MEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State falls to Kent State at home
Perfect record against MAC teams is snapped
Ball State was hanging around.
At the time, the Cardinals were only down by three points. Kent State's Justin Greene backed down Malik Perry from the elbow, spun around with a fade away and hit nothing but net.
Greene took a leisurely jog back to the other end, looked directly into the stands and smirked, as if to say "that better?"
It would spark Kent State's offense (13-7, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) and lead them to an impressive 66-53 victory over Ball State in Worthen Arena on Thursday night.
"[Kent State] really dominated us in a lot of key areas," coach Billy Taylor said. "I thought they competed harder than we did tonight."
With his teammates rallying around him on his trot back, it was almost like Greene knew there was more scoring to come. Not just for him, but for his entire team.
Over a span of 10 minutes in the second half Kent State (13-7, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) would go on a 23-8 run -- putting Ball State (13-7, 5-1 MAC) out of reach.
Taylor said the high-scoring stretch by Kent State in the second period came from an overall disappointing effort in the first half.
"We played poorly the first 25 minutes, and when you play that poorly for a period of time it's going to catch up with you," he said. "Our poor play prior to that set the table for that [scoring run]."
Randal Holt would lead the stretch for the Golden Flashes hitting three-pointers from wherever he pulled up. He led all scorers with 21 points and also pulled down 5 rebounds.
"Around that stretch we started moving the ball real well. [Carlton Guyton] started getting in the lane, he started creating for other teammates and that opened it up for me and Rodriguez [Sherman]," Holt said. "We just stepped up and shot it with confidence."
Two other Flashes would finish with double figure scoring. Sherman scored 15 and Justin Green pulled in 12 points and 9 rebounds.
The Flashes finished shooting 47.4 percent (27-57) from the floor and 36.8 percent (7-19) from three -- five of those in the second half.
The Cardinals shooting, however, didn't get as hot.
Ball State shot 36.5 percent (19-52) from the field and 33.3 percent (3-9) from beyond the arc in the second half.
The Cardinals didn't help their chances to climb back in it. They turned the ball over 17 times, which turned into 22 points for the Flashes.
Four Cardinals finished in double figures on the night. Malik Perry scored 12 points and pulled down 9 boards. Matt Kamieniecki added 12 points, while Jauwan Scaife and Randy Davis each added 10.
Jarrod Jones, Ball State's leading scorer all season, was limited to just five points. It was his lowest output of the year.
"You got to give them credit. We came in knowing this was a tough team," Davis said. "This kinda shows us what the East is all about.