Men's basketball postseason run ends with 72-68 setback against Kent State
Derek Needham scored a game-high 20 points while Ryan Olander and Yorel Hawkins added 15 and 11 points, respectively, as the Fairfield University men's basketball saw its season end with a 72-68 loss to Kent State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Stags took the lead early in the game and held it through most of the first half. Fairfield scored seven of the first 10 points to take a 7-3 lead just 75 seconds into the game. The team built the lead to five points on several occasions, the last coming at 17-12 with 12 minutes remaining. Kent State answered five straight points in less than a minute, tying the game at 17-17.
Fairfield restored the advantage to four points at 25-21 with 6:56 on the clock, but the Golden Flash put together 10 straight points to take its first lead since the opening minute. Randal Holt netted a three point shot with 3:57 remaining in the half to push the score to 31-25.
Still trailing by six at 33-27, the Stags finished the half with an 8-2 run that sent the two teams into intermission deadlocked at 35-35. Needham tallied 18 points in the first half, the most that he scored in the opening 20 minutes this season.
Fairfield opened the second with Lyndon Jordan's three pointer for a 38-35 Stags lead. After moving the lead to four points at 41-37, Kent State rallied when Holt tallied four straight point to tie the game at 41-41. It was the first of three ties between the two teams, the last coming at 52-52 with 11:08 on the clock.
The Golden Flash broke that last tie with six consecutive points to move the score to 58-52 with nine minutes remaining. Kent State never relinquished the lead after that run, holding an eight-point edge with four minutes remaining.
The Stags were able to pull within two points at 70-68 with 18 seconds remaining, but Carlton Guyton posted a pair of free throws with 11 ticks on the clock to make it a two possession game. Fairfield had two chances to cut further into the lead, but both three-point shots fell off the mark.
Yorel Hawkins finished the game with 11 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high seven assists. Holt led all scorers in the game with 22 points, hitting eight of 12 shots from the floor.
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Posted on March 21, 2011