FACTS & STATS: Site: Reitz Arena (2,100) -- Baltimore, Maryland. Television: None. CIT Record: Kent State 1-2, Loyola Maryland 1-0. Series Record: Kent State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: In the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament the Kent State Golden Flashes will pay a visit to the Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds at Reitz Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Randal Holt got to the rim for a layup with 3.4 seconds left against Fairfield in the first round to push the Golden Flashes forward with a 73-71 win. Other than a setback against eventual Mid-American Conference champion Akron in the league's tournament, Kent State has not dropped a contest since mid February and enters this game boasting a record of 21-13.
The Greyhounds are enjoying their first stint in the CIT, a year removed from an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Their first battle in the CIT yielded a 70-63 win over Boston University which was the Greyhounds' first ever postseason win. Loyola has not been as consistent down the stretch with the win over Boston University giving it a split of its last four contests.
Kent State has won both of the previous matchups between these teams when they met in consecutive seasons in 1997 and 1998.
Holt's heroics against Fairfield allowed the Golden Flashes to erase a 10- point halftime deficit on Wednesday. Holt scored 15 points over the final 20 minutes, while the team shot 46.4 percent from the field and knocked down 6-of-10 shots from beyond the arc.
Leading scorer Chris Evans (16.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg) had a rough game by his standards. The 6-foot-8 senior had just six points and a pair of rebounds, marking the second straight game he has failed to score in double figures. Holt (14.7 ppg) has been more than capable of carrying the offense this season as he is a strong scorer in his own right, although he does net just 37.9 percent of his shots from the field. As a team, the Golden Flashes are scoring a healthy 71.3 points per game, shooting 43.3 percent from the floor.
Even though they trailed by as many as 15 points, the Greyhounds were able to rally past Fairfield in the first round. A Dylon Cormier jumper with 5:09 remaining capped off a 26-8 run by the Greyhounds that pushed them into the lead for good. The Greyhounds also ended the contest with a 12-5 run.
Cormier (16.5 ppg) and Robert Olson (12.8 ppg) showed how dangerous a scoring combination they can be in the first-round win as each scored 16 points. Cormier has been the most consistent threat on the floor for the Greyhounds and has now scored in double figures in all but three games he has played this season, including each of the last three. Erik Etherly (15.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is a solid performer in the post, who along with Anthony Winbush (7.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg), keeps the Greyhounds competitive on the glass. Although they do not score as much as Kent State, the Greyhounds (67.0 ppg) are a solid defensive squad that allows teams to shoot just 41.9 percent from the field.
If Kent State is going to get a win on the road it will need Evans to break out of the two-game slump he has suffered. That still might not be enough against the Greyhounds who can really get after teams defensively, while boasting of a trio of strong scoring options themselves.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Maryland 71, Kent State 67
03/24 10:48:47 ET
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