Flashes head to Miami, a team just ahead of them in MAC East

Kent State heads to Miami Wednesday for a game it could win — and needs to win if they’re going to make any kind of move in the second half of the MAC season.

Miami is 2-6 in the MAC (8-11 overall) and just a game and half ahead of Kent in the East Division. The Redhawks have beaten Northern Illinois and Buffalo at home. KSU, which is 1-8 in the MAC and 4-15 overall, beat Northern in Kent but lost to Buffalo here.

The biggest stumbling block for the Flashes Wednesday may be the simple fact that the game is on the road. They’ve yet to win a road game this year and really played well only once — a 73-67 loss to Toledo.

Miami, which beat Kent State twice last season, started the season 7-2 but has since lost 9 of 12.

5-10 sophomore guard Baleigh Reid, a Twinsburg High School grad, leads Miami. She averages 15.3 points a game.

As a team, Miami is 10th in the league in scoring (just behind Kent State) at 62.7 points a game and ninth in defense at 68.2. KSU is last in defense at 73.6.

Miami made a season-high 10 three-point shots in 77-54 loss at Central Michigan Saturday. That isn’t great news for Kent State, which has had trouble defending the three-pointer in conference play.

But Miami is last in the conference in turnover margin and commits more turnovers than any team in the league. Expect Kent State to use its full-court and half-court pressure defense.

Guard Larissa Lurken this week became the first KSU player since 2011 to be named MAC East player of the week. Last Wednesday she scored 37 points and had 11 rebounds against Northern Illinois, and on Saturday she had 11 points and nine rebounds again Western Michigan.

Lurken’s scoring average is 14.3 points per game, 12th in the MAC. Forward Jordan Korinek averages 15.7, which is seventh in the league. Korinek is fourth in the conference in shooting percentage at 54.7 and fourth in free-throw percentage at 84.2.

Audio for the game starts at 6:45 on WHLO 640 and Golden Flash iHeart Radio. Video is on ESPN3 and live statistics are on the Miami website. The video is online only or on cable of satellite TV if you subscribe to ESPN; it’s now free on the ESPN app for portable devices.

 

 

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