KSU defeats Bowling Green

By Allen Moff Record-Courier staff writer Published:

BOWLING GREEN - Being bombarded by flying debris on the basketball floor has never been so much fun. So say a group of giddy Kent State players and coaches, who didn't mind ducking the Frisbees, paper wads and various other items chucked onto the hardwood by disgruntled Bowling Green fans in the closing seconds of the Flashes improbable 70-64 triumph Tuesday night at Anderson Arena. "That was crazy," said Kent State guard Andrew Mitchell, who poured in a game-high 24 points to help his team rally from a 13-point deficit. "I've never seen anything like that before except on TV. I'm not ever sure what happened." No one's certain what exactly transpired in the closing moments of this downright bizarre battle, but here are the facts. With the Golden Flashes clinging to a 66-64 lead, backup center Rashaun Warren stripped the ball from Falcon forward Brent Klassen as he prepared to attempt a potential game-tying shot inside. Mitchell was then fouled and calmly sank two free throws with 5.2 seconds to go, all but sealing a crucial triumph that puts Kent State (19-7, 12-3 MAC) in complete control of the Mid-American Conference East Division. The four-point swing triggered a tirade by Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich, who proceeded to draw his second technical foul of the game and an automatic ejection. Before leaving the arena Dakich walked swiftly toward the referee on the far end of the floor and unleashed a verbal assault, then as he exited a Frisbee floated down from the rafters and bounced softly off one official. Dakich was displeased that the last of a series of controversial calls that raised the ire of both coaches didn't go his team's way. "They called a number of charges," said the former Indiana Hoosier player and assistant coach, "then we try to take the same type of charge they called earlier in the game, and there's no call." Dozens more Frisbees followed the first, flung by a rambunctious crowd over 4,000 strong that was into the game from the opening tip on. "The officials tried to take control, but it was hard with all the things going on out there," said Flashes coach Gary Waters, who was assessed just the second technical foul of his basketball career early in the second half. "A few things just went our way late in the game, and that was the difference. This is a very hostile place to play, by far the toughest we've dealt with this year. I'm just happy we got a win here." Kent State snapped a six-game losing skid at Anderson Arena and brought the Falcons' six-game winning streak to a halt by hanging tough through some tremendously difficult circumstances. Just over 12 minutes into the game the Flashes trailed 26-13, and Mitchell and backcourt mate Trevor Huffman had each picked up two fouls. Huffman, the reigning MAC Player of the Week, didn't practice on Monday or participate in Tuesday morning's shootaround while suffering from a 102-degree temperature. "We didn't even know if Trevor could go," said Waters. "We knew what we were in for today, but all we talked about was that we had to keep it close and give ourselves a chance." Somehow, Kent State did just that. Despite finishing the first half with five players in foul trouble, the Flashes trailed Bowling Green (12-11, 8-6 MAC) just 36-31 at halftime. Kent State later fought back from a 49-42 deficit, even though 6-foot-4 freshman Bryan Bedford was forced to play a stint at center while Warren and Mike Perry both sat on the bench with four fouls. Perry came back to draw a key charge on Falcon guard Keith McLeod (18 points), forcing their leading scorer to the bench with four fouls while the Flashes chipped away at the lead. Mitchell, who had scored just 12 total points in three previous outings, hit a jumper to tie the game at 62 with 2:24 to play. After the teams traded baskets, Warren (8 points, 7 rebounds) made a tough catch on the right block and muscled a shot off the glass with 23 seconds left that proved to be the gamewinner. "Andrew told me he'd come to play and he did," said Waters. "And (Warren) played like a warrior down the stretch." Junior swingman Demetric Shaw added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Flashes, who can clinch the MAC East Division crown _ their first regular-season MAC title of any kind _ with a victory over visiting Ohio on Saturday. __ E-mail: amoff@recordpub.net Phone: (330) 678-5460 _____ Kent State 70, Bowling Green 64 (At Bowling Green) KENT STATE NAME MIN FG 3-PT FT RB PF A TP Shaw 36 5-8 2-4 5-5 8 2 3 17 Massey 38 4-11 0-1 1-2 2 3 0 9 Perry 13 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 4 0 0 Mitchell 37 10-15 2-4 2-2 1 3 3 24 Huffman 30 1-6 0-3 7-9 0 3 3 9 Haut 16 1-4 1-4 0-0 0 2 0 3 Bedford 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0 Warren 23 3-6 0-0 2-2 7 4 1 8 Edwards 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 ______________________________________________ Totals 200 24-51 5-16 17-21 22 21 10 70 BOWLING GREEN NAME MIN FG 3-PT FT RB PF A TP Jackson 29 2-5 0-0 1-2 2 4 2 5 Klassen 36 3-5 0-0 1-2 4 1 2 7 Matela 27 4-8 0-0 5-6 9 4 2 13 McLeod 26 3-7 1-2 11-14 3 4 2 18 Pardon 38 1-4 0-1 2-2 3 1 6 4 Almanson 9 0-0 0-0 0-0 5 4 0 0 Gerken 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 Ryan 25 3-6 2-3 3-4 3 2 0 11 Netter 8 3-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 6 _____________________________________________ Totals 200 19-39 3-6 23-30 32 21 14 64 KENT STATE 31 39 _ 70 B.GREEN 36 28 _ 64 Blocked shots _ Kent State (4): Massey 2, Warren 1, Edwards 1; Bowling Green (4): Klassen 2, Matela 1, Netter 1. Turnovers _ Bowling Green, 15-8. Technical fouls _ Kent State (1): coach Waters; Bowling Green (2): coach Dakich 2 (ejected). Attendance _ 4,057.

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