A team they can beat

It’s time for Kent State to win a game.

If not now, it’s hard to say when.

The Flashes play Miami at the MACC at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Miami is the only team in the conference with a worse record than Kent State. The Redhawks are 0-10, KSU 1-9. In almost every statistical category, Miami is worse that Kent State. More on that later.

“Our players need the validation of a victory,” coach Danny O’Banion said at the KSU coach’s luncheon Monday. “It’s hard for the players to feel like they’re playing better without that win.

“They know they’re playing better against good teams, but when they get back to the dorms, the roommates and friends still know they lost.

“We really won’t know until we close one out.”

The Flashes came close to beating Central Michigan and Akron on the road. They led first-place Ohio at halftime Saturday. But they still have lost seven in a row since beating Bowling Green in Kent Jan. 10.

Miami, like Kent State, is 3-18. The Redhawks’ RIP is 342 (out of 349 teams); Kent’s is 323. They’re last in the MAC in scoring at 53.6 points per game. (Kent State is 10th at 55.1.) They’re last in field goal percentage at  34.7%; Kent is fifth at 40.1%. They’re second to last in turnover margin at -5.387, only slightly better than Kent’s -5.57. The only thing they’re significantly better than Kent State in is foul shooting, where Kent is a distant last in the conference at 58.7 percent.

No Miami player averages in double figures scoring. The Redhawks’ leading scorer is 5-10 freshman guard Baleigh Reid, who averages 9.4 points per game. Second is scoring is another freshman, 6-2 guard Kayla Brown, who averages 8.3. Leading rebounder is 6-foot junior Hannah McCue, who averages 8.0.

Kent State should have its best freshman back. O’Banion said 6-2 forward Jordan Korinek was cleared to play Monday after sitting out Saturday with a concussion. The coach described her injury like this:

Korinek was “clocked pretty well”in the afternoon shootaround before last Wednesday’s game with Eastern Michigan. She didn’t tell anyone and during the first half was “not making “Jodan-like decisions.” Korinek admitted to dizziness at halftime and didn’t even sit on the bench in the second half.

Before the Eastern game, Korinek had averaged 13.3 points per game over the previous six games.

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