KENT, Ohio Kent State junior forward Justin Greene scored a game-high 23 points, including six in overtime to lead the Golden Flashes basketball team to a 78-74 victory over visiting Furman on Friday Night in the M.A.C. Center. Kent State extended its home court winning streak to 11 straight with the win while improving to 4-1 on the year. The Paladins fell to 2-1 with the loss.
KENT STATE 78, FURMAN 74 IN OT
Leading by 13 with less than eight-minutes to play, the game appeared to be in the hands of Kent State, but Furman continued to battle as the Golden Flashes showed signs of playing their fifth game in a span of eight days. The Paladins would hold Kent State to just a pair of baskets by junior guard Michael Porrini in the final four minutes as a 15-4 stretch to end regulation knotted the score at 65-65.
Noah States (17 points) delivered the biggest shot of the night for Furman when he canned one of his three, three-pointers from the left win with 12 seconds left to tie the game. After a timeout with six seconds remaining, Kent State had one last chance to win it before overtime, but an elbow jumper by senior guard Rodriquez Sherman rimed out as the buzzer sounded.
In overtime, Greene took over the game. Plagued by double-teams after scoring 15 first half points, the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year candidate found the open man for assists on the first two possessions for Kent State, then scored on the next two with a tip in and a jumper in the lane.
With the Golden Flashes now ahead by five (73-68), Greene came up with a block on the other end that led to a fast break. Kent State was unable to convert and States made another three-pointer to keep Furman within striking distance. Following a Sherman left-handed lay-up, a three from Amu Saaka (21 points, 11 rebounds) cut the lead to a single point with 29 seconds left to play. Porrini would make the first of two free throws on the other end before coming up with a loose ball rebound in the corner after a Paladin miss in the final 10 seconds. Greene then capped off his third 20-point game of the year with two free throws to seal it.
They were doubling me a lot, but my teammates stepped up, said Greene, who matched his career high with four assists. They did what they had to do. Its not just a one-man show, its a whole team. We have a lot of good players, and everybody stepped up and took care of business tonight.
Porrini finished his night with a Kent State career high 16 points while adding a team high six rebounds and matched Guyton with three steals. Junior center Justin Manns posted a career best with 11 points, while Sherman finished with 10 points, including a perfect 6-6 from the foul line.
Kent State shot 48.2 percent for the game, but was just 1-10 from three. Furman connected on 42.9 percent, including a 52.0 percent (13-25) clip in the second half. The Golden Flashes held a 23-34 (67.6 percent) to 8-12 (75.0 percent) advantage at the foul line.
Five games in eight days is tough. Weve played a lot of good teams, and weve played a lot of veteran teams. , said Head Coach Geno Ford. We were able to survive this opening stretch, so hopefully we can now get to where we make our team better. We havent had a regular practice in ten days and its hard to get better when youre just playing everyday. Youve got to get better on the practice floor.
Kent State will finish out the World Vision Classic at Cleveland State versus Urbana on Tuesday at 5:00 P.M. in the Wolstein Center. The Golden Flashes next home game is Friday, November 26 against Lehigh at 7:30 P.M.
Eighth overtime game in Geno Fords three years as head coach. Kent State is 4-4 in overtime under Ford.
10th career 20-point game for Justin Greene. Third 20-point game of the season for Greene.
Dating back to last season Greene has had double digits in a career long seven consecutive games.
Kent State made just one three-point field goal, but it extended the streak to 366 consecutive games with a made three-pointer.
Rodriquez Sherman was 6-6 from the foul line and is 19-21 (90.4%) on the season. Sherman entered the year a 63.7 percent shooter from the foul line for his career.