Kent State Runs Past Bryant 90-49 To Improve To 2-0
Six players score at least nine points for the Golden Flashes
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Kent State ran its season record to 2-0 with a runaway 90-49 win over Bryant in men's basketball action Saturday afternoon on the second day of the World Vision Classic. The Golden Flashes will look to go 3-0 as they wrap up the Classic against host Cleveland State tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.
Led by 19 points and a school record 5-5 performance from three, junior Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill. / Mineral Area J.C. [Mo.]), paced a balanced Kent State offense that had six different players score at least nine points. Joining Guyton amongst the six was junior Michael Porrini (Massillon, Ohio/Gulf Coast C.C. [Fla.]) who just missed a triple double by handing out a team high seven assists to go along with his 10 points and 10 rebounds.
"Early in the game I started going to the boards more than I did yesterday and in the exhibition game," said Porrini. "By doing that I was able to get a few rebounds which help lead to some fast break opportunities that got us going."
The Golden Flashes first took control of the game with a 14-2 run in the first half. One night after matching his carer high with 26 points on the season opener, junior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) picked up right where he left off scoring eight straight points to begin the stretch that placed Kent State ahead by 17 (33-16) with seven minutes remaining in the half. Greene, who played just 15 minutes would end the game with 12 points.
Bryant (0-2) shot just 33.3 percent in the first half, but on the strength of five three-pointers managed to keep the game close as the Golden Flashes led 39-29 at halftime
Kent State would then break the game open at the start of the season half as Guyton, who matched the Kent State record for three-point field goal percentage in a single game, hit three, three-pointers in the first two and a half minutes. The junior guard's hot hand all but put the game away as an 11-2 run that built up a 19-point advantage.
"I was running the floor pretty hard and my teammates found me open, I was just there to knock the shots down," said Guyton, who became just the fourth player in school history to hit a perfect 5-5 from three in a single game.
The Golden Flashes finished off the second half outscoring the Bulldogs 51-20 to post the 41-point victory which marked the second highest win total by Kent State under Geno Ford.
"We have a lot of talented guys and we added a lot of talented offensive guys in the off-season," said Head Coach Geno Ford, who is off to his third consecutive 2-0 start in as many years at Kent State. "We have quite got everyone on the same page and like every team in the country we are still a work in progress. I think today helped because it provided us the opportunity for some of the younger guys to get their feet wet."
All 12 players that played scored for Kent State, which shot 49.3 percent for the game and 55.6 percent in the second half. Freshmen Eric Gaines (Chicago, Ill./Hillcrest H.S.), Robert Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio / Bedford) and Darius Leonard (Raleigh, N.C. / Kestrel Heights) each had nine points, while fellow rookie Mark Henniger (Massillon, Ohio / Jackson) chipped in seven. It was the first time since the 2006-07 season that the Golden Flashes have had four different freshmen all played in the same game.
Kent State completes the World Vision Classic tomorrow against host Cleveland State at 6:00 p.m. The Golden Flashes will open their home slate on November 16 against Robert Morris at 8:00 a.m. For tickets to Kent State home games call 330-672-2244.