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Ohio Bobcats vs. Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball final: Flashes hit second half run, stuff Ohio comeback

Kent State hit a big second half run and fended off the Bobcats to win and move to 3-1 in the MAC.

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Kent State staved off a fierce late effort, keeping the Bobcats at bay and won 89-82 in the M.A.C. Center Saturday night.

An 18-5 run spelled out victory for KSU, who went from tied 46-46 to leading 64-51 with 10 minutes remaining.

Kent State received timely contributions in this stretch from Chris Ortiz, Xavier Pollard, Kellon Thomas, and Jimmy Hall, the latter of whom struggled to get going early on with just 4 points in the first half. It was Pollard and Thomas who had themselves the best days with Pollard finishing with 23 and Thomas ending the night with 20. Hall put up 15 and plucked 10 rebounds off the boards.

Ohio wasted a strong early effort from Kenny Kamisnki, who scored 11 of the Bobcats' first 20 point. Kaminski netted 16 in the first half and finished with 21 on the evening while hitting a four-piece of 3-pointers Antonio Campbell picked up some of the slack down the stretch, which enabled Ohio to get back in the thick of things in the game's final minutes, but his 21 points were not enough. Ohio was within 4 points with 30 seconds to go after a Block triple.

Ohio led 22-13 in first, but KSU responded in turn as the two fought back and forth with Kent going into the half with the narrow 38-37 advantage.

A couple surprises came from the health situations that Ohio faced. Jordan Dartis was kept out of the game after sustaining a head injury, but Gavin Block saw the court for 23 minutes of play. Quite surprising given that Block wasn't practicing and that he was on crutches at Tuesday's game against Bowling Green. He tallied an unexpected 10 points.

KSU is now 12-5 and 3-1 in the MAC. They're setting themselves up to compete for a high seed for the MAC tourney. Ohio meanwhile falls to 10-6 and 1-3 in MAC play.

Game Leaders

Player Kent State Ohio
Points X. Pollard (23) Two tied (21)
Rebounds J. Hall (10) A. Campbell (9)
Assists Three tied (2) J. Simmons (9)
Blocks C. Ortiz (2) W. Mompremier (2)
Steals X. Pollard (3) K. Kaminski (2)