Eastern Michigan (11-5, 0-3 MAC) led by 10 at intermission, but the Golden Flashes battled back quickly in the second half. Derek Jackson's 3-pointer with 15:23 left gave Kent State the lead for good, 41-40, but it was never a comfortable advantage as Kent State (11-5, 2-1) struggled through two prolonged scoring droughts.
After Jimmy Hall's jumper with 9:50 left pushed the lead to nine, 51-42, the team went scoreless until Hall's layup with 5:40 to go. After Ortiz' jumper with 4:55 left the Golden Flashes were scoreless until another Ortiz jumper with 2:03 came after Eastern Michigan cut the lead to a point at 55-54.
Ortiz was 6 of 8 from the field, 6 of 9 from the line.
Mike Talley led the Eagles with 16 points.