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February 3, 2007For nearly six minutes Saturday afternoon it looked like Kent State had its hands full with visiting Eastern Michigan. The Golden Flashes eventually broke out of an early slump and cruised to an 81-46 victory in front of 3,462 at the MAC Center.
With the game tied at 2-2 with 14:16 left to play in the first half Armon Gates nailed a three pointer to start a 12-0 Kent State run that led to a 46-19 advantage at the break.
"We kept playing good defense and we made some shots," Kent State head coach Jim Christian said about overcoming the Golden Flashes slow start. "We missed a couple point blank shots to start the game."
The Golden Flashes' slow start did little to help Eastern Michigan's cause. The Eagles shot just 28-percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers. Kent State scored 25 points off those miscues.
"Tonight, it wasn't even the (shooting) percentage, it was just the way guys were flying around, guys were in help the whole game causing turnovers and again, this was now the third game in a row we've kept somebody under 50 (points)," Christian said. "That's very difficult to do, especially in our league where teams are so prepared and explosive; so we're on the right road we just have to keep it going."
Kent State shot 56-percent from the field (28-50), including 8 of 13 from behind the arc, and 72-percent from the free throw line (8-13). After struggling early in the season from the charity stripe, the Golden Flashes have now shot 70-percent or better in three straight games.
"We've been working at it; we've been working at it all year, it's just that sometimes it gets contagious," Christian said. "Chris (Singletary) went to the line and got us off to a great start and guys followed suit. Hopefully we'll continue to shoot the ball well because that will be big for us."
The Golden Flashes entered the game scoring 69.1 points per game but against Eastern Michigan shot after shot continued to fall. The offense, paced by Jordan Mincy's career-high eight assists, distributed the ball around the court to create open shots.
"I don't think we've been playing poorly offensively," Christian said. "Some days you make shots, some days you don't. We're getting the ball to where we want to get it and we're getting it to people; today we just got hot and made shots, those nights happen. There's going to be some nights we shoot the ball like this and some nights we don't. I think we're playing unselfishly, I think we're executing right now better than we have and that's the byproduct of it."
The victory extended Kent State's winning streak to five overall and six at home. The Golden Flashes have now won 11 straight over the Eagles.