By EVAN MEYER
KENT, OHIO – Senior Antonio Williams scored 17 points as the Kent State Golden Flashes shot 55 percent from the field in defeating the Miami Redhawks 74-61 Tuesday night at the MAC Center.
With the victory, Kent State (18-10, 8-7 MAC) ended a two –game losing streak and solidified its position for hosting a first round home game in the upcoming 2020 Mid-American Conference Tournament. KSU also has an outside chance to grabbing a first round bye.
Miami (10-17, 3-11) suffered its sixth loss in the last seven outings while remaining winless on the road in MAC play at 0-8.
Isiah Coleman-Lands was the only MU player scoring in double figures coming off the bench to score 12 points.
Junior Danny Pippen came off the bench to score 16 points and pull down four rebounds. Sophomore Anthony Roberts had 13 with five assists while Senior Phillip Whittington added 12.
“Its hard at this point of the season to get a win, so this was big tonight.” Golden Flashes head coach Rob Senderoff said.
This second regular season meeting between these long time MAC rivals began as a game of streaks.
KSU opened the contest scoring the game’s first 11 points, with the final three coming on a trey by Terrell Beck from the right corner.
“We started the game in great way.” Senderoff said.
MU climbed back into the game using a pair of threes by Coleman-Lands and one from senior Bam Bowman from the left arc.
Eventually, the 'Hawks used an 18-6 run to gain their first lead, 18-17, at the 11:21 mark and, again, it was Bowman from long range.
However, Pippen, who returned to the lineup after missing the double-overtime loss to Buffalo on Friday with a back injury, hit a three from the right arc at the 6:25 mark to give the Flashes the lead for good.
The home team then expanded its advantage to nine points following a driving layup by Roberts and went into halftime with a 38-31 lead.
Both teams shot the ball very well in the opening 20 minutes. KSU shot 55.6 percent from the floor (16-of-29) and held a 14-11 rebound edge, while the 'Hawks were 12-of-25 (48 percent) overall, including six baskets from beyond the arc.
KSU started the second half strong opening a 14-point lead-- its largest of the game-- 53-39 on a layup off the glass by Williams. He scored 13 points in the first half going 6-of-9 from the fiels.
The closest the Redhawks would get for the remainder of the game was eight points, 62-54, on a three from the right arc by Coleman-Lands
KSU held the visitors at bay and avenged their first game loss to MU on January 14th at Millett Hall 77-74.
The Flashes shot 60 percent in the second half (15-of-25) and won the battle of the boards 29-20. MU went 11-of-24 from the floor (45.8 percent) and a respectable 46.9 percent from the game (31-of-54).
Overall, the RedHawks connected on 11 threes from the floor to six for KSU. The Flashes won the battle of the boards 29-20 .
Miami returns home to face Central Michigan Thursday in a makeup game from January 28th, while KSU heads to Ohio to battle the Bobcats.
Editor-Publisher Mike Smith
Mike grew up in Mid-American Conference football and basketball territory and returned there after military service. He has been covering MAC football and men's basketball for much of the last several decades.