Kent State Tips-Off Season With 70-60 Win At West Virginia
Rob Senderoff era begins with a monumental win by the Golden Flashes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Victory No. 1 for first year Head Coach Rob Senderoff is officially in the books. Led by a game-high 17 points from senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.) Kent State recorded a monumental 70-60 win over West Virginia on Tuesday, snapping the Mountaineers' 36-game non-conference home winning streak.
Junior guard Randal Holt (Cleveland, Ohio) was 3-6 from three and had 13 points, while senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 12 points and a team high eight rebounds in the Golden Flashes' first game of the season. WVU dropped to 1-1 overall.
West Virginia had four players in double figures. Kevin Jones grabbed 15; Jabarie Hinds had 13; Darryl "Truck" Bryant added 12; and Deniz Kilicli notched 11.
West Virginia led 41-36 on a Hinds steal and layup with 16:13 to go in the game. Kent State hustled back with a 15-3 run over the next four-plus minutes for a 51-44 advantage and never looked back. Five different players scored for the Golden Flashes during the deciding spurt, highlighted by an alley-oop thrown from half-court by Holt and thrown down by junior Chris Evans (Chesapeake, Va.)
Kent State returns to action with their home opener on Saturday at 7:00 pm vs Alcorn State. It is Faculty & Staff Night at the M.A.C. Center. Plus all fans can receive a free general admission ticket to the basketball game by showing your ticket stub from the 1:00 pm Kent State football game vs Eastern Michigan.
Contact the Kent State Ticket Office at 330-672-2244 for more information
Post Game Quotes:
Kent State Basketball Head Coach Rob Senderoff
"Great win, guys played hard, we competed. Obviously they didn't do a great job on the glass but did good enough. I'm certainly excited for our team to start out 1-0 to start the season."
On the opportunity to play against West Virginia on ESPN:
"I want to thank Coach Huggins for giving us the opportunity to play here on the first day. He's obviously a hall of fame coach. I want to just thank him for giving us that opportunity because most coaches would not do that. The game was not scheduled to be on television and he was willing to change the date so that it could be on TV and on ESPN, which for our team and our program is special for our kids to get that opportunity. Great win for us, without a doubt, but at the same time, really appreciative that Coach Huggins would allow us to come in here and play them on National TV.
On taking the lead in 2nd half
"There was a point in the game in the first half where I thought it might get away from us. We put Mike Porrini back in with two fouls. Mike only knows one way how to play. Learning how to coach him, maybe I shouldn't have put him back in with two fouls because he picked up his third. But it sort of helped us get back in the game, him being on the floor. He's really important to our team."
"I thought that if we could rebound with them in the second half, we could have a chance to win, because our transition is really important to us and we really couldn't get out into transition in the first half because the only rebounds we were getting were going through the net. I didn't necessarily think it would be youth or not youth but obviously a very young team, really talented, but they're young and we have experience and I certainly think that played a part in us being able to win."
On Kent State's 2nd half defense
"That's the way we play. We are far from West Virginia in terms of strength and size and athleticism and all of that stuff, but we really try to swarm the ball and make it difficult for you. Six of their top nine players are freshman. This was our fifth straight game playing on national TV. This was a lot of those guys first game playing on national TV, and it was ten in the morning and they have young kids. More pressure led to some turnovers, which led to some easy baskets for us and I think it made the difference."
Kent State West Virginia Post Game Notes
• First true road win over a BCS school since Dec. 15, 1970 at Purdue 64-62 (41 years)
• Fourth time in school history with a true road win at a BCS school (Purdue, 1970; Arizona State and Florida State, 1968-69 season)
• Second straight win over a Big East school
• The last six Kent State head coaches have all won their first game starting with Jim McDonald in 1982-83
• First time since 1969 Kent State has started its season with a true road win. Dec. 1, 1969 at Akron (68-66)
• Senderoff is just the second coach in Kent State history to have his first career game be a true road win
(1935 Donald Stern 34-22 at Fenn (CSU).
• Kent State has won its last four openers and improved to 55-41 all-time in openers
• Justin Greene became the eighth player in school history to reach 600 rebounds in a career. Greene had eight rebounds in the game and now has 605 in his career
• Dating back to the MAC Championship game vs Akron last season Randal Holt is shooting 17-32 (53%) from three in the last five games and averaging 14.6 ppg