CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Kent State used a quick start and answered a second half rally by Cleveland State to claim a 72-55 win at the Wolstein Center on Wednesday night.
The loss dropped the Vikings to 8-6 overall, while the Golden Flashes improved to 9-5.
Bryn Forbes led the Vikings with 12 points, his seventh double figure scoring game out of the last eight. Tim Kamczyc finished with 10 points and a career-high three blocked shots, while Marlin Mason scored seven points with eight rebounds. Devon Long added nine points and six rebounds.
A Long offensive rebound and put back started the scoring, but Kent State scored 16 of the next 18 points to take a 16-4 lead at the 12:37 mark of the first half. Forbes answered back with seven straight points for the Vikings, bringing CSU back within eight (19-11) with 10:30 to play, but a 13-2 spurt by the Golden Flashes extended their lead to 19 points (32-13) on a Chris Evans dunk with just over six minutes to play in the half.
CSU was able to pull back within 11 points (37-26) as Lomomba scored seven straight points on a four-point play and a three-point play. A Forbes three-pointer just before the end of the half allowed the Vikings to go into the locker room down just 10 points (39-29).
Two quick baskets to open the second half extended the Golden Flashes lead to 43-29, but the Vikings answered with a Mason three-pointer to start a 12-0 run by the Vikings that brought them back within two (43-41).
But Kent State regained momentum, using two free throws from Randal Holt after a technical foul on CSU to start a 24-6 run and push the lead back to 20 points (64-47) with under just over five minutes to play.
The Vikings lost for the first time at home this year (5-1) and had their seven-game overall win streak at the Wolstein Center snapped.
Hold led Kent State with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Kris Brewer scored 17 points. Chris Evans tallied 11 points and nine rebounds for the Golden Flashes, which out-rebounded the Vikings, 35-27.
The Vikings are back in action on Friday (Jan. 4) when CSU opens Horizon League play with a 7:00 p.m. EST game at Valparaiso.