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January 12, 2008Saturday's 63-49 victory over Bowling Green seemed like business as usual for the Kent State men's basketball team (13-3) as it won in front of 3,175 fans at the M.A.C. Center. For guard Chris Singletary, the game seemed like some what of a coming out party.
It's not that the sophomore from Chicago hasn't been one of the Flashes best players over the last two seasons. He started a slew of games last year and has been in the starting lineup for the last four contests this season. It was the way he went about the game Saturday that made all the difference.
By using his muscular frame and strength to battle inside as well as his shooting stroke from the outside, Singletary scored a career-high 20 points. His inside out game reminded teammate Mike Scott of former Kent State great-and holder of the record for most points in a season with 640 in 2002-2003 campaign-Antonio Gates.
"I think (tonight's) just a glimpse of the next two years," Scott said. "He has a very, very bright future."
While Kent State coach Jim Christian isn't ready to anoint Singletary the next Gates-"Let's not get crazy," was his exact response to Scott's comparison-he was pleased with the development of his young player.
It was Singletary's early jumper to open the scoring and a steal on Bowling Green's first possession-he finished with five steals-that pushed the Flashes out to an early 12-0 lead. The Falcons never recovered.
"(Kent State) don't beat themselves that's an efficient team. That's a team that you got to beat them. You can't expect them to hand the game to you," Bowling Green head coach Louis Orr said. "You got to play even better when you spot them 12 points."
Although the early run seemed to be all the Flashes needed, Singletary's night was far from done. With just over six minutes remaining in a game the Flashes led 51-38, Singletary provided an eight point scoring burst to end any chance of a Falcon comeback.
After receiving the ball on the post block, Singletary spun inside then quickly whipped around and spun back outside and powered his way through Bowling Green's Nate Miller. Despite being fouled, Singletary muscled the shot up and through the basket.
"I was watching (Cleveland Cavalier's star Lebron James) last night and I was seeing him go to the hole a couple of times and able to draw the contact and still be able to hold the ball and finish," Singletary said. "That's what I was trying to do tonight and I got that a couple times."
After making the accompanying foul shot to finish the three-point play, Singletary ripped a shot-clock-beating 3-pointer on the very next possession. The sequence was indicative of his game the entire night and possibly what is to come from the sophomore.
"It takes an ability to understand the importance of all the little things to become a good player," Christian said "I think over the course of time, in his two years here, he is starting to get it."