Kent State Holds On To Flash By Ball State
Game Two of the MAC Championship did not disappoint as the Kent State Golden Flashes squared off against the Ball State Cardinals. Trey Moses got off to a hot start for the Cardinals being a presence down low. But the Golden Flashes didn’t take long to find their groove as Adonis De La Rosa and Jaylin Avery seemed to be unstoppable down low. The two big men would combine for 23 points in the first half. It was a battle of lead changes until Kent State went up 21-14 with 8:26 left to go in the first half. Ball State’s spark came surprisingly off the bench and they would go on a 9 to 3 run. The Cardinals would finish the first half with 12 bench points to Kent State’s 3. Kent’s De La Rosa would go up for a rebound a hit the ground hard. He would come up limping and head to the locker room. The disappearance of Kent State’s big man would eventually lead to the halftime score being tied at 39-39.
The second half looked like it would be all Kent State at the start as Adonis De La Rosa returned and dominated down low. Jaylin Walker also had a huge game for the Flashes and was heating up in the second half. He would end up finishing the game with 19 points. Kevin Zabo, the other athletic guard for Kent State also showed up in a big way in the second half and would finish the game with 16 points. But like in the first half, Ball State would not go away and thanks to Tayler Persons, who finished with 19 points, and Tahjai Teague, who finished with 17 points, brought the Cardinals back in it. As the lead seemed to slip away for the Golden Flashes, Ball State would finally take the lead for the first time since the first half with 2:17 left in the game. The final two minutes were back and forth. Jalen Avery hit a clutch 2 to go up 74-71 and after a missed 3 by Ball State, Walker would hit a free throw and allow the Golden Flashes to ultimately seal the game. The final score of the contest would be Kent State 76, Ball State 73. Kent State’s starting lineup was very balanced with De La Rosa scoring 17, Avery scoring 16, Walker scoring 19, and Zabo with 16. Kent State will move on to play the #1 seeded Buffalo Bulls in the MAC Tournament Semifinals tomorrow