Kent State comes up short in Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio – Kent State watched a valiant effort at Toledo fall short in an 81-78 loss to the Rockets on Sunday night at Savage Hall.

The Golden Flashes led for most of the second half, but succumbed to some major foul trouble. Darren GoodsonMark Henniger and Derek Jackson all picked up their fourth fouls in the first 10 minutes of the second half. 

In what ended up as one-possession game, Kent State was outscored at the foul line 27-9. The Flashes were also outshot from the line 39-14 as they were called for 29 fouls compared to just 15 aginast Toledo. And that came on a night when Kent State refused to just settle for quick three-pointers. The Flashes were outscored in the paint by a slim 42-40 margin while 20 of their 64 shots came from beyond the arc.

"We competed extremely hard and had a chance to win," said Kent State head coachRob Senderoff. "Give Toledo credit. They got some big plays down the stretch from some big players. But we need to build off of this game in terms of our effort and attitude. We need this type of effort and attitude every night. If we do that, we will have success."

Kent State led by six points with 13:29 to play and still held a 70-68 advantage with 3:37 to play before late baskets by Justin Drummond and Julius "Juice" Brown allowed the Rockets to forge into the lead.

Jackson drilled two three-pointers in the final 47 seconds to give the Flashes a late chance. His last with four seconds to play cut Toledo's advantage to just two points. When Brown split his two free throws, Kent State found chance to tie it at the buzzer. Brewer's running three from 25 feet came up short.

Goodson finished 17 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Flashes before fouling out. Jackson added 16 points and Brewer scored 14.

Khaliq Spicer played well in a starting assignment, adding eight points on 4-of-6 shooting to a line that included four rebounds and four blocked shots in 22 minutes.

Drummond scored 15 points to lead four Toledo players in double figures. Brown and J.D. Weatherspoon chipped in 14 points each while Pearson scored 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Rockets improved to 17-2 overall and 5-1 in MAC play.

Kent State (11-8, 2-4 MAC) returns home to the M.A.C. Center for home games against Northern Illinois on Wednesday and Akron on Saturday.