Kent State holds off Central Michigan 116-106 in MAC opener

Posted at 7:25 AM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 07:25:48-05

Jimmy Hall scored a career-high 33 points with 13 rebounds, Jalen Avery scored 17 of his career-high 24 points, including five 3-pointers, in overtime and Kent State beat Central Michigan 116-106 in Monday night's Mid-American Conference Tournament opener.

The sixth-seeded Golden Flashes (19-13) advance to play No. 3 seed Buffalo (17-14) in Thursday's quarterfinal.

Marcus Keene's 3-pointer put the Chippewas up 94-91 in OT, but Avery hit back-to-back 3s amid a 12-4 run and the Golden Flashes led 103-98. Central Michigan closed to 103-101 on another Keene 3, but Avery again replied with a 3-pointer and Kent State pulled ahead 111-104 on his free throw with 41 seconds left. Avery sealed it with four free throws in the final 25 seconds.

Jaylin Walker scored 29 with a career-best 14 boards, Deon Edwin added 17 points, and Mitch Peterson had 10 for the Golden Flashes, who trailed 53-40 at halftime and led 91-88 with 1:17 left in regulation before Braylon Rayson tied it with a 3.

Keene scored 41 points with nine 3-pointers and Rayson scored 32 with five 3-pointers for the No. 11 seed Chippewas (16-16).

It was Keene's seventh 40-point game of the season.