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Kent State pounds boards in 89-79 win over Ohio

Preston, Vander Plas combine for 47 points in loss

ATHENS - Kent State shot 57.4% and held a 24-rebound advantage in beating Ohio 89-79 on Saturday at The Convo.

The Golden Flashes races out to a 40-26 halftime lead, and even a 53-point second half was not enough to bring the Bobcats close.

Jason Preston had 24 points, 10 assists and five rebounds with no turnovers, and Ben Vander Plas connected on 5 of 10 3-pointers and scored 24 points with five assists but only one rebound.

Danny Pippen led four Kent State players in double figures with 22 points while adding eight rebounds. Tervell Beck had 18 points, Michael Nuga scored 16 points, and Malique Jacobs scored 14 points off the bench.

Preston hit a 3-pointer that got Ohio (7-6, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) to within 29-24, but Kent State (6-3, 3-2 MAC) closed the first half on an 11-2 run to go up by 14.

The Golden Flashes held their biggest lead of 55-38 on a Nuga 3-pointer with 15:24 remaining, the Bobcats got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

"We dug a hole in the first half, battled back, cut it to eight," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. "We couldn't get that 50-50 ball on the rebound. Knock down an open three and even the start of the second half, we came out, cut it to nine. They ended up getting it back to 17."

One such ocassion was following a 9-0 run that included to Vander Plas 3-pointers and one by Preston to make it 60-52 with 11:32 left, but Pippen answered with a shot from deep of his own. Another Vandre Plas trey with 8:23 to go made it 68-60; it was followed by a Beck layup. Preston drained a 3-pointer with 4:06 to go that made it 77-69, and Mark Sears had a chance to make it even closer, but he was off the mark, and Pippen followed with a dunk.

Nuga led Kent State with 10 rebounds. Giavanni Santiago had six assists to go with his nine points.

Ben Roderick and Dwight Wilson III had nine points each for Ohio, with Wilson collecting a team-high six rebounds. Sears scored seven points.

"We missed a lot of wide open shots," Boals said. "When you're down to a good team, those open ones are the ones you got to make. It came down to them imposing their will on the boards, most definitely."

Ohio takes on Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. Tuesday in DeKalb.

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