Kent State edges Akron to sweep Wagon Wheel Basketball Series

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2/11/2022

KENT, Ohio – The Kent State men’s basketball team (15-9, 10-4 MAC) took down Akron (16-7, 9-4 MAC) to take sole possession of third place in the Mid-American Conference and get the season sweep over the school down the road. 

The Flashes picked up their sixth straight MAC win and their eighth win in the last nine games. 

Kent State started the game hot, drilling three of their first four three-pointers to jump out to a 21-12 lead. The Zips pulled close before the break, but the Flashes led 30-25 going into the halftime locker room. 

The intensity picked up in the second half as the two teams fought and scrapped for the Wagon Wheel. Justyn Hamilton secured a loose ball offensive rebound that led to a Sincere Carry three with 13 minutes left to give the Flashes a 47-43. The next six minutes was extremely physical with little scoring until Giovanni Santiago stole the game and hit a mid-range jumper to break the 49-49 tie. 

The Zips took their only lead of the second half on an Enrique Freeman and-one on the following possession, but Santiago came down and knocked down another three to give the Flashes a 54-52 lead. Freeman finished with a game-high 21 points, all of which came in the second period.

Kent State led by four, 65-61, before Akron hit a three with 19 seconds to play which cut it to a one-point game. Carry was fouled with 13 second left and made one of two free throws. With no timeouts the Zips ran the length of the floor, but Carry made a great contest on the game-tying jumper and the Flashes picked up the win, 66-64. 

Carry led the Flashes with 19 points, while Santiago scored 15 points. The duo combined to go 7-for-9 from beyond the arc. The Flashes have made double digit threes each of the last three games. It was Santiago’s third-straight game with 15 or more points, and it was Carry’s twelfth game this season with 18 or more points. 

Malique Jacobs added his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also tied a season-high with four steals. 

Sincere Carry led the Golden Flashes with 19 points

Follow the Flashes

Home tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale now. Fans are required to wear face coverings while inside the M.A.C. Center. For questions regarding ticket information, email athletictickets@kent.edu or call 330-672-4455.

Next up, the Flashes take on the MAC-leading Toledo Rockets on the road on Tuesday, Feb. 15. The team then returns home for a prime-time showdown with Ohio on Friday, Feb. 18. Fans are encouraged to wear black for the game against Ohio. 

For more information on the men’s basketball team, follow Kent State Men’s Basketball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and visit kentstatesports.com for additional updates.

COURTESY KENT STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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