Staunch defensive effort leads Kent State past host Eastern Michigan

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Junior guard Malique Jacobs scored 17 points in Kent State's victory at Eastern Michigan on Tuesday.
Junior guard Malique Jacobs scored 17 points in Kent State's victory at Eastern Michigan on Tuesday.

Kent State proved it can win a Mid-American Conference men’s basketball contest this season without junior guard Sincere Carry going crazy offensively.

Suffocating defense spearheaded by Carry paved the way for the Golden Flashes’ 56-47 triumph over Eastern Michigan Tuesday night at the Gervin GameAbove Center in Ypslianti, Mich.

The Flashes (9-8, 4-3 MAC) held the Eagles (7-9, 2-3) to 26% shooting from the floor (11-of-43). They hit just 3-of-24 3-pointers (12.5%) while scoring a season-low 47 points. Eastern Michigan had scored 70 points or more in each of its first four MAC contests this season under first-year head coach Stan Heath, who was the head coach at Kent State during the run to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 2002.

Carry guarded Eastern Michigan leading scorer Noah Farrakhan for most of the night, and held the 6-foot-2 freshman averaging just over 17 points per game to one point. Farrakhan shot 0-of-7 from the field and committed three turnovers with no assists in 39 minutes.

Junior guard Malique Jacobs led Kent State in scoring with 17 points, his highest total during the 2021-22 conference season. Jacobs also finished with four steals, five rebounds and two blocks.

Carry piled up 11 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. He entered the contest leading the MAC in scoring during conference games at 23.5 points per contest, and averaged 25.7 in Kent State’s first three MAC wins this season.

Senior forward Tervell Beck shot 3-of-4 from 3 and scored 11 points for the Flashes. His teammates combined to shoot 0-of-8 from 3.

Kent State took control of the contest with a 9-0 first-half run that ended with a Jacobs layup off a feed from Carry that made it 25-15. The Flashes led 26-17 at the break.

Kent State was 0-of-6 from 3 when Beck connected from beyond the arc with 11:23 remaining to put his team on top 39-26. He drained another bomb after the Eagles had crept within nine, then added his third 3 to give the Flashes a 48-35 cushion with under five minutes to play. The lead stayed in double-digits until the game’s closing seconds.

Junior guard Bryce McBride scored a game-high 20 points by hitting 13 free throws in as many attempts to pace Eastern Michigan. None of his teammates reached double figures.

Kent State will visit Buffalo (9-6, 3-2) on Friday at 8 p.m.

This article originally appeared on Record-Courier: Kent State defeated Eastern Michigan on Tuesday