Marshall shot out of the gate early, thanks to three-pointers by Mark Patton, Tre Whitted, and Ronny Dawn. The Herd's quick 16-9 lead soon dissipated courtesy of four Kent threes (two by Eric Haut, one each by DeAndre Haynes and Bryan Bedford), and the Golden Flashes took their first lead at 27-26 with 4:17 left in the first half.
Kent State lead 32-30 at the half, despite seven-foot center John Edwards only playing 8 minutes due to foul trouble.
"We're a good three point shooting basketball team," said KSU coach Jim Christian after the game. "We had to utilize our depth."
In the second half, the game was tied no less than 8 times in the first 15 minutes, with both teams unable to gain any lead larger than 6 points. KSU's John Edwards hit a bucket with 4:31 left to give the Flashes the go-ahead lead at 57-55.
A.W. Hamilton picked up one of his four steals against Kent State, swiping the ball from DeAndre Haynes in the first half.
"They made some big shots that we did not answer," said Marshall coach Ron Jirsa of the Flashes' second half.
David Anderson made a potential game-winning play with :52 remaining when he stole the ball from DeAndre Haynes. Haynes fouled Anderson, and cut the KSU lead to 62-61 on two made Anderson free throws. Marshall had the final possession, but was unable to get a clean shot at the basket. A.W. Hamilton's last-second attempt missed, and he was called for a foul on KSU's Haynes. Haynes hit the first of two free throws with .6 of a second remaining to seal the final score at 63-61.
"We had 17 offensive rebounds and we lost the game by two," added Jirsa. "But that's not enough to overcome 50 percent three point shooting [by Kent State]."
"The difference in the basketball game was our defensive effort," added KSU coach Christian. "The last 14 possessions, we stopped them (Marshall) on 11 of them."
Three Marshall players hit double figures: Marvin Black had 13 points (plus 10 rebounds), while David Anderson hit for 12 (plus two steals) and Ardo Armpalu scored 10. Point guard A.W. Hamilton only scored 4 points, but managed to dish out 7 assists and make 4 steals. Marshall shot a dismal 35% from the field and only 22% (4-of-18) from three point range. Meanwhile, Kent State shot 41.2% from the field and a blistering 50% from three point range in the win.
"We went 9 minutes without scoring a basket," summed up forward Marvin Black. "That's not Marshall basketball. That hurt us tonight."
Kent State takes the lead in the MAC East with the win, improving to 3-0 in the conference and 9-2 overall. Marshall falls to 5-5 overall and 2-1 in the MAC.
The Herd now travels to Western Michigan for a matchup with the Broncos next Monday night at 7pm.