Zabo's 24 Points and Missed – Yes, Missed – Free Throw Key Win Over Ohio

By Published: 1/13/2018 8:59:28 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Kent State Athletics

KENT, Ohio – Senior guard Kevin Zabo scored a career-high 24 points and missed a key free throw in the closing seconds to help Kent State clinch a 70-69 win over Ohio University on Saturday night at the M.A.C. Center.

Yes. You read that right. Zabo intentionally missed the second of two free throws with 3.1 seconds to play and Kent State clinging to a 70-69 lead. Jalen Avery then rebounded the miss off of the front of the rim as the final seconds ticked away.

"Coach (Rob Senderoff) had a great idea," said Kent State assistant coach Akeem Miskdeen. "He looked at us as Kevin was getting ready for the first free throw and said if he misses, I'm going to call timeout and tell him miss the second."

Senderoff assumed Ohio was likely to get the rebound, but with no timeouts remaining the Bobcats would have a difficult time getting a good look at a game-winner with three seconds remaining and their basket the better part of 94 feet away. After the miss, Jaylin Walker blocked out the Bobcat next to him and Avery grabbed the ball as Kent State (8-9, 2-2) secured its second Mid-American Conference win.

The Flashes took a 40-31 advantage into halftime and led by as many as 12 points in the second half before Ohio made a late run behind a string of three pointers. A layup by freshman Teyvion Kirk with 2:01 to play put Ohio ahead 69-68, but the Bobcats were held scoreless the rest of the way – a stretch that included missed layups by Kirk at 1:08 and by Kevin Mickle with 45 seconds on the clock.

Kent State center Adonis De La Rosa put the Flashes back on top for good with a jump hook at the 20 second mark. The Kent State center finished with 8 points and 3 rebounds. Walker chipped in 15 points for the Golden Flashes. Zabo added 6 rebounds to his career night.

Ohio was led by Kirk's 17 points and Mike Laster scored 11 for the Bobcats (8-8, 1-3).

Kent State returns to action Tuesday when Western Michigan visits the M.A.C. Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Published: 1/13/2018 8:59:28 AM Custom Tag