. The RedHawks didn't get anything going down low, as the only forward to score was Chris Bryant, and he only managed one basket. Miami also was outrebounded 22-15 in the first half and really needed to step it up in the second half if they were to compete.
The early minutes of the second half were not kind to the RedHawks. A 7-2 Flashes run put Kent State up 12 at 41-29 and it looked like Miami may be done for. That wasn't the case however, as the resilient RedHawks responded with an impressive 12-0 run to tie the game. Unfortunately they weren't able to build on that run, as Kent State used just two minutes to score nine unanswered.
The Flashes' success from beyond the arc carried over from the first half to the second. A Chris Ortiz triple put Kent State up 55-43 and Deon Edwin got in on the act as well, hitting a deep ball to give the Flashes their largest lead of the game to that point at 60-47.
Kent's lead would stay around ten for most of the second half - until the RedHawks starting sneaking back into it. Washington went on his own 7-0 run, bringing Miami to just a two point deficit at 66-64 with 1:21 on the clock. But, it was the Flashes who held on by making free throws. Kellon Thomas made 5-6 free throws in the last minute of the game to seal the victory.
Not all was lost for Miami - McKnight scored his 1,000th point in the second half, which is a feat all its own.
Welcome to the Club, G! pic.twitter.com/iLsGyiWDNV— MiamiOH Basketball (@MiamiOH_BBall) January 13, 2016
Miami (6-10, 0-3) travels to Ball State on Saturday still in search of their first victory. Kent State (11-5, 2-1) gets a very intriguing game at home against Ohio and can't afford to trip up again against a MAC East opponent at the M.A.C. Center.
|Points||K. Thomas (19)||E. Washington (20)|
|Rebounds||J. Hall (6)||D. Wade (9)|
|Assists||K. Thomas (4)||G. McKnight (3)|
|Blocks||Three tied (1)||D. Wade (1)|
|Steals||X. Pollard (2)||Four tied (1)|