MARK ROSNER, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — When Kent State’s best scorer and rebounder was temporarily assigned to the bench with foul trouble early in the second half on Tuesday night, the Golden Flashes did not fall apart.
Instead, they thrived. Jaylin Walker scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half, helping Kent State overcome a six-point deficit and defeat Texas 63-58.
Deon Edwin scored 15 for Kent State (8-5), including 13 in the second half, and grabbed 12 rebounds. Kent State out rebounded Texas 53-34.
Jarrett Allen led Texas (6-6) with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Kerwin Roach, Jr. added 13 points.The Longhorns missed 16 of 18 3-point shots.
Forward Jimmy Hall, who averages 18.3 points and 11.3 rebounds, left the game with four fouls with 14:54 remaining. The Golden Flashes trailed by six at the time, but rallied without Hall, converting their first three 3-point baskets of the game after nine misses to take a 42-39 lead. Walker added a pair of baskets for a seven-point lead.
Kent State was relentless with and without Hall, thanks largely to Walker, who converted 9 of 18 shots after hitting 10 of 36 his previous two games.
“Our coach pushes us hard to not be a soft team,” Walker said.
Texas closed to within a point three times during the final 2:30 with two baskets by Tevin Mack and one by Allen. But Walker matched the first two and Hall (11 points, 11 rebounds) matched the third.
Texas had the ball trailing by three with less than 10 seconds remaining, but Hall blocked a driving shot by Eric Davis, Jr.
“Kent State deserves a lot of credit,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “They played hard. They could sense when our guys were frustrated.”
Kent State: The Golden Flashes rank 254th in the nation in field-goal shooting accuracy. On the other hand, they hustle enough to lead the nation in offensive rebounds with nearly 18 a game, including 34 during a loss to Oregon State. Kent State snagged 22 offensive boards against Texas, including seven in the first three minutes, and turned them into 18 second chance points. Texas grabbed 11 offensive rebounds.
“Our mentality is we determine the offensive rebounds,” coach Rob Senderoff said. “We determine how we get them or not. That’s been our mentality all year.”
Texas: Freshman Andrew Jones made a recent move toward becoming the point guard the Longhorns need when he averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals against Arkansas and Alabama-Birmingham in consecutive games. Then Jones had a rough night against Kent State, committing six turnovers, including two during a span of 15 seconds in the second half.
KENT STATE OPPORTUNISTIC
Kent State committed 21 turnovers, three more than Texas. But the Golden Flashes had a 24-15 edge in points after turnovers. That was more critical than rebounding, Smart said.
“That’s the biggest difference in the game to me,” Smart said.
Texas forward Mareik Isom was finally cleared to play after missing the first 11 games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery for a bacterial infection in his left ankle. Isom is one of four Longhorns who play center or power forward. He averaged six points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season at Arkansas-Little Rock before transferring to Texas and proved a capable 3-point shooter.
Kent State hosts Ball State on Jan. 3 in their Mid-American Conference opener.
Texas is at Kansas State on Friday in the Big 12 Conference opener.