Kent State’s basketball team kept it close in the first half, but West Virginia’s defense finished them off in a 63-50 loss.
Kent State falls to 5-4 on the season, while West Virginia improves to 9-1.
“Our expectation is to come in and win the game,” associate head coach Aaron Fuss said. “That is the expectation at Kent State, to win these games, so we can take some positives, but there is nobody that is going to be happy in that locker room.”
The Flashes kept the game close in the first half, and they headed to the locker room down 25-22.
KSU struggled from behind the arc in the first half shooting 14 percent (1-7) with some open looks.
“The big difference in the game was missing some three’s that were wide open,” Fuss said. “We would take those shots every single game and would be happy with those guys taking those shots.”
However, the defense kept the game close. Kent State was able to force nine turnovers, scoring seven points off them.
Redshirt junior guard Sincere Carry had nine points and an assist at the half. Redshirt senior Justyn Hamilton added four points and five rebounds.
Kent State continued fighting in the second half, only down 40-37 early on. But West Virginia went on a 14-0 run midway through the half that put Kent State away.
The struggles from behind the arc continued, finishing the game shooting 22 percent (4-18).
The Flashes were the nations top free throw percentage shooting team entering the game, but struggled this game shooting 61.5 percent (8-13).
Carry finished with 18 points, five assists, and a rebound. Hamilton had a double-double with 10 points, and 12 rebounds.
Hamilton had a poor start to the season, but has had two solid performances off of the bench.
“[Hamilton’s] had a really good week-and-a-half of practice,” Fuss said. “He’s played accordingly, for him to have that type of a performance rebounding and finishing with the ball is the expectation for him.”
KSU turned the ball over 12 times, allowing West Virginia to score 13 points off turnovers.
“We gotta continue to work on things like cutting to meet passes, and being strong with the ball,” Fuss said. “In this type of game you have to be able to be strong with the ball, and make a normal play off of two feet and we had a lot of those.”
Head coach Rob Senderoff was ejected with 7:54 left in the game after receiving two technical fouls, after arguing a call.
“We have a physical program and we do not beg officials for anything,” Fuss said. “Our expectation is we are going to be able to play through anything, but that’s how it can go when you are on the road playing against a physical opponent in a hostile environment.”
Kent State will look to bounce back next Sunday against Southern University (5-6) at the M.A.C. Center.
Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.