KENT, Ohio - Kyle Randall's fourth-consecutive 20-point game couldn't push Central Michigan past a hot-shooting Kent State team that won its 11th straight game in the series, this time 87-72.
The Chippewas kept looking for some momentum but it never came. The Golden Flashes didn't let it, hitting 57 percent from the floor in the first half and 55 percent in the second.
Neither team seemed like it could miss in the beginning, leading to the highest combined first-half point total of the season, 84 points. The game jumped out to a 22-21 score in favor of the Golden Flashes before the first clock stoppage as the Chippewas came out hitting 9-of-12 and 3-of-5 from long range while the Golden Flashes knocked down 6-of-8 from behind the arc accounting for all but two of their early field goals.
Austin Keel nailed a three-pointer with just under eight minutes left to bring the Chippewas back within one, 31-30, but the Golden Flashes rattled off five points to go up six at the 7:19 mark, completing a string of field goals on five consecutive possessions. The two teams 'cooled off' to 65 percent (KSU) and 54 percent (CMU) shooting by the seven minute mark and Kent State took a 44-40 lead into the half.
Both teams hit 17 field goals in the first period, nine of which came from long range for the Golden Flashes.
Kent State's hot hand continued after halftime, hitting six of its first eight attempts from the field including two of the first three from beyond the arc.
Chippewas head coach Keno Davis called a timeout at the 8:30 mark to stop an 8-1 run that had given the Chippewas a 12-point deficit, and it sparked back-to-back baskets by Austin Keel - first a three-pointer then a driving layup that brought them back within seven, 68-61.
But a 6-0 run by the Golden Flashes over the next two minutes pushed the hole to double digits for the first time in the game and the Chippewas couldn't recover.
Randall was joined in double figures by Keel's 10 points off the bench. He was the only player to hit multiple three-pointers while five other Chippewas hit one each. All five of Kent State's starters scored in double digits.
• The Chippewas started four freshmen for the second straight game.
• Derrick Richardson originally recorded his career high of six rebounds at Michigan.
• Chris Fowler's four assists bring him within one of CMU's freshman record of 115.
• Kyle Randall shot 11-of-13 at the line.
• After starting the game 9-of-12 from long range, the Golden Flashes ended the night 11-of-22.