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Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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Men’s basketball sinks further into slump with blowout loss to Kent State

The defeat pushes UB’s losing streak to eight games

<p>The Bulls lost their eighth straight game on Friday. | Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics</p>

The Bulls lost their eighth straight game on Friday. | Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics

UB men’s basketball (2-19, 1-8 MAC) fell 83-52 against the Kent State Golden Flashes (11-11, 4-6 MAC) at Alumni Arena on Friday night. The loss was the team’s eighth straight after opening Mid-American conference (MAC) play with a win over Central Michigan on Jan 2

The Bulls remain in 11th place out of 12 teams in the conference standings, and are now three and a half games back from the final MAC playoff spot with nine games left to play. 

Kent State dominated the rebound battle, winning 46-22, and the Golden Flashes grabbed 10 more offensive rebounds than the Bulls. The Bulls struggled to contain their opponent in the paint, giving up 34 points in the restricted area and 15 second chance points. The struggle with defense was further exposed against Kent State’s deep shooting, as the Bulls allowed the Golden Flashes to hit 14 of their 24 three-point attempts for a 58.3% clip. 

“It doesn’t work,” senior forward Isaiah Adams said. “We can’t get stops and miss shots. We gotta find ways to get stops. That’s where it starts.” 

Despite having some good looks early on in the first period, the Bulls failed to capitalize on them. This eventually led to Kent State going on an 18-0 scoring run fueled by multiple deep uncontested threes. For the third time this season the Bulls gave up over 50 points in the first half. 

In the second half, the Bulls managed to keep pace with Kent State, as Coach George Halcovage III elected to run a full court press defense. UB’s aggressive defensive efforts lowered the Flashes’ shooting by 20.2% from the field after they shot 62% in the first half. 

Halcovage attributed the improved defense to “playing hard and playing together” but conceded that, as a whole, “[Kent State] pride themselves on toughness” and that “[UB] has to learn how to do that.”

“We had great, great point blank catches [in the paint] that we just turned over. They were tougher,” head coach George Halcovage said. “They pride themselves on toughness first, and we have to learn how to do that.” 

Adams and senior forward Sy Chatman led the team with 12 points apiece. Freshman guard Shawn Fulcher was the other Bull in double figures, dropping 11 points off the bench. With five assists, freshman guard Anquan Boldin Jr. led the team in that category and added seven points of his own.

The Bulls will next face Bowling Green (15-6, 6-3 MAC) away on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. The game can be streamed on ESPN+.

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at henry.daley@ubspectrum.com 

The sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com


HENRY DALEY
henry-daley.jpg

Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them). 

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