By Tim Glon
KENT — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team dropped an 84-48 decision at NCAA Division I foe Kent State in an exhibition game Friday night at the MAC Center.
The contest was the regular season opener for Kent State (1-0 overall), but was an exhibition for ONU as Division III schools are not allowed to open their regular seasons until Nov. 15.
The Polar Bears struggled from the floor against the taller and more athletic Golden Flashes, making only 15-of-51 field goal attempts for 29.4 percent.
"We did not shoot the ball well at all," ONU head coach Kevin Byrne said. "Other than that, I was pleased for the most part. I thought we played hard all night and competed on the glass. We defended the 3-point arc well. We just got a bit sloppy at times and need to get the ball in the basket. But this was a good experience for us and a fun opportunity to play against a NCAA Division I school."
Ohio Northern hung around early despite substituting early and often, playing four newcomers in the game's first six minutes.
The Polar Bears were within 8-6 at the first media timeout and were tied at 8-all six minutes into the game.
But a 10-0 run gave the Golden Flashes a 26-12 advantage with 6:56 left in the half.
Northern answered with a 3-point play from Royal and a 3-pointer from Hurless pull within 26-18 with 4:10 left in the half.
But KSU ended the first half on a 15-2 run to take a commanding 41-20 lead into intermission.
Northern struggled from the floor, making just 8-of-28 shots from the floor in the first half.
ONU missed its first 10 shots of the second half as KSU built a 49-20 lead, scoring the first eight points of the second half to extend its run to 23-2.
The Polar Bears will open their regular season Nov. 22-23 at the Bluffalo State (N.Y.) Classic. Northern will face Buffalo State on Nov. 22 and will play Johnson & Wales (R.I.) on Nov. 23.