Men's basketball wins MAC opener in nail biter against Kent Sate

Junior guard Brian Taylor goes for a layup on Fri. November 5 in McGuirk Arena.

The Chippewas looked to start off Mid-American Conference play with a win against Kent State after an eight-game losing streak. 

Despite having a slow start in the first half, the Chippewas fought back to take the lead into the half. This gave them momentum to fight in a one possession second half resulting in them coming on top for their first conference win.

The Chippewas opened up MAC play against the Golden Flashes with a close win 72-69. 

The Chippewas are now 1-0 in the Mac and 2-10 overall. The Flashes are 0-1 in the MAC and fall to 5-6 overall.

The Chippewas were without guard Cameron Healy and once again without key forward Miroslav Stafl, who has a knee injury. 

The first five minutes was nothing but a slow start for both teams but for the Chippewas it was even slower. The Chippewas went scoreless for the first five minutes until Ralph Bissainthe took his own rebound up for the Chippewas first basket of the game. Bissainthe went 4-for-8 from the field. The Flashes took advantage of the Chippewas slow start to go on and take an 11-point lead 17-6. 

The Chippewas freshman Kevin Miller brought the Chippewas back within the game. The shot clock was winding down as he went up from way beyond the arc taking a 32-foot shot to bring the Chippewas within 2. The Chippewas then went on a 12-3 run within the last five minutes. 

The Golden Flashes continued to respond as they were successful at the foul line as they continued to be fouled. This allowed the Golden Flashes to stay out in front of the Chippewas. The Chippewas started to shrink the lead off the Golden flashes as Harrison Henderson was assisted by Jermaine Jackson Jr. to take the lead 31-30 with 22.8 seconds left in the first half. This was Henderson's first game back after missing the last three games. The Chippewas went 10-for-26 from the field in the first.

The Chippewas were on fire coming out of the half by taking a seven-point lead to start the second half. The Golden Flashes were not giving up as they continued to capitalize on their shots as they continued to get sent to the foul line. KSU shot 77.1 percent from the free throw line. 

With CMU’s Aundre Polk and Bissainthe fouling out late in the second half, the Golden Flashes Sincere Carry continued to put up the points to make it a one possession game with 9.7 seconds left. With both teams getting fouled multiple times in the last seconds, it continued to make it a one possession game. The Golden Flashes took one last effort from the half court to tie the game but fell short 72-69.

Henderson had a team-best of 18 points and went 8-for-9 from the line.  Bissainthe finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Brian Taylor had 10 rebounds and had nine points. Miller had seven assists and eight points. 

The Golden Flashes Carry had a game-best 22 points. Malique Jacobs had 13 points and six assists. 

The Chippewas and Golden Flashes had a combined total of 54 fouls. 28 of those were on the Chippewas.

The Chippewas will kick off the new year at Miami Ohio on Jan. 1 at 3:30 p.m.