Box Score (.PDF)
Golden Flashes sweep MAC West Division for fourth consecutive year
KENT, Ohio – Kent State (18-6; 8-3 MAC) dominated the paint in the first half to roll to a sixth consecutive win with a 76-55 victory over Ball State (12-11; 4-7 MAC) in a Mid-American Conference cross divisional match-up Saturday morning at the M.A.C. Center. With the win, the Golden Flashes extended their streak to 30 consecutive victories over MAC West opponents as they swept cross divisional play for the fourth consecutive season.
Senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led four players in double figures for Kent State totaling game highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Greene was the focal point of the Golden Flashes presence in the paint early on scoring 10 of the team's first 19 points under the basket. Behind the effort of the reigning MAC Player of the Year, Kent State recorded a 26-4 advantage in points scored in the paint at half time which led to a 38-24 lead.
In the second half, the Cardinals attempted to get back in the game with a 10-2 spurt to pull within single digits at 43-34. Senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.), quickly ended any hope of a Ball State comeback however as he drilled one of the Golden Flashes' six second half three-pointers then found junior forward Chris Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) for another as the lead quickly extend back to double digits.
Guyton helped orchestrate the balanced Kent State offense totaling 14 points and handing out eight assists against just one turnover, while Evans reached double figures off the bench for the sixth consecutive game scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds. Junior guard Randal Holt (Cleveland, Ohio) was not needed for a late game three-pointer today, but still connected on 3-4 from beyond the arc as he finished with 13 points.
Kent State returns to East Division competition on Tuesday by hosting Buffalo. Game time is 7:00 pm and will be broadcast live on SportsTime Ohio. Follow the action on the radio at WNIR 100.1 FM or listen online at www.kentstatesports.com.
Kent State - Ball State Post Game Notes
• 30th consecutive win over a MAC West Division opponent for Kent State
• 4th consecutive year Kent State has swept cross divisional play
• Prior to Kent State's current streak there had been only four other cross divisional sweeps (Kent State in 2002, 2004; Akron in 1999, 2006) in MAC history (Divisional play started in 1997-98).
• Kent State had a +9 advantage in rebounding (38-29) snapping an eight game streak in which the Golden Flashes had been outrebounded
• Kent State improves to 14-2 this season when Randal Holt makes more than one three-pointer in a game (3-4 tonight)
• The Golden Flashes had a 26-4 advantage in points scored in the paint in the first half
• Sixth consecutive double-digit scoring game for Chris Evans off the bench
• Justin Greene has reached double digits in 12 straight games
• Carlton Guyton gave Kent State a +25 point advantage (59-34) in the 28 minutes he was on the court today. Guyton finished with 14 points, eight assists and one turnover.
Kent State - Ball State Post Game Quotes
Kent State Head Coach Rob Senderoff
On winning the games against the MAC West:
"It's unbelievable. I didn't want to talk about it until we were done playing the west because, like a baseball player pitching a no hitter, you don't want to talk about it. But it is a great accomplishment for our players. In his four years here Justin Greene hasn't lost a game to the West. That is a great accomplishment and something he can take with him forever."
On the six game win streak:
"I think after the loss at Akron, we sat down, the seniors and myself and Randal. They decided that time was running out and you have to play the right way every game to win. We watched the last 12 minutes of the Akron game. From that point on, the first practice after that was our best practice of the year and from that point on our kids have really focused on winning each game."
On scoring in the paint today:
"In the half court we always want to play inside out and get the ball either to Justin (Greene) or on drives in transitions. It is important for us to play inside out and we did that today. Obviously Justin had it going for a lot of that time and our kids kept giving him the ball."