Kent State Locks Up Louisiana Late For 76-67 Win
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Golden Flashes hold Ragin' Cajuns to only one point the final 5:24
KENT, Ohio – Kent State started off a three-game home stand this week on the right foot by using a late defensive stand to secure a 76-67 win over Louisiana at Lafayette.
Senior guard Michael Porrini (Massillon, Ohio) and junior guard Randal Holt (Cleveland, Ohio) each had 15 points to pace four players in double figures for the Golden Flashes, but it was the defensive effort down the stretch that proved to be the difference maker. Kent State (3-1) held Louisiana (3-5) without a field goal and to only a single free throw the final 5:24 as the Golden Flashes closed out the victory with a 12-1 spurt.
Any hangover from last Tuesday's loss to Cleveland State seemed to be put to rest early on for Kent State. The Golden Flashes hit their first two three-pointers of the game and later took control in the first half with a 10-0 run that opened up a 21-13 lead at the 7:58 mark. Despite the margin falling to six (36-30) at halftime things still looked very much in hand for Kent State.
The Ragin' Cajuns seemed to have other ideas however using an 11-0 second half run capped off by a Kadeem Coleby lay-up to grab a 50-45 lead with 12:02 remaining. Coleby would go on to finish his night with a game high 19 points. Kent State would not regain the lead until Porrini scored five straight hitting two free throws to tie the game and a three-pointer from the left corner for a 64-61 lead with 6:14 left to go. Porrini, who was 4-8 from the field and 6-7 from the foul line added five rebounds, six assists, three steals and had one key block on a fast break with less than four minutes on the clock.
Louisiana answered back with five quick points and retook a 66-64 lead on a Coleby dunk. That would be the last field goal of the game for them however as Kent State forced the Ragin' Cajuns into five misses from the field and five turnovers the final 5:24.
With the defense taking care of business on one end, Holt, who came off the bench, delivered the go-ahead three, his third of the game, at 4:26. Senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.) then added the dagger hitting a deep three with the shot clock winding down at 1:04 for a 72-66 lead. Gutyon, who also came off the bench, closed out the game with 12 points while senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) rounded out the double figure scorers with 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
The busy three-game week continues at home on Thursday as the Golden Flashes play host to Morehead State at 7:00 pm. For ticket information contact the Kent State Athletics Ticket Office at 330-672-2244.
• Freshman Devareaux Manley made the first three-point attempt of the night for Kent State extending the Golden Flashes streak to 400 consecutive games with a made three-point field goal. Streak started second game of the 1999-00 season vs Wis.-Parkside (Nov. 29) after an 0-9 performance vs Youngstown State the game before.
• Kent State has out scored all four opponents in the second half this season
• Third time Kent State has had four players score in double figures this season (3-0)
• Kent State held Louisiana without a field goal and just one foul shot the final 5:24 of the game
• Freshman Devareaux Manley earned his first career start in the fourth game of the year. Its the earliest start by a true freshman at Kent State since Chris Singletary started the opener in 2006-07
• Kent State is 17-5 all-time when Michael Porrini scores in double figures
• Porrini gave Kent State a +10 advantage in points scored in the 35 minutes he was on the floor tonight (Kent State won by nine)
• Justin Greene had eight rebounds tonight to move into seventh place all-time at Kent State with 627 career rebounds. Greene passed Harvey Hunt's 621 (1958-61)
Kent State Senior Guard Michael Porrini
On 2nd half surge
"We knew that we couldn't lose another home game. We worked too hard this week in practice to let it fall apart like that. The seventh minute was crunch time and we all stepped up and made big plays. It carried out throughout the team."
On the high expectations this year
"It's still early in the season. You don't become great early, you have to go through your flaws or they will catch up to you at the end of the season. We just need to play Kent State basketball and play team ball. As long as we play team ball, we'll be fine. We'll find our rhythm, and when we find our rhythm nobody will be able to stop us. We'll be good."
On guarding bigger players
"I don't have a problem with it. The only difference between them and me is size. My heart is bigger than theirs. So when I switch on to them, I know that I'm going to do my hardest to compete. If they do their hardest, it will be a good battle. At the end of the day, we won, so I will take that win home."
Kent State Junior Guard Randal Holt
On three point shooting
"We just wanted to come out and keep our confidence and keep shooting. We had an off night against Cleveland State and we did a lot of extra shooting this week in practice. We just wanted our guys to step up and shoot with confidence, and that's what we did."
On team playing
"After the Cleveland State game, we sat down and watched film as a team and realized that we didn't make enough team plays. We didn't make enough team plays for a teammate. And we realized we didn't get the ball inside to Justin Greene. So tonight we just wanted to pound the ball inside and let Justin Greene get there more early and play off of him."
Kent State Coach Rob Senderoff
On second half turnaround:
"Our guys just didn't want to lose the game. That's what it really comes down to. Sometimes you don't play well, which I don't think we necessarily did, but you find a way to win. That's what winning teams do. Tonight was a really good step in that we didn't play great, we were frustrated again for parts of the game, in the second half in particular. We came together when it really counted, in the last four minutes we were phenomenal getting stops and rebounds. Sometimes guys will their way to winning and I think that's what we did tonight."
On getting the ball down low to Justin Greene:
"It's been a focus for the last couple days, not necessarily in transition because were going to get a lot of transition baskets, but when were in the half court good things happen when he touches the ball. Tonight he had four assists, he didn't shoot well from the free throw line, but he had fourteen points. Every time he misses I'm shocked because I think he should make every shot he takes. He played well and I thought it was important for us to get him going because our team is better half court wise when he touches the ball."
On tonight's three point shooting:
"Almost every one of our threes in the first half was a penetrate and kick three or an inside out three. Those are the type of threes we need to shoot and I thought we did that. When you miss a couple in a row the basket seems to shrink, when you make a couple in a row the basket seems to get bigger. Confidence is a funny thing, it doesn't surprise me at all that we made ten threes. I'm more surprised that we shot poorly against Cleveland State. We were shooting very well from three going into that game. We have good shooters, we just have to take good shots and tonight we did. Then at the end Guyton made one from somewhere close to Hudson, but you know when you've made a couple that is bound to happen."