The Kent St. Golden Flashes are moving on in the 2011 NIT Basketball Tournament after beating the Fairfield Stags on the road 72-68. Kent State will next face top seeded Colorado Buffaloes in the quarterfinals on Tuesday night with a trip to Madison Square Garden on the line.
Randal Holt scored 22 points while Carlton Guyton added 16 to lead the Flashes(25-11) to the win. The Flashes took a 52-49 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining on a three pointer by Rodriguez Sherman and never trailed again.
Derek Needham led the Stags with 20 points – 18 in the first half – while Ryan Olander added 15 points. Michael Porrini scored 11 points for the Flashes who shot 50% from the field compared to 45% for Fairfield. Kent State was 8-19 from three point range while Fairfield converted just 7-26.
The game was tied at 35 at the break and Fairfield took a 41-37 lead as Kent State struggled to score. With the game tied at 49, the Flashes went on an 11-6 run to take a 60-55 lead. The Stags closed to within 7-68 with :14 seconds to go, but the Flashes iced the game away from the free throw line.