Through a combination of solid offense and defense late in the second half, Kent State men’s basketball beat Central Michigan 94-85.
With this win the Flashes improve to .500 in Mid-American Conference play at 2-2.
There was back and forth basketball down the stretch in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, but senior forward Danny Pippen gave KSU the edge.
Following a three by Central Michigan, Pippen scored on a layup to end a Flashes’ two minute scoring drought. Pippen was also able to get to the line multiple times late in the game, and went 12/16 on free throws.
With 2:40 to go Pippen had a dunk off an assist from junior guard Malique Jacobs to make the score 82-76 Kent State..
Pippen would finish the game with 28 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games.
“Our defense picked it up late, and it allowed us to get out in transition during a 10-0 run, coach Rob Senderoff said. “Malique had a great impact in this game along with Tervell Beck.”
Jacobs finished with a season-high 14 points and added four assists and three steals. Tervell Beck, a senior forward, had four rebounds and 10 points before fouling out of the game.
With 9:33 left in the game Beck had a put back to put the flashes on a 6-0 run. On Kent’s next possession he had a point attempt when he made a layup and was fouled with 5:52 remaining, but he missed the free throw.
Kent State came into this game first and second in the MAC in defensive and offensive rebounding, respectively.
“We’ve done a good job on the glass and that’s good for us,” Senderoff said. “When you have Danny Pippen, Justyn Hamilton, and Tervell Beck you can create talent on the boards; and that gives you an identity as a team.”
The Flashes were out rebounded by CMU, 38-35, but were able to capitalize on their boards by converting 19 second chance points.
Kent State sits at 5-3 (2-2), and will take on Michael Porter, 9th leading conference scorer Dwight Wilson, and the Ohio University Bobcats in Athens this Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.
Dante is a sports reporter. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.