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January 10, 2008Texas A&M-Corpus Christi seven-foot senior center Chris Daniels had his way last year against the Kent State men's basketball team scoring 23 points in the Islanders 81-73 home win.
That was not the case Wednesday night.
Daniels, who was on last year's Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America Team, was held to just 11 points-all in the second half-as Kent State cruised to an easy 61-50 victory in front of 2,142 fans at the M.A.C. Center.
"Kent State really wanted to take Chris Daniels out of the game and make him a non-factor," Corpus Christi head coach Perry Clark said.
Yet, Kent State didn't have to do much to accomplish that in the first half. To Clark's chagrin, Daniels inadvertently took himself out of the game with three early fouls.
"When a great player like Daniels gets in early foul trouble you want to kind of go at him and hope he commits another one," Kent State head coach Jim Christian said.
While Daniels stewed on the bench after playing just five minutes, Kent State senior forward Haminn Quaintance was dominating post play.
By halftime Quaintance already had all of his game-high 13 points while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking three shots. He finished with 14 rebounds, five blocks and three assists.
Quaintance didn't score much in the second half; defending Daniels was tough enough. Although he did have some defensive help from an unlikely source in 6-foot-10 inch sophomore Brandon Parks.
Playing his first meaningful minutes of the season, Parks was able to use his 290-pound frame against Daniels. He also found a nice rhythm offensively as he connected on a jumper from the base line with nearly 12 minutes left. Parks finished the game with six points and three rebounds.
"He earned an opportunity to get in the game by how he has practiced and he went into the game and played well," Christian said.
With the likes of Parks, Quaintance and senior forward Mike Scott controlling the post, Corpus Christi was forced to rely on its back court play, which consists of three freshmen. The results weren't exactly what Clark would like to see.
"I thought they did a good job of locking up on our guards and not giving a lot of free looks, but we didn't shoot the ball very well," Clark said. "I credit that to Kent State and defensively the way that they played. They are an experienced team they know what they are trying to do, when they are trying to do it and how they are trying to do it. They really took advantage of the mistakes that we made."