PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- Playing in its record eighth televised ESPN BracketBuster contes, Kent State was unable to handle a physical Drexel team, losing by a final of 73-66 Friday night at the DasKalakis Athletic Center.
DREXEL 73, KENT STATE 66
Junior Carlton Guyton had 17points to lead four players in double figures for the Golden Flashes (17-9), which previously had a five game winning streak in the annual event. Junior forward Justin Greene added 11 points and a career high 15 rebounds against a bigger and more physical front line for the Dragons.
The top rebounding team in the Colonial Athletic Association, Drexel (18-9) had two players record a double-double and out-rebounded Kent State 49-39. The opportunistic Dragons took advantage of a 13-2 edge in second chance
points in the first half and used a 15-0 run to help build a 42-40 lead at halftime.
DRAGONS WERE MOST PHYSICAL OPPONENT
It was tough for us to find a rhythm against a team as big and strong as they were, said head coach Geno Ford. They are the most physical team weve played all year and really beat us up in the first half.
The Golden Flashes regrouped at halftime, and despite opening the stanza up shooting just 3-16 from the field, still managed to shave four points off the deficit when senior guard Rodriquez Sherman hit a jumper in the paint at the 10:25 mark. Sophomore Randal Holt then got the lead down to seven with three of his 10 points with just under six minutes left to go.
Chris Fouch (15 points) scored the next four points and after Guyton pulled Kent State to within seven again on a pair of free throws a couple of minutes later. But the Dragons went back inside to Samme Givens, who scored a lay-up on his way to a team-high 17 points and 15 rebounds.
I liked the toughness we showed in the second half, and had we been able to knock down a few more shots, we could have made a bit more of a game of it down the stretch, said Ford. Playing for the third time in six days, our
guys were a little tired out there, so shots were falling short. We had a few players who looked like they had just run the New York City Marathon.
Along with Guyton, Greene and Holt, junior Michael Porrini was also in double figures with 12 points. Porrini did the bulk of his damage in the first half, scoring seven straight points to spark a 9-2 spurt, which gave Kent State a 23-22 lead at the 5:48 mark of the first half. Drexel quickly answered and took control with the 15-0 run over the next four minutes to take back the lead for good.
Kent State wraps up its four-game road swing on Monday February 21 at Western Michigan. The Golden Flashes enter the contest a half-game behind Miami in the Mid-American Conference East Division race.
The five-game KSU winning streak in BracketBuster games was tied for the most by any school in the event.
Kent State is now 6-3 all-time in the BracketBuster
Junior center Justin Manns added three blocked shots and has 15 blocks in the last six games.
The Golden Flashes equaled a season low with eight turnovers
Courtesy of Kent State Athletics