The Kent State men's basketball team defeated the Premier All-Stars 83-72 Tuesday night at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in its one and only official exhibition game leading into the 1998-99 season.
That's the same Premier All-Stars, a group of former standouts from various Ohio colleges, that handled Kent a year ago and that has already routed Mid-American Conference rivals Toledo and Buffalo this season.
Still, Golden Flashes coach Gary Waters wasn't talking about how far his squad has come in the past year afterward. He was too worried about how far his team has to go before Saturday's season opener at Dayton.
"We didn't play very well," said Waters. "We won, but I'm not looking at that. We've got a lot of areas we need to improve in before Saturday."
Waters used the scrimmage primarily to give everyone a look, as 12 players took the floor in the first half alone and 11 scored. By game's end 11 players had played double-digit minutes, but no one played more than 24.
"I had to play everyone," said Waters. "But now, we've got to settle down and come up with a group of nine or 10 and let them play. We're playing too many people, and the guys that we need to perform aren't getting into the flow of the game.
"I'll be watching film the next few days and evaluating who that group of nine or 10 players is going to be."
Kent fell behind by 11 early on, but used its press to get back in the game. The Flashes took the lead for good (39-38) when junior center John Whorton hit a short jumper to open the second half, and proceeded to slowly pull away in the next several minutes.
A pair of free throws by freshman guard Andrew Mitchell extended the lead to 61-49 with just under 11 minutes remaining, and Kent maintained complete control the rest of the way.
Junior forward Geoff Vaughn, who started in place of the injured Mike Perry, scored a team-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and added six rebounds. Whorton scored 10 points in 14 foul-plagued minutes, while freshman forward Eric Thomas scored 12 points and Callaway added eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
"Geoff played a good game," said Waters. "And (Thomas), a freshman, came out and did some good things."
Kent State 83, Premier All-Stars 72
(At Kent State)
Blocked shots _ Premier All-Stars (6): Holt 3, Stevens 2, Brandewie 1. Kent State (2): Massey 1, Vaughn 1. Turnovers _ Premier All-Stars 22-15. Technical fouls _ Premier All-Stars, coach; Kent State, Vaughn.