Kent State moves into MAC semis with 77-57 win over Toledo
CLEVELAND (AP)—Mike Scott scored 23 points and top-seeded Kent State padded an already impressive NCAA tournament resume with a 77-57 win over Toledo in the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night.
The Golden Flashes came in with 25 regular-season wins, a MAC title and an RPI in the top 30, but they were not guaranteed a spot in the 65-team NCAA field. The mid-major MAC hasn’t had two teams make it since 1999 when both Kent State and Miami of Ohio received bids.
But a decisive win over the Rockets should help the Golden Flashes’ cause regardless of what they do in Friday’s semifinals against Miami of Ohio.
Rashad Woods scored 11 points and Al Fisher, the MAC’s player of the year, added 10 for Kent State, which opened a 16-point lead in the opening minutes of the second half and coasted. The Golden Flashes shot 57 percent from the field.
Jerrah Young scored 17 points and Tyron Kent 14 for Toledo.
Akron, an 81-60 winner over Central Michigan, will meet Western Michigan in Friday’s other semifinal. The Chippewas advanced with a 70-61 win over Eastern Michigan.
The Rockets trailed by nine in the first half and were on the verge of getting run out of Quicken Loans Arena before clawing back within 30-29 on Kent’s three-point play.
Kent State, though, quickly regrouped as Chris Singletary muscled inside for two buckets as the Golden Flashes reeled off nine consecutive points to open a 39-29 halftime lead.
Scott and Haminn Quaintance scored in the first minute of the second half, and Kent State eventually pushed its lead to 22.