KENT, Ohio – The College of Wooster men's basketball team was competitive early and turned in a respectable effort during an 86-65 loss against Div. I Kent State University in an exhibition contest on Friday evening at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center on the campus of Kent State. The teams were allowed to square off against each other thanks to a NCAA waiver that enabled teams to schedule an additional exhibition with the proceeds going towards disaster relief. Kent State's proceeds from the contest will go to the United Way Disaster Relief Fund.
In fact, Wooster led 10-9 at the first media timeout thanks to a combination of clutch shooting and team speed. At the offensive end of the floor, senior Spencer Williams pumped in a pair of layups, and the Scots benefitted from 3-pointers by junior Eric Bulic and sophomore Trenton Tipton. On the defensive end of the floor sophomore Danyon Hempy and Tipton came away with steals.
The Scots were within two at 20-18 at the second media timeout thanks to two more 3-pointers. In fact, junior Simon Texidor knocked down a trio of early trifectas, the third of which gave Wooster a two-point lead at 24-22 with 10:44 to go in the opening half. On the night, Wooster connected on its first six 3-pointers.
Kent State found its groove from there with a 9-0 run to make it 33-26, but the Scots later stormed back when a Hempy bucket with 4:26 to go pulled the Scots within three at 35-32.
Two buckets by Williams had Wooster within 10 in the second half at 52-42 and most recently at 54-44 with 16:07 to go.
Wooster nearly finished with a higher field goal percentage for the game as Kent State's 39.1 percent clip just edged out the Scots' 37.7 percent mark. However, the Scots did knock down 11-of-22 3-pointers for the game. Notable, Wooster held Kent State to 29.4 percent (10-for-34) shooting in the second half.
Texidor led Wooster with 13 points while first-year Keonn Scott and Williams chipped in 12 each. Williams paced the Scots with six rebounds. Other stats worth noting include two blocks each by junior Eric Bulic and senior Alex Baptiste.
Jaylin Walker led all scorers with 19 points while Mitch Peterson snared a game-high eight rebounds.
Wooster has another tall order on deck as the Scots take on Ohio State University at 4 p.m. on Sunday in Columbus.