February 9, 2008

Hot shooting Flashes cruise to 19th win

Although the Kent State men's basketball team has been winning lately, they haven't been winning like this. The Flashes connected on their first six 3-point attempts in the game and hit 15 overall-one shy of the school record-on the way to a convincing 82-67 win over Northern Illinois in front of 4,056 fans at the M.A.C. Center.

The Huskies (5-17, 2-8 MAC) never really had a chance.

"Kent State, they were just on fire," Northern Illinois head coach Ricardo Patton said. "Every now and then when you are down or behind you need teams to slip up a little bit…good teams just don't do that. (Kent State) didn't have any slippage."

For the first time in four games Kent State (19-5, 8-2 MAC) was able to dominate from start to finish. Only trailing once-inside the first minute-the Flashes shot a blistering 79 percent from behind the arc in the first half and 52 percent from the field.

"I knew we would come out and play hard today," Kent State head coach Jim Christian said. "We've had two good days (of practice). We've talked a lot about the team and what we were trying to accomplish and I knew we would come out and play hard. It was just good to see us come out and shoot the ball with confidence and that starts to spread."

Two minutes into the game sophomore guard Chris Singletary ripped the first 3-pointer of the game. Senior forward Mike Scott followed suit on the next possession with a 3 of his own. Junior guard Al Fisher ripped the next three from long range. Eight of the Flashes first 11 field goals were of the 3-point variety.

The hot shooting allowed the Flashes to open up a 23-point halftime lead that grew to 27 at its peak.

One of the hottest hands was that of guard Rodriquez Sherman. The sophomore, who had a combined four points in the previous three contests, was a perfect 4-4 from long range. Sherman's game-high 16 points was a new career high.

"It was good to see him knock some shots in," Christian said. "He has obviously been struggling shooting the ball. He's played hard. He's guarded well. He's just been struggling shooting the ball. You knew he was going to break out of it."

The Flashes shared the ball extremely well as they picked up 18 assists on 25 field goals. Fisher and Jordan Mincy had five assists apiece.

Five Flashes scored in double figures, the first time that has happened all season. Fisher and Sherman had 16 points apiece. Scott finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. While Singletary added 11 points and Rashad Woods chipped in 10.

The win was the 14th home victory of the season for the Flashes setting a new team record. It is also the 19th win of the season, leaving the Flashes just one win away from having 10 straight seasons of 20 wins or more.

Game Notes:

  • The 14 home wins set a school record for home victories in a season (13-1 in 1998-99, 1999-2000)
  • 15 is the second most three's in school history (16 vs. Marshall 2/19/02)
  • 11 is the most ever in the first half and equal the 11 threes hit in the second half in the Marshall game
  • Largest MAC win this season (15), Largest MAC win since 16 point win over Miami Feb. 14, 2007
  • Career high 16 points for Rodriquez Sherman
  • First time five players scored in double figures since Dec. 9, 2006 vs IPFW
  • Mike Scott has made 20 straight free throws and 37 of the last 38
  • KSU has won 14 straight at home against the MAC West
  • Al Fisher has scored in double figures in eight straight games, a season high for a KSU player

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