The last time Kent State swept a season series with Bowling Green was 2001-02. It was the peak of the Bob Lindsay era, when Dawn Zerman and Julie Studer were leading the Flashes to a MAC East and Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Kent State had won 12 in a row and 17 of 18 against BG.
Then BG’s dynasty started. The Falcons won the next 13 games against Kent State, lost one, then won the next eight as they won the MAC regular season nine times and MAC Touirnament five times between 2005 and 2014.
Kent State ended that BG streak Jan. 10 with a 55-48 victory in Kent.
Bowling Green was 30-5 last year but returned only six players (two starters) from that team. The Falcons had 12 players at the start of the season; four, including leading scorer Erica Donavon, have been lost for the season due to injury. Three freshmen have started for BG at various times this season. In January, they imported a volleyball player to fill the roster.
So the Falcons have their worst record in decades and are tied with Kent State for 10th in the conference (fourth in the East) with 2-11 records. Overall, they’re 9-15. Miami is last in the MAC at 1-12.
Kent State has suffered its share of injuries this season. Seniors Mikell Chinn and Montia Johnson both missed more than a month with concussions but have been big contributors in the last few games. Chinn has moved back into the starting lineup and is playing more than 30 minutes at point guard. She ranks second in the conference in assists. Johnson, who was KSU’s leading scorer a year ago, had nine points in the Flashes’ two-point victory over Northern Illinois last Saturday.
Kent State beat BG in January behind an overpowering performance behind 6-4 senior center Cici Shannon, who had 16 points and 20 rebounds. Bowling Green’s injuries have left the Falcons’ front court depleted, and you can expect Kent State to try to pound the ball inside. The Flashes have done that successfully for the last two games. Against NIU and at Buffalo Wednesday (a tough 59-57 loss), Kent State post players have scored 69 of Kent State’s 99 points. Not all those points have come near the basket; freshmen Jordan Korinek and Mckenna Stephens have scored consistently with 10- to 17-foot shots.
The game is at 5 p.m., the second of a double header in Bowling Green. The Falcon men’s team, which is tied with Kent State for first in the MAC, plays Buffalo at 2 p.m.