Record-Courier staff report
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Kent State had no answer for Mike Muscala in a 76-60 loss to Bucknell on Tuesday night at Sojka Pavilion.
The 6-foot-11 senior scored 27 points on 12-for-17 shooting in a dominating 34 minutes.
Muscala was at his best in the second half as the Bison turned a one-point game at the break into a runaway.
"We played an extremely good team, and Muscala is a great player," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "Obviously we didn't play a full 40 minutes the way we needed to. We played well for 20 minutes. But we need to play better."
"We need to defend better. We need to rebound better. And we need to do a better of sharing the basketball," Senderoff said.
While Muscala enjoyed a big night for Bucknell, Kent State's seniors struggled through a rough night. Chris Evans made just 2-of-14 from the field on his way to just five points -- 13 below his season average.
Randal Holt scored six on 1-for-4 shooting, but with the Bison defense keeping him from clean looks at the basket, the senior guard set up his teammates for six assists.
"Chris and Randal were a combined 3-for-16, and when we lost to Princeton the other night they were 9-for-27," said Senderoff. "Those two seniors had been playing at a really high level, and that's why we had won some games."
After back-to-back road wins at Nebraska and Youngstown State, the Golden Flashes have now dropped two in a row to fall to 5-4.
Kent State did get some production from its bench, led by Devareaux Manley's 15 points and another 10 from Kris Brewer. The Kent State bench outscored Bucknell's 29-15.
"I'm glad Dev made some shots and Kris is starting to come around," said Senderoff. "That was a bright spot."
After trailing Bucknell 32-31 at the half, the Golden Flashes were out-scored 44-29 in the final 20 minutes.
Kent State was outrebounded 34-22 and outscored both on second-chance points, 13-9 and in the paint, 34-20.
Bucknell improved to 8-1 with the win.
Kent State next plays at Xavier on Sunday in a 4 p.m. start.