Kent State Soars Past Alcorn State 77-58 In Home Opener
Box Score in .PDF
Golden Flashes dominate the second half for the second straight game
KENT, Ohio – Junior Chris Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) brought the Kent State faithful to their feet with a couple of highlight reel dunks and finished with a team high-15 points as Kent State dispatched Alcorn State by a 77-58 final score in the Golden Flashes 2011-12 home opener.
The win improves Kent State to 2-0 and sets up a marque non-conference showdown on Tuesday night against Northeast Ohio rival Cleveland State (3-0).
Three other players joined Evans in double figures for the Golden Flashes including senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) who had 12 points and seven rebounds and senior guard Michal Porrini (Massilon, Ohio) who had 12 points and six assists. Sophomore guard Eric Gaines added a career high 11 points and three assists.
Marquiz Baker was the story in the first half for Alcon State (1-2). Behind the play of Baker, who finished with 29 points on 8-21 from the field and 5-13 from three, the Braves held the lead throughout the majority of the first 20 minutes. Baker had 19 of Alcorn State's 30 points at the break, but Kent State still managed a slight 32-30 lead after Porrini found Greene underneath for and easy lay-up at the buzzer.
Much like they did in their season opening win at West Virginia on Tuesday, the Golden Flashes came out of the locker room at halftime and dominated the final 20 minutes of the game. Kent State had a plus-seven (20-13) rebound advantage in the second half while holding Alcorn State to a mere 6-24 (24 percent) from the field. The Golden Flashes meanwhile shot an impressive 17-29 (58.6 percent).
The turning point of the second half was a 16-2 Kent State run, which was capped off with a highlight-reel worthy dunk from Evans off a pretty feed from senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.). Evans, who had six points during the run, gave the Golden Flashes a 52-35 lead with 13:06 remaining with his dunk. Kent State continued to make a defensive stance throughout the second half building that lead to as much as 24 points before the final buzzer.
Kent State continues its five game home stand with the Cleveland State showdown on Tuesday night at 7:30 pm in the M.A.C. Center. For ticket information contact the Kent State Athletics Ticket Office at 330-672-2244.
Post game Quotes:
Kent State Head Coach Rod Senderoff
On bench points (Kent State out scored Alcorn State 38-6)
"Any night, I think that we have a number of guys who can come off the bench and help us for sure. Tonight, for some reason, I just wasn't happy in the beginning of the game with the starters efforts. I thought the guys on the bench came in and really lifted us a great deal. That helped turn the game in the first half because we were sort of lethargic for some reason. I do think in the second half that the starters started in the right way."
On halftime adjustments
"At halftime we just talked about the intensity level and just coming out and playing the right way. We were fortunate to be up becuase we really didn't play all that well. Obviosuly the rebounding was a big issue and Baker was a big issue, but in the second half he only had one field goal snad we were plus seven on the glass so I think our guys responded."
On foul troubles
"I'll be worried anytime Justin (Greene) is in foul trouble. I'd rather him not be in foul trouble. He was the player of the year last year. Tonight we were able to extend the lead without him. There's going to be nights that Mike Porrini is in foul trouble and we're going to have to extend the lead without Mike or play without him. We did a great job without him tonight and other guys stepped up.
On Cleveland State
"They're very good. We're going to have to play really well to beat them. They are a very well coached and they have four senior starters."
Kent State Senior Guard Carlton Guyton
On the second half
"We picked it up defensively and started rebounding on the fast break. That's how we play we got on the run and made some buckets and got everyone involved."
Junior Forward Chris Evans
On team stepping up
"That's a luxury on our team. We have depth and we don't really have to count on one person to carry us throughout the game. So when one person goes down, somebody comes off the bench or somebody else steps up and brings the intensity to the game.
On playing in the M.A.C. Center
"It was a great atmosphere, it was a lot different than where I was at my freshman year and junior college. The fans really get involved. It's an atmosphere I like playing in and enjoying seeing the crowd getting involved and our bench getting involved when all things are going well."
• Kent State out rebounded Alcorn State 20-13 in the second half
• Sixth straight win in a home opener for Kent State
• Kent State is averaging 36.0 points per game in the paint in the first two games
• Kent State had a 38-6 advantage in points scored from the bench tonight
• Kent State is averaging 43.5 points in the second half this season while shooting 35-60 (58.3 percent) from the field
• Sophomore Eric Gaines had a career high 11 points
• Junior Randal Holt (8 points) surpassed the 500 career point mark. holt now has 504 points in 69 career games
• Kent State is 12-4 the last two years when Michael Porrini has at least five assists (6 assists tonight)
• Senior Carlton Guyton gave Kent State a +23 (61-38) in points scored during the 29 minutes he played