February 22, 2009

Flashes rally for win

Despite clinging to the lead most of the game and Leon Buchanan's 33 points, Morehead State didn't have enough to hold off Kent State as the Golden Flashes rallied for a 79-76 victory Saturday night in front of 4,413 at the M.A.C. Center in Kent.

Buchanan's 15 first-half points gave Morehead State a 31-29 lead at the half, but the Flashes hung around despite their dismal 31-percent (9-of-29) shooting percentage.

However, behind the play of the "Big Three," Al Fisher, Tyree Evans and Chris Singletary, the Flashes were able to trade baskets with the Eagles all throughout the second half.

"We knew coming into the game that it would be [important] to contain those guys," Morehead State coach Donnie Tyndall said. "You got to credit them, they are a good, physical team."

The game lived up to the BrackBuster title bestowed upon it by ESPN as the intensity picked up and a tournament like feeling infiltrated the arena as the two teams managed to tie the game seven times in the second half.

Fisher's acrobatic lay-up tied the game at 63 with just over three minutes to play, causing the partisan crowd to rise to its feet and celebrate.

"The crowd was huge," Ford said. "Even though we played from behind most of the game the crowd really kept a lot of life in the building…it was a big win for our guys but we really needed the extra energy that was there."

Fisher's basket was the last time the score would be deadlocked because about 40 seconds later center Brandon Parks sank a free throw to give the Flashes the lead for good.

Fisher scored 27 points on the night in addition to Evans' 19 and Singletary's 15.

Evans' performance was particularly important because his 3-point shooting kept the Flashes close when his teammates were struggling.

"I was just shooting it like I was in the backyard back home," Evans said. "I was relaxed, I was comfortable…I was just in the zone."

Morehead State went cold from the field in the final two minutes and was not able to score until Demonte Harper converted on a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left. The Eagles cashed three more field goals in during the remaining time, but it was too little to late.

Buchanan was aided by Kenneth Faried's 17-point, 12-rebound performance and Harper's 15 points. The Eagles didn't get much help elsewhere, with the bench only contributing just four points.

With the win, the Flashes extended their winning streak to eight games, which ties them for the fifth longest active streak in the nation.

The Flashes resume Mid-American Conference action on Thursday at Bowling Green.

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