For the first time this season, Kent State plays a team with a worse record when it plays at the University of New Orleans Tuesday.
New Orleans is 1-7, with its only victory coming against Crowley’s Ridge, a Division 3 member of the National Christian College Athletic Association. The Privateers have played some good teams — No. 25 Mississippi State, No. 19 Oklahoma State and Alabama. Their schedule strength is 47th in the country, according to RealTimeRPI. Their overall RPI is 275; Kent’s is 298 with a schedule strength of 255.
The Flashes won their second game of the season 10 days ago at Colgate by a score of 62-61 when Melanee Stubbs hit a jumper with one second to go. Larissa Lurken led the Flashes in that game with 14 points after missing the previous game with the flu.
Coach Danny O’Banion says it’s unlikely starting point guard Mikell Chinn will be back in the line-up. Chinn suffered a concussion while Kent State was playing in a Thanksgiving tournament in California. Freshman Naddiyah Cross has started and played more than 35 minutes most games. But she was in foul trouble most of the Colgate game, and Krista White played at the point.
Like Kent State, New Orleans averages only about 55 points per game (though that’s somewhat screwed by the quality of competition). It doesn’t have a player averaging in double figures; top scorer is 5-7 guard Randi Brown, who averages nine but shoots only 29 percent from the field. Twelve Privateers average more than 9.6 minutes per game; no one averages more than 23.
Kent State, on the other hand, has only 11 scholarship players with two (Chinn and sophomore forward Janae Peterson) being hurt for the last month. Lurken averages 32 minutes per game, White 29 and Montia Johnson 25.
As a team, New Orleans is making only 37 percent of its field goal attempts and 23 percent of its three pointers. It shoots foul shots even worse that Kent State (53 percent to Kent’s 59 percent). It has a minus-7.4 rebounding margin and a minus-2.7 turnover margin.