MAC Tournament: Kent State Edges out Ball State 76-73 In Tightly Contested Battle

CLEVELAND– The defending MAC Tournament Champion Kent State Golden Flashes edged out Ball State, 76-73, in game two of today’s quadruple header.

Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff found a lineup that worked and stuck with it, as three of his starters, Jaylin Walker, Jalen Avery and Kevin Zabo, played 35-plus minutes each. The same three-guard lineup has now racked up six straight wins in the MAC Tournament over the last two seasons.

Walker, who had a huge tournament last year, picked up where he left off in 2018 by leading Kent State with 19 points.  Both of his backcourt assassin teammates also stepped up with great performances, as Kevin Zabo and Jalen Avery put up 16 each.

For Zabo, the 16 points were just one facet of his monster game.  Zabo yanked down seven boards and dished out six assists along the way to victory.  Leading all players on the glass, was Kent State center Adonis De La Rosa with 10.  The big man finished with a double-double as he also scored 17 points.

As they did last year, Kent State used the long ball to put up punches in bunches, finishing 8-of-21 from beyond the arc.  Ball State actually played the cleaner game, only giving away five turnovers compared to Kent State’s nine, but it simply wasn’t enough to grab the win.  The leading scorer for Ball State was Taylor Persens with 19.

Kent State will now go on to play top-seeded Buffalo tomorrow night at Quicken Loans Arena.  Buffalo won earlier today, 89-74 over the Central Michigan.

About the Author

Vince McKee
Vince McKee is a growing force in the sports literary world. He has written seven books on Cleveland Sports. They have all helped to build his credibility as a top-notch chronicler of the impact of Ohio sports. Vince has done freelance work as the MMA correspondent for InscriberMag: Digital Magazine as well as a Beat Reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer & The Medina Gazette. His work has been featured on Drennan Live, SLAM Magazine, The Magic 105.7 Morning show, ESPN radio and over 25 local papers, tv stations and radio programs. Despite his personal connection with Bill Belichick, one of the worst moments of Vince’s young life was watching his beloved Browns leave town only weeks after the Indians lost the World Series in 1995. Vince is a life long Cleveland sports fan and enjoys spending lots of time with his wife Emily and daughter Maggie.

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