He just didn't know the time of detonation.
Many observers expected the lethal strike to take place right out of
the gate. But instead the Golden Flashes temporarily delayed the inevitable
assault until the second half, then proceeded to blast the overmatched Chargers
50-20 to secure a 91-56 victory Saturday afternoon at the Memorial Athletic
and Convocation Center.
A mini-blast by Waters at halftime provided the spark that led to the
Flashes' second-half onslaught.
"I wasn't overly excited about the first half," said Waters,
whose Flashes led just 41-36 at intermission. "Our intensity just wasn't
as high as I wanted it to be, so I made it clear at halftime that we'd better
play hard (in the second half). That's what it's all about."
The Flashes did indeed increase their intensity in the final 20 minutes.
And the Chargers couldn't match it.
Leading 50-44 with 16:34 remaining, Kent State seized control with a
25-2 run spearheaded by reserve guard John Callaway. The junior college
transfer wreaked havoc with his ball pressure on defense which helped the
Flashes force seven turnovers during the rally.
"(Callaway) did a really nice job of putting ball pressure on our
guards," said Hillsdale coach Bernie Balikian. "He has real quick
hands and he works hard. He made our guards look bad and that took us out
of our offense. They really stepped it up in the second half."
Callaway (4 steals) stormed off the bench to score nine of his 12 points
during the run, including a layup following a steal that gave Kent State
a commanding 75-46 advantage with 7:25 remaining.
"This is the first time in my life I've come off the bench,"
said Callaway. "(Coach Waters) has explained our roles and I accept
mine. I just have to come off the bench and give this team a spark."
The Flashes dominated play inside throughout the game behind sophomore
power forward John Whorton, who scored a career-high 22 points on 11-of-12
shooting from the floor and added 9 rebounds.
"They were all layups that I should make," said Whorton. "The
only shot I missed was a jump shot."
Saturday's game was deja vu for Whorton, who poured in 20 points in his
first collegiate game in last year's season opener against Ferris State.
"I remember that game," said Whorton. "I just don't want
to go through the peaks and valleys like I did last year ... I want to stay
on the plateau."
Whorton scored 16 points in the first half, but the Flashes still couldn't
shake the pesky Chargers as Hillsdale sank 6-of-14 3-pointers to keep it
"We knew they're a great 3-point shooting team and that they shoot
a lot of 3-pointers _ they shot like 35 a game last year," said Waters.
"But we knew if we pounded the ball inside they'd struggle and that
was the gameplan."
Taking most of their shots from close range, Kent State shot 60 percent
from the field for the game. Meanwhile, the Chargers went cold in the second
half, converting just 7-of-26 field goals (27 percent) and 4-of-16 3-pointers.
Kent State also out-rebounded Hillsdale 42-22 overall and 25-9 in the
All 12 players took the floor for the Flashes and 11 scored. Junior point
guard Ed Norvell finished with 13 points and 7 assists; freshman forward
Kyrem Massey added 12 points (10 in second half) in his collegiate debut
and junior guard Scott Effertz added 10 points, 4 assists and 4 steals.
Former area high school standouts Mike Perry (Barberton H.S.) and Nate
Meers (Stow H.S.) also made their debuts. Perry started and scored 2 points,
while Meers came off the bench to nail a 3-pointer.
Kent State will travel to Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes