Clutch shots from Brewer, Manley lift Kent State to OT win over Northern Illinois

Staff and wire reports Published:

Staff and wire report

DeKALB, Ill. -- Clutch shots by junior guards Kris Brewer and Devareaux Manley helped Kent State snatch victory from the jaws of defeat Wednesday night at Northern Illinois.

Brewer scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the final 25 minutes, Manley hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 39 seconds left in regulation, and the Golden Flashes (11-5, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) dominated the extra session to claim a 73-64 overtime victory over the Huskies (7-8, 1-2) at the Convocation Center.

Brewer hit three 3-pointers and 10-of-12 free throws, stepping up when his team needed him most down the stretch as several key Kent State players were on the bench due to foul trouble.

"Coach (Rob Senderoff) told me to step up and be the leader that I am, and that's what I did," said Brewer. "We had to find a way today. Defense was a key to this game. We just came through and got the victory."

Manley scored 10 points, hitting a pair of huge 3s, while junior guard Derek Jackson added three 3s of his own on his way to 14 points.

Jackson would also produce five rebounds and four assists. KSU hit 10-of-27 3-pointers on the night.

It was an uphill battle all night long for Kent State, which lost to a five-win Huskies squad last year in DeKalb.

The Flashes fell behind 8-1 out of the gate after missing their first five shots, and trailed 22-11 with 10:21 left in the first half. Despite having four key players on the bench with two fouls Kent State rallied, going on a 16-3 run as Manley hit a 3-pointer to put his team up 26-25 with 3:13 left in the first half.

After the Huskies regained the lead, Jackson hit a late 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down to tie the contest at 30-30 after 20 minutes.

Jackson produced eight points and three assists to carry the Flashes through the first 20 minutes.

Kent State continued to pile up fouls, while Northern Illinois raced ahead early in the second half. With 10:49 the Flashes trailed 49-36, were shooting 50 percent from the free-throw line, and three players -- Darren Goodson, Mark Henniger and Jackson -- were on the bench with four fouls.

That's when Brewer took over.

After missing five of his first six field goals, Brewer hit one huge shot after another down the stretch. He canned a 3-pointer to tie the game at 52, then made a jumper to put the Flashes up 54-52 with 5:06 left.

After going over 13 minutes without a field goal the Huskies regrouped, reeling off five straight points. Two Aaric Armstead free throws gave Northern Illinois a 57-54 lead, and the Huskies still led 58-55 with a minute left.

The game seemed to be lost when Brewer apparently lost the ball out of bounds, but the call was changed after a review, giving the Flashes life. Manley took full advantage, burying a 3 to tie the game with 39 seconds left.

Northern Illinois failed to get a shot off on its final possession of regulation.

Kent State and Brewer completely dominated the extra session. Brewer opened overtime with a jumper, then after a pair of Kellon Thomas (8 points, 4 assists) free throws buried a 3-pointer to put the Flashes up 65-58 with 1:54 left.

The Huskies never threatened.

Northern Illinois left Kent State hang around by hitting just 27-of-43 free throws, and the Flashes eventually made them pay. KSU hit just 25-of-38 free throws itself, but made 15 of its final 18.

Kent State will visit Buffalo (8-5, 2-1) on Saturday.

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