OXFORD, Ohio-The RedHawks' lone senior Vince Legarza was honored prior to the Miami University's game against the Kent State Golden Flashes (17-12, 7-7 Mid-American Conference), and former coach Charlie Coles was honored at halftime. The RedHawks (8-19, 3-11 MAC), however, could not come away with a victory at Millett Hall on Saturday afternoon, falling 78-58.
Kent State seized control of the game early with its hot shooting from behind the arc. The Flashes jumped out to an 8-4 lead on after consecutive threes from Darren Goodson and Randal Holt, but the RedHawks were able to tie the game up just minutes later with a trey from junior forward Jon Harris. The tie didn't last long, as Kent State hit two more shots from long range that gave it a 15-9 lead at the 12:36 mark.
The long-distance assault continued for much of the half, as seemingly every Miami bucket was answered with a three from the Flashes. Through the first 10 minutes of the half, Kent State had made seven of its 10 three-point field goals, allowing the Miami deficit to reach nine points, 26-17.
The RedHawks closed that gap to two points late in the half off a 6-0 run, with all six points coming from Harris. Kent State quickly answered to push its lead to seven, but a three-point play from junior guard Allen Roberts made the score 37-33, the mark that would hold until halftime.
Despite the earlier onslaught of threes from the Flashes, Miami shot better from beyond the arc, making four of its five attempts. Harris led all scorers with 13 points at the break, and Legarza and junior guard Quinten Rollins led everyone with four rebounds apiece.
The Flashes grabbed the momentum early in the second half with a huge dunk from Chris Evans, who also made his free throw after a Miami foul. That play started a 10-5 Kent State run to open up the second half, stretching its lead to 47-38.
The RedHawks, who shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, struggled to find a rhythm from the floor in the second half, while Kent State continued to hit its shots. After quickly recovering from a double-digit deficit for the first time all game to pull within six, the Flashes rattled off a 15-6 scoring run to take a 65-50 lead with just over seven minutes left in the game. Their double-digit lead would be something they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
Junior forward Will Felder led the RedHawks with 18 points, and Harris added 16 off the bench. Kent State's Evans led all scorers with 21 points, with Holt adding 19 and Devareaux Manley scored 12. Rollins and Legarza were Miami's top rebounders, each grabbing six boards.
The RedHawks finish out the season on the road, with a Tuesday tilt at MAC-leading Akron at 7 p.m. and the regular season finale at Ohio on Saturday at 4 p.m. Both games will be televised on STO.