Flashes Stun RedHawks in Overtime

By Published: 2/28/2018 6:44:11 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Aaron Chimenti
Assistant Director, Athletic Communications

KENT, Ohio - Kent State (15-15, 9-8) continued to find unique ways to win close games at home with a 90-83 overtime victory over Miami (15-15, 8-9) Tuesday night at the M.A.C. Center. On Senior Night, the Golden Flashes overcame a five-point deficit with a under minute to play in regulation and continued their late run of stifling defense in OT.

A difficult three-pointer by Miami’s Nike Sibande brought the RedHawk bench to the center of the court to celebrate at the end of regulation. However, an official’s review reversed the call, showing that time had expired. The inbound play came with 2.0 seconds left, just after sophomore Danny Pippen made a game-saving block on a layup attempt by Darrian Ringo.

Pippen’s last-minute heroics began with a three-pointer with 41 seconds left, cutting the lead to 75-73. On Miami’s next possession, a late steal by sophomore Mitch Peterson set up a game-tying layup from senior Kevin Zabo with seven seconds left.

“We knew we had to come together and get stops at the end of the game to win,” said Desmond Ridenour of his senior night. “And that’s what we did.”

Despite 21 lead changes in regulation, the Flashes never trailed in overtime as Pippen scored the team’s first seven points of the period. He finished the game with 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

“What an unbelievable game,” Head Coach Rob Senderoff said. “We had a number of guys make some huge plays and we did a great job defensively against them in overtime. You stick together and special things can happen.”

Zabo led five Flashes in double figures with 21 points and added six assists.

“The most important thing was after those turnovers, we stuck together, picked our teammates up and moved” Zabo said of the Flashes’ 18 turnovers. “We showed great character by getting this win at the end.”

Junior Jalen Avery gave Kent State an offensive spark in the first half, scoring 11 of his 16 points.

Juniors Jaylin Walker and Adonis De La Rosa combined to go 11-of-12 from the free throw line. De La Rosa made a pair of key shots from the charity stripe with just over a minute to play in regulation on his way to 16 points and nine rebounds. Walker finished with 15 points.

The Flashes remain in contention for a first round bye and the No. 4 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, but will need at least a win and a Ball State loss Friday night.

Kent State closes out its regular season Friday, visiting archrival Akron at 7 p.m.

Published: 2/28/2018 6:44:11 AM Custom Tag