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January 27, 2012

KSU improves to 13-6 with big win over NIU

KENT, Ohio - Making the most of every opportunity that presented itself, the Flashes dismantled Northern Illinois 90-54 Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.

"After two-straight losses, we needed a win and probably more importantly, we needed to play the way we played," Kent State's coach Rob Senderoff said. "Defend, share the ball, get some steals. Do the things that we're accustomed to doing here."

After having one of their senior captains question the heart of the team after losses to Ohio and Akron, the Flashes certainly redeemed themselves. The Flashes forced 14 turnovers in which they turned into 22 points. As equally impressive, Kent State did not allow Northern Illinois' leading scorer, guard Abdel Nader, to score a basket. The freshman guard, who normally averages 14 points per game, finished the game 0-for-10 from the field.

Junior guard Randal Holt, junior forward Chris Evans and senior forward Justin Greene all scored 14 points in the game. However, the leading scorer came off the bench. Freshman guard Kris Brewer led the team in points with 15. Brewer was six for eight from the field and a perfect three for three from 3-point range.

Senderoff was happy to finally see Brewer play at a level he knows his guard can play.

"It's about time because Kris is very talented and very good," Senderoff said. "I'm glad to see him play the way he played tonight. I hope I see it again on Saturday."

Senderoff said his strategy with Brewer is to have him on the floor with either senior guards Michael Porrini or Carlton Guyton. Though Brewer is a guard, Senderoff said he doesn't want Brewer to be responsible for all the ball handling.

"He's a combo guard," Senderoff said. "I'm not having him focus solely on handling the ball and getting into our offense. We do some different things while he's in to make it easier for him."

After the win, the Flashes quickly set their eyes on their upcoming match at Toledo Friday night. Away games have definitely been the problem for the Flashes and a big reason why the Flashes sit in the middle of the MAC East division rather than lead it.

"We lost two in a row to Ohio and Akron, losses that we believe shouldn't have happened the way they did. We stopped playing. We just wanted to come out tonight and our key was defense, and we did a decent job tonight."

The team said they hope to continue this streak and are conscious their goal of winning a MAC Championship won't happen if they don't start winning games on the road.

Tipoff between Kent State and Toledo is set for 7 p.m. (EST) at Toledo's John F. Savage Arena.


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