KENT--Powered by suffocating defensive pressure, Kent State ended its three-game
losing streak with an 80-63 win over Bowling Green on Tuesday to improve to
10-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
The Golden Flashes blanketed Bowling Green from the get-go; with seven minutes
left in the first half, the Falcons had as many turnovers, 11, as points.
It was a different story on the other end of the floor as Mid-American Conference
Player of the Year candidate Justin Greene was held to just one point
in the first 13 minutes, and KSU was unable to capitalize on Bowling Green's
Late in the first half and into the second, Greene earned his POY candidacy
by pouring in 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, allowing Kent State to open up
a 25-point lead.
"I haven't been performing the way I should be performing," Greene
said. "I saw down, looked myself in the mirror and realized for this
team to win I need to perform every night. It's MAC play, no time to
Center Justin Manns and Greene set up several easy baskets with improved
interior passing, which Greene said they had practiced three days in a row.
Those two combined for four assists, and aided by point guard Michael Porrini,
KSU outscored Bowling Green, 40-18, in the paint.
"We were able to get it inside against the zone, which is something
we've really worked hard at," said Kent State head coach Geno Ford. "[To beat the 2-3 zone] we got it to Mike Porrini, who made
good decisions. He was the catalyst. "
Porrini routinely drove to the middle of the zone where he found passing lanes
both in and out, was able to get to the rim on one dribble or pull up for a
Porrini ended the night with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, eight assists,
eight rebounds and only two turnovers.
Similar to the conference opening loss at Akron on Saturday, where the Golden
Flashes held a nine-point lead with 12 minutes remaining, KSU was unable to
keep its foot on the gas.
Bowling Green rattled off six 3-pointers and a couple of easy jumpers in the
midst of a 23-8 run that brought the score to 58-48 with 8:45 remaining.
Behind eight points from Porrini in the final couple minutes, the Golden Flashes
thwarted the Falcons' aerial attack.
"That's what we need to work on--where you're up 20 and
not being lackadaisical and just standing around," Greene said. "We
have to cut that out."
Senior Rodriquez Sherman scored 12 points to go along with three
assists. Sophomore Randal Holt had one of his better games with 11
points and four assists.
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