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Men's team can't overcome Ball State's big men in 76-71 setback to Cardinals

From staff reports Published: January 31, 2001 12:00 AM

MUNCIE, Ind. _ The Kent State men's basketball team's five-game winning streak was brought to a halt by host Ball State, which used its powerful inside game to earn a 76-71 Mid-American Conference triumph on Tuesday.Junior point guard Trevor Huffman tied a career high with 26 points, while backcourt mate Andrew Mitchell poured in a career-best 25 points for the Golden Flashes (14-6, 7-2 MAC). But their teammates combined to hit just 6-of-30 field-goal attempts.Meanwhile, the Cardinals received a strong all-around effort from 6-foot-11 junior center Lonnie Jones, who registered 14 points and 10 rebounds while dominating play inside when the issue was still in doubt.Kent State centers Mike Perry, Rashaun Warren and John Edwards combined to produce just four points in 40 minutes."Where they beat us at was inside," said Flashes coach Gary Waters. "They got too many offensive rebounds (16), and Jones was clogging the middle."Ball State (10-8, 5-4 MAC) extended a 30-26 halftime lead to 55-40 with nearly eight minutes remaining in the contest, but Kent State wouldn't quit.A 3-pointer by Mitchell and a free throw by senior forward Kyrem Massey (3-of-14 field goals, 10 points), who played 35 minutes despite suffering a minor knee injury Monday in practice, cut the deficit to 69-64 with 54 seconds remaining. Another Mitchell 3-pointer brought the Flashes within 72-68, and they immediately forced a Ball State turnover with 15 seconds left.But Kent State's next possession ended with a pair of missed shots, and the Cardinals put the game away at the free-throw line."I felt positive in that we didn't play well, but we still had a chance to win," said Waters.After shooting over 50 percent in two of the last three games, the Flashes hit just 35 percent of their field goals against the Cardinals. They also forced a season-low nine turnovers.Junior guard Patrick Jackson scored a team-high 19 points and freshman guard Rawle Marshall added 13 points off the bench for defending MAC Tournament champion Ball State, which snapped a two-game losing skid.The Flashes will face another strong foe on the road Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when they travel to Toledo._____Ball State 76, Kent State 71(At Muncie, Ind.)KENT STATENAMEMINFG3-PTFTRBPFATPMassey353-141-43-477010Perry170-10-01-22301Shaw301-70-30-06532Mitchell388-143-76-633025Huffman389-224-104-843526Haut50-00-00-03110Bedford141-50-02-25104Warren181-30-01-17103Edwards50-00-00-11100______________________________________________Totals20023-668-2417-244122971BALL STATENAMEMINFG3-PTFTRBPFATPSmith382-111-52-35127Murray283-70-03-57439Jones366-130-02-4104214Jackson356-132-45-622419Lynch241-31-22-22325Robbins82-31-20-04105Marshall185-60-13-455013Owens132-70-00-04014_____________________________________________Totals20027-635-1417-2445201476KENT STATE2645_71BALL STATE3046_76Blocked shots _ Kent State (4): Massey 2, Warren 1, Edwards 1; Ball State (1): Owens 1. Turnovers _ Ball State, 9-7. Technical fouls _ none. Attendance - 4,483.

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