Kris Brewer had 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, Derek Jackson scored 10 and Khaliq Spicer had eight with nine boards for the Golden Flashes (13-5, 4-1 Mid-American). Kent State shot 48.1 percent from the field in winning its fourth straight.
Manley took over down the stretch, making two layups to take the lead with 6:31 remaining. Manley sank a 3-pointer, then responded to Williams' jumper with another trey, pushing Kent State's lead to 59-53 with 3:05 left.
The Rockets pulled within three late, but Kent State nailed 6 of 8 free throws to cap it.