Here's what Kent State men's basketball coach Rob Senderoff noticed after watching the tape of Saturday's 71-67 home loss to Akron, the Golden Flashes' fifth consecutive setback against their backyard rival:
WHAT STOOD OUT
n "It was a great atmosphere for a college game. You can even tell that on film. Our kids played really, really hard. Unfortunately in the second half they really manhandled us on the glass. Some of that is size and physicality and some of that's on us. We didn't do a good enough job of blocking out and we didn't do a good enough job getting to the offensive glass. Obviously we have some older guys with junior college kids, but we have a lack of experience. They have good experienced players, and they made big plays when they needed to. You can go down the line. (Senior center Zeke Marshall) shot free throws horribly, but when he got fouled with a minute to go he made them both. (Junior point guard Alex) Abreu didn't play particularly well, but when they needed a big 3 from him he banged it. (Senior guard Brian) Walsh didn't play particularly well, but when they needed a big shot from him he banged it. (Senior forward Chauncey) Gilliam as well, who hadn't played in a couple games and really came up big for them. That's really the difference in the game; it's not youth, it's more about experience. I had 11 guys in the game, and of those 11 guys only two of them played the last time we played Akron (a loss in the MAC Tournament semifinals). And Chris Evans played only (11) minutes in that game (2 points). The only guy who has really played in that game is Randal, and Randal didn't play particularly well (on Saturday)."
n (On a turnover by junior forward Melvin Tabb with 47 seconds left and KSU down two): "Chris Evans 1,000 percent made the right play, passing the ball when Zeke covered down. It may have been a bit of a tough pass, but Mel to a degree has gotta catch it. The reason he passed it is because Zeke's there. If anybody else in the league's there he's trying to score."
n "We competed at a really high level, and I'm proud of the guys. Last year's team for whatever reason may have been a little more talented, but I don't know that last year's team had the toughness that this team showed in this particular game. We gave up the lead, then we came back and took it back. At the end of the day they won, but it wasn't like we beat ourselves. Obviously it's disappointing, but if we can play with that type of effort we're gonna win much more than we lose. I'm proud of our kids. We had played that hard or close to that hard a number of times, we just hadn't done it at home since (the season-opening win over) Drexel, and stretches in the Arkansas State game. We have to grow from the game. One game doesn't make or break your season. Had we won it wouldn't have made or broken our season. The challenge for our team is to show that resiliency on Wednesday against another team (Bowling Green) that's good. Everyone in our league is good enough to beat us if we don't play well."
ON RECOVERING FROM THE TOUGH LOSS
"Today's an off day for us, but I've talked and texted with a number of guys. Kids are resilient. I would be more surprised if we didn't give a really good effort at Bowling Green than if we did. I don't expect us to not play really, really hard. I really think we can grow from this and I think it can help us, I really do, if we learn from it. We'll be in close games again, and we've gotta find a way to finish them out."
The Flashes (11-7, 2-2) will visit Bowling Green (6-11, 1-3) Wednesday at 7 p.m.