Kent State Starts Season with 111-78 Win over YSU

By Published: 11/12/2017 8:30:59 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Kent State Athletics

AKRON, Ohio – The Kent State University men's basketball team (1-0) started the 2017-18 season off on a high note, defeating the Youngstown State Penguins (0-1), 111-78, at Akron in the Northeast Ohio Coaches vs. Cancer Doubleheader.

The Golden Flashes scored 111 points in regulation against a Division I opponent for the first time since Dec. 17, 2004. They reached this mark despite only hitting two 3-pointers Saturday, instead going low to score 72 points in the paint. They also reached the foul line consistently, shooting 27-for-34. Overall, Kent State picked up 99 of 111 points in the paint or at the foul line.

"This was a really good team win," said head coach Rob Senderoff. "Defensively in the second half we were really on point, and we started to share the ball and get it out in transition to score a lot of points. It was great to see and a great start to the year."

Leading the charge was Adonis De La Rosa, who scored a career-high 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting. He also picked up eight rebounds, five of offense, and a block in just 13 minutes. Jaylin Walker matched him with 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting, paired with a team-best five assists. Jalen Avery also posted eight boards and five assists, along with 14 points and a pair of steals. Danny Pippen reached his career high of 13 points while also logging eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Overall, six players scored in double figures, a first since March of 2010.

The first half did not have the makings of a blow out, as neither team led by more than 5 points throughout. The Penguins hung with Kent State early on and held their largest lead at 14-10 in the first seven minutes. Youngstown State led for a majority of the first 10 minutes, but Kent State slowly asserted themselves down the stretch. Down 41-39 with a minute remaining in the first half, Kent State unleashed a 7-0 run to end the half and lead 46-41. All seven points came in the paint or at the foul line.

In the second half, Kent State took over immediately and ran away with the contest. The Flashes started the period on a 14-4 run to go up by 15 points. A 17-2 run would follow, putting the game firmly in the hands of the Flashes. Kent State scored their first 30 points of the second half in the paint or at the foul line, with a Taishaun Johnson jumper with 10:30 left breaking the streak. Kent State would only score two more points outside the paint. The Flashes led by 30 with just under a minute to go and ended the game with their largest lead.

Overall, Kent State shot 54.7 percent from the floor (41-for-75), 68.4 percent in the second half. Youngstown State finished at 38 percent (30-for-79) from the floor. Kent State won the rebounding battle, 57-41, with 17 offensive boards.

Desmond Ridenour finished the game with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. He scored on a layup after his lone miss of the game on an offensive rebound. Akiean Frederick made his Kent State debut by scoring 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting with five rebounds. Johnson also made his Kent State debut, logging seven points, six rebounds and two assists. Mitch Peterson tallied nine points and five rebounds, while freshman BJ Duling picked up seven rebounds and two assists. Kevin Zabo rounded out the box score with four points and three rebounds.

The Flashes will make their home debut Thursday when they host Ohio Christian in the M.A.C. Center at 7 p.m.

Published: 11/12/2017 8:30:59 AM Custom Tag