Kent State Downed at No. 13 Xavier

By Published: 12/7/2017 6:34:53 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Kent State Athletics

CINCINNATI – The Kent State University men's basketball team (5-4) dropped a road game against elite competition, falling to the No. 13 Xavier Musketeers (8-1) Wednesday, 96-70.

In a return to his hometown, Jalen Avery scored 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting with a team-best five assists. Kevin Zabo scored 12 points and matched Avery's five assists. Danny Pippen led the team in scoring with 15 points on 4-for-7 shooting. Mitch Peterson had seven points, a team-best five rebounds and two steals.

"We had a couple spurts where we played the way I think we are capable of playing, but it's a 40 minute game," said head coach Rob Senderoff. "For us to beat anyone, we have to play well for 40 minutes and compete the whole time. We just didn't do that at the level we need to. So we have to regroup and we have to get better."

Kent State faced one of the nation's top teams Wednesday, but stayed in the fight during the first half. Xavier set the tone early, scoring the first 11 points of the game, taking a lead they would never give up. However, the Flashes regrouped out of a timeout and stopped the bleeding. Kent State started its best run four minutes into the game, scoring nine straight points to bring the score to 14-11.

From there, Kent State stayed within single digits of the Musketeers for the majority of the second half. The Flashes trailed 28-23 with 8:34 remaining in the first half and were within six with four minutes to go before break. However, Xavier finished the half on a 12-2 run, putting the halftime score at 48-32.

Xavier scored the first 10 points of the second half, allowing the home team to go into cruise control. Kent State trailed by as much as 34 points with 10 minutes left, but continued to battle. Over the final 10 minutes of the game, Kent State outscored the Musketeers, 31-23, shooting 10-for-22 from the floor.

Overall, Kent State shot 40.7 percent (24-for-59) from the floor and 37.5 percent (16-for-22) from 3-point range. Xavier shot 53.2 percent (33-for-62) from the floor and an impressive 96 percent (24-for-25) from the foul line.

Desmond Ridenour was an effective scorer off the bench, notching 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting. BJ Duling and Jonathan Nwankwo each chipped in four points.

The Flashes remain on the road this week, taking on Wright State Saturday at 3 p.m.

Published: 12/7/2017 6:34:53 AM Custom Tag