Kent State Outlasts Western Michigan 78-73 In Overtime
Box Score (.PDF)
Golden Flashes erase five point deficit with two minutes remaining to force extra period
KENT, Ohio – Kent State (16-6; 6-3 MAC) gutted out another hard fought victory over Western Michigan (10-13; 4-5 MAC) posting a 78-73 overtime win in a Mid-American Conference contest at the M.A.C. Center on Saturday night. Behind double-digit scoring performances by four players, the Golden Flashes claimed their fourth-straight victory.
After junior guard Randal Holt (Cleveland, Ohio) (13 points) hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help erase a five point deficit with just over two minutes remaining, junior forward Chris Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) dominated overtime scoring nine of his 18 points. Senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) would lead the team with 19 points, while senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.) added 14 in the Golden Flashes eighth straight home win.
Down 61-56 with 2:11 remaining, Greene hit for two of his 13 second half points at the foul line to make it a one possession game. Following a turnover by the Broncos caused by an offensive charge draw by senior guard Michael Porrini (Massillon, Ohio), Holt tied the game at 61-61 with his second three-pointer of the game from the right corner. Demetrius Ward then missed a jumper for Western Michigan, which set up Holt once more who gave Kent State a 64-61 lead with 1:27 left to play.
The lead was short lived as Matt Stainbrook evened the score with a lay-in and a foul shot with a minute remaining. The two teams exchanged misses in the time remaining, but neither found the bottom of the net as the game went into overtime.
In overtime, Evans posted his second ESPN Top 10 worthy dunk of the night scoring through traffic for and offensive rebounds and put back dunk. With the Kent State defense keeping Western Michigan off the board Evans capitalized at the foul line scoring the game's next four points to stake the Golden Flashes to a 70-64 lead with a minute and a half to go in the extra period. Holt then pushed the margin to eight with a key block and fast break lay-up.
The Broncos managed to stay in the game just enough and drew within three points after a 3-pointer with 13 seconds to play before a key hustle play by Porrini helped seal the win. Porrini closed out his night with eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Kent State returns to action on Wednesday at Eastern Michigan. Game time 7:00 pm. Follow the action live on the radio at WNIR 100.1 FM or listen online at www.kentstatesports.com.
Kent State - Western Michigan Post Game Notes
• 28th consecutive win over a MAC West Division opponent for Kent State
• Kent State set a school record with nine blocked shots
• The Golden Flashes entered the game ranked 12th in the nation with 9.0 steals per game (11 tonight)
• Kent State is averaging 10.6 steals in the last five games
• Kent State also forced 18 turnovers tonight
• The Golden Flashes entered the game as one of only nine teams in the nation with more than nine steals and forcing more than 17 turnovers a game
• Kent State improves to 13-2 this season when Randal Holt makes more than one three-pointer in a game (3-9 tonight)
• Kent State improves to 10-0 this year when hitting at least 15 free throws (23-35 tonight)
• First career overtime game for Rob Senderoff
• Justin Manns equaled a career high with 10 rebounds
• Justin Greene has reached double digits in 10 straight games
• Greene is 25-29 (86%) from the foul line in the last four games
• Chris Evans has double digits off the bench in six of the last seven games & is averaging a team best 15.4 ppg during the stretch while shooting 7-14 from three and 67% from the field while adding 12 blocks
Kent State - Western Michigan Post Game Quotes
Kent State Junior Guard Randal Holt
On not wanting to lose:
"As a group we just don't want to lose. You never want to lose in front of your home fans because it's devastating. We do whatever we have to do to win the game. It wasn't pretty but we got it done once again."
Kent State junior forward Chris Evans
On the put back dunk in overtime:
"It started off with Mike's block and then Randal missed the lay-up and I just never gave up on the play and slammed it in. I just never gave up on the play and kept hustling."
Kent State Coach Rob Senderoff
On the defense in overtime:
"In the second half, for the most part, we caused more turnovers and we were able to get more points off of turnovers. I know they shot a good percentage, but when we needed to get stops we did and it's something we've traditionally done. And tonight at the end of the game when we needed to get them, especially in overtime with guys flying around find a way to make plays making it difficult for them to get baskets."
On the close games with Western the last three years:
"Well first of all, they're very good. They had a brutal schedule, which is the reason their record isn't better than it is. But they're a better team and they've had a lot of injuries that they are dealing with. Probably one of the reasons is that they are very good. They are physical, they are smart, and they are well coach. So you put that combination together and you're going to have tough games. We're fortunate enough over the last couple of years to eek out some wins. Tonight, again, we found enough way to make a win."
On the play of Randal Holt:
"That's Randal for you right there. The one thing he'll never lack is confidence, which is why he's able to make those and he never hesitates to shoot them. And that is a great quality to have because it's not easy to forget that you hadn't shot the ball real well and then just let it fly. That's the reason he made them both and they were obviously huge threes, in big parts of the game and we wouldn't have won without them without a doubt."