KENT--Junior Carlton Guyton again showed why he could challenge for
an All-Mid-American Conference bid Thursday night, pouring in 17 points as
Kent State defeated the University of Louisiana at Monroe, 69-53.
Guyton shot 5-of-7 from 3-point range and led the team with seven rebounds
while the Warhawks focused all the defensive attention on forward Justin Greene.
"[Using the double-team on Justin Greene] is a double-edged sword," ULM
head coach Keith Richard said. "We were trying to take Greene
out and hoping as they move it back out the 3-ball doesn't go gown
don't know if [Guyton] is that good of a player or if we left him so
wide open he was playing horse."
In response to persistent double-teaming inside, KSU knocked down 10-of-21
3-point attempts and recorded assists on 23-of-26 field goals. Point guard
Michael Porrini led the team with a career-high eight assists.
Greene, who appears to have his troublesome shins healthy, was still able
to equal Guyton's game-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, but was unable
to record a single rebound. Head coach Geno Ford didn't have
an answer for the anomaly, saying, "his shins are fine, his rebounding
I don't have an answer." To be fair, Guyton and Porrini
each took a couple of boards out of Greene's hands.
Early on, Richard had the game going exactly according to ULM's plan--defend
the paint well and slow the pace of the game to a crawl--until late in the
first half when guard Randal Holt hit two consecutive 3-pointers that
highlighted a 16-1 Kent State run.
"[ULM's] whole game plan was to keep the game as slow as possible," Ford
said. "They tried to pack it in on defense and hold the ball for 35 seconds,
but we were due to have a good shooting game. It was good to see some shots
Robert Johnson, one piece of an uncertain rotation, provided a nice
spark off the bench by forcing three steals, scoring five points and dishing
out three assists.
"[Scooter] made two great passes in transition and scored on the block.
He's getting more consistent," Ford said. "Like the other
freshmen, he's learning how to compete hard."
Soon to be added to that big-man mix is DeAndre Nealy, who saw the
floor for seven minutes, the most since undergoing two major knee surgeries
in as many years.
"[Nealy] is still not 100-percent, and we are not expecting him to go
in and be great," Ford said. "He made a couple of good plays and
has had a couple of good days in practice. Progression wise, he's been
showing signs of getting closer."
Early in the first quarter Eric Gaines threw down probably the most
ferocious dunk in the MAC Center's 60-year history (a celebration took
place, albeit a very light one).
"He's a human highlight reel," Scooter Johnson said.
Ford said Gaines took off so far from the hoop he didn't think he was
actually trying to dunk it, and said Gaines tries to dunk on 6-foot-10 center
Justin Manns a couple times each practice.
With this win, Ford notched win number 50 with the Golden Flashes, who improved
Kent State now faces a very challenging road stretch with games against 6-1
University of Alabama at Birmingham and the nationally ranked University of
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