November 15, 2009

McKee, Sherman pace Flashes in win over UAB

KENT, Ohio - Mike McKee scored a game-high 19 points and Rodriquez Sherman added 17 points and team highs in rebounds (7) and assists (4) to lead the Golden Flashes to a 72-65 win over the UAB Blazers on Saturday night. It was a career high in points for Sherman, and it equaled a career best in rebounds.

Kent State was able to hold UAB to 31-percent shooting in the first half to take a 35-24 lead. The Flashes used an 11-0 run over the final 3:17 of the first half to reach their lead. Kent State hit on four three-point field goals in the first half, including three from the sharp shooting McKee. The biggest one a 35-foot bomb to close out the half.

"We knew it was going to be a tough physical game and a challenge for us," said UAB head coach Mike Davis. "We dug ourselves a hole that was too big in the first half and Kent State had a whole lot to do with that."

KSU was able to extend its lead to 14 in the second half only to see UAB battle back to take a 52-51 lead with 7:41 remaining on a three-point play by Kenneth Cooper. Kent State answered back with a three-pointer by freshman Randal Holt with 6:42 remaining and the Flashes never trailed again. McKee hit seven free throws in the final 45 seconds to seal the victory.

Kent State was forced to play much of the game without Chris Singletary, who was in foul trouble. Singletary fouled out at the 7:34 mark with two points on two shot attempts.

"It was really encouraging what happened tonight because anyone who was at the game yesterday saw that we won because of Chris," said head coach Geno Ford. "Tonight it was Mike McKee and Rod Sherman who were fantastic. Plus we had some other guys make some big shots, like the three Randal Holt made on the wing that gave us back the lead."

Sherman was able to penetrate to the basket throughout the game and was very aggressive in his probing of the rim, while also mixing in some perimeter shots.

"At the beginning of the game, a lot of my teammates were telling me to do what I do and get to the basket," Sherman said. "That's one of my advantages, so whenever I saw the opening, I attacked the basket."

McKee, Holt and Frank Henry-Ala combined to score 33 points to give the Flashes a 33-12 edge in bench points.

Eli Millsap, younger brother of Portland Trailblazer Paul Millsap, led the Blazers with 18 points. Howard Crawford chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Kent State hosts Wisconsin-Green Bay on Sunday afternoon. The Phoenix defeated Samford on Friday evening, 70-68.

Game Notes:

  • Kent State's first win against a Conference USA opponent since 1998 (UNC Charlotte)
  • First double-digit game for Sherman since 2008 MAC Tournament semifinal vs. Miami (10 points)
  • Mike McKee now has 100 career three-pointers. Sixth time in his career he has made four or more three-pointers in a game. Last time was vs. Toledo (Feb. 3, 2009)
  • Of McKee's 130 career field goals 100 are from three (76.9 percent)
  • McKee's 19 points are one off his career high of 20 (vs. Coppin State Nov. 18, 2007) and his most since he had 19 at Eastern Michigan (Jan. 30, 2008)
  • It was the fourth time in McKee's career he has led the team in scoring. KSU is 4-0 all-time when he is the leading scorer
  • The nine points are a career high for Frank Henry-Ala against a Division I opponent (Had 10 vs. Shawnee State - Dec. 30, 2008)
  • UAB Head Coach Mike Davis was the head coach at Indiana when the Hoosiers beat KSU in the 2002 Elite '8'

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