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Bucknell, Muscala put away Golden Flashes with ease

Published: December 5, 2012 4:00 AM

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."

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"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.

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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.

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