The Flashes played a sloppy game, turning the ball over 22 times and losing the majority of rebounds, 34-29. Luckily for them, the University of Alabama at Birmingham was just as bad.
“Sometimes you’ve gotta win ugly,” Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff said. “Not every game is pretty.”
The recipe for the win was largely due to Kent State's strong second half. Like every game this season, the Flashes started the game slow. It was not until the second half did they decide to pick up the tempo.
Senior forward Michael Porrini, who is largely being credited as the team leader on this staff, started the second half with a quick layup. From then on, it was all Flashes as the team outscored UAB 33-20 in the second half.
Though the Flashes greatly improved their shooting percentage from the first half to the second, going from shooting 34.6 percent in field goals and 37.5 percent in three point shots to 47.8 percent FG and 40 percent 3-pt., they largely benefited from UAB's second half cool down and turnovers.
After shooting 42.3 percent in field goals and 40 percent from the perimeter, UAB dropped to 30.4 percent field goal shooting and 12.5 percent three point shooting in the second half. The Blazers also committed 23 turnovers over the course of the game.
“If (Kent State) would’ve taken care of the ball, they would’ve had a chance to win by more, and if we would’ve taken care of the ball, we could’ve had a chance to win the game,” UAB coach Mike Davis said.
The biggest difference from the Flashes' 75-59 loss to the Blazers last year was being able to contain Cameron Moore. The 6-foot 10-inch forward, who scored 28 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in last year's match up, was held to only 14 points and seven rebounds in last night's game.
“We really worked hard in practice on trying to limit his touches in terms of the help that we get in the post,” Senderoff said. “Justin Greene guarded him for most of the game and he did a good job defensively.”
The Flashes go on a six-game road trip beginning Tuesday as the team travels to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to face James Madison University at 7 p.m.