Kent State Drops Regular Season Finale To Akron 61-55
Box Score (.PDF)
Golden Flashes will be the 4th seed and start play in the MAC Tournament on Thursday
KENT, Ohio – Kent State (20-10; 10-6 MAC) will now head to the quarterfinals of the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament following a 61-55 loss to Akron (21-10; 13-3 MAC) in the regular season finale for both teams in front of a capacity 6,335 crowd at the M.A.C. Center.
The Golden Flashes played their best defensive first half of the season holding the Zips to a season low 18 points. The 27-18 Kent State lead would not last into the second half however as Akron used a 24-3 run in the first nine minutes of the period to seize control of the game. After connecting on 12-24 (50%) in the first half, the Golden Flashes went cold from the field during the decisive run as they shot 1-12 to start the period.
Kent State managed to pull back to within five with four minutes left, but an Akron three-pointer ended the rally.
The Golden Flashes were led by 14 points from senior guard Michael Porrini (Massillon, Ohio) and 12 points from senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.). Senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a season high 13 rebounds along with his eight points. Porrini, Guyton, Greene and senior center Justin Manns (Winston-Salem, N.C.) were all honored before the game for Senior Day.
Kent State now awaits the outcome of four MAC regular season games tomorrow to determine the final seeding for the other 11 teams in the league. The Golden Flashes will be in the quarterfinals on Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Call the Kent State ticket office for MAC Tournament ticket information 330-672-2244.
Follow the action throughout the tournament on the radio at WNIR 100.1 FM or listen online at www.kentstatesports.com.
Kent State - Akron Post Game Notes
• Kent State will be the four seed in the MAC Tournament, unless Eastern Michigan wins at Toledo and Ohio loses at Miami creating a three-way tie at 10-6. Head-to-head vs the others KSU is 2-1, EMU 1-1 & Ohio 1-2, giving the Golden Flashes a 3 seed.
• The 18 first half points by Akron were the fewest allowed in the first half by Kent State this season and the fewest scored in the first half by Akron
• Kent State shot 1-12 form the field in the first eight minutes of the second half
• The 55 points by the Golden Flashes are the second fewest this season (53 vs Cleveland State)
• Kent State had a +2 (38-36) advantage in rebounding and has now out rebounded four of the last five opponents
• The first team to score 60 points in the Kent State-Akron rivalry has won 26 of the last 28 games in the series
• Justin Greene a steak of 16 consecutive games with double-digits snapped
• Greene had a season high 13 rebounds
Kent State - Akron Post Game Quotes
Kent State Head Coach Rob Senderoff
On defensive intensity in the second half:
"What I think is that when you keep giving up transition baskets your defense isn't as good. When we miss a shot or turn it over and the other team gets out in transition, your defense doesn't look so good and on the other side of things your offensive doesn't look that good because you're forced to play in the half court every possession. We brought defensive intensity against Ohio and tonight we struggled with that in the second half."
On the MAC Tournament:
"We are going to have to play very well, very determined and very focused. We can't allow our offensive to dictate our defense. We're going to have to play as hard as we can for three straight games. We will be one of six teams who have a chance to win it all when we begin play on Thursday and I have all the confidence in the world in our team. We just have to play better and if we don't the season will end on Thursday. We just have to be focused."
Kent State senior guard Michael Porrini
On MAC Tournament:
"The regular season is out the window. You can lose and say 'we can do this or we can do that', but not anymore. It's win or go home in the MAC Tournament. We didn't get the regular season three-peat, we let our fans down, but most importantly we let ourselves down as seniors. It hurts a lot, but at the end of the day, the type of players and team that we are, we will bounce back. We have a game Thursday, and we'll be ready."
Kent State senior forward Justin Greene
On the loss:
"I'll take 110% blame for this. If I played any type of way I know how to play tonight, we would have definitely won this game. I struggled, so I think everyone else was seeing that and it was kind of messing them up. I'm going to take it on the chin, I'm a leader. When we win, I get the praise, when we lose, it's my fault and it definitely is my fault tonight. It wasn't coach, it wasn't the rest of the team, it was me. Everybody came to play except me, especially in that first half. When I finally got a little rhythm it was too late.
On moving forward
"I'm not going sit here and dwell on it (the loss), and my teammates aren't going to sit here and dwell on it. The last two years we had a regular season championship and it got us nowhere, so we just have to regroup and refocus. In the tournament, if we play hard for forty minutes, we can beat anybody, but as we showed tonight, if we don't, we can lose and the next time we lose it's over. I'm going to do what I have to do to make sure my team is ready for Thursday and hopefully we can make a run and get rid of this sting by winning on Saturday."