KENT, Ohio--The Kent State men's basketball team closed out the 2008 calendar year with a dominating 93-42 win over Shawnee State tonight at the M.A.C. Center. The Golden Flashes won their third straight at home and improved to 6-6 overall with the victory.
After a career low two points in KSU's last game, senior guard Al Fisher (Pennsauken, N.J. / Redlands (Okla.)) returned to his 2008 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year form shooting 4-5 from three and scoring 14 first half points. Behind Fisher, who finished with a game high 16 points and added five assists, the Golden Flashes jumped out to a 14-3 advantage in the first four minutes. Kent State then built the lead to 53-16 at halftime by turning 14 Shawnee State (5-8) turnovers into 28 points.
Senior Julian Sullinger (Columbus, Ohio / Fork Union Military Acad. [Va.]), shot 5-5 from the field and scored all 10 of his points in the opening period to help fuel the KSU rout. For the game the Golden Flashes handed out a season best 30 assists, which also rank as the third most in school history.
"I was happy with the flow of our offense tonight," said head coach Geno Ford who began his head coaching career at Shawnee State in 2001-02, "We had 30 assists on 36 made field goals which shows that we were unselfish and patient with the ball."
Kent State outscored the Bears 40-26 in the second half to account for the final margin. The Golden Flashes shot 51.4-percent for the game and held a 25-rebound advantage on the glass (46-21) which helped lead to a 26-4 edge in second chance points. Juniors Tyree Evans (Richmond, Va. / Motlow C.C. (Tenn.)) and Anthony Simpson (Rockford, Ill. / Highland C.C. (Ill.)) added 12 points each while classmates Brandon Parks (Bunker Hill, Pa. / Maconaquah H.S.) and Frank Henry-Ala (Pasadena, Calif / Motlow C.C. (Tenn.)) closed out the double digit scorers with 10 points each. Senior Jordan Mincy (Memphis, Tenn. / Ridgeway) was the benefactor of the KSU scoring handing out a season high seven assists in just 15 minutes.
The Bears, coached by Ford's former assistant Jeff Hamilton, were led by Justin Patrick with nine points.
Kent State travels to Hampton on Jan 3 and Temple on Jan 5.
Game Notes: The 30 assists are the third most in school history and most since KSU had a school record 36 vs Cleveland State (Dec. 17, 2003) ... First time six players reach double figures since Nov. 10, 2006 vs South Dakota State ... The 93 points are the most since the SDST game (105) as is the 51-point margin of victory ... Junior guard Chris Singletary (Chicago, Ill./Florida Prep.) was had his streak of 13 straight games with double figures snapped only scoring nine points in his first game without double figures this season ... Sullinger is shooting 23-30 (76.6 percent) and averaging 9.3 ppg in the six wins ... Fisher tied a career high with four three-point field goals ... Seven assists are the most by Mincy since a career high 10 on Feb. 21, 2007 vs Buffalo ... Mincy now has 284 career assists and moved into 10th place all-time at KSU ... Fifth double digit steal game this season (15 steals tonight)