The Kent State women’s basketball team finishes its non-conference schedule this week with games at Iowa and Minnesota of the Big Ten.
Both will be among the toughest tests of the season for the Flashes, who have their best record in six years under new coach Todd Starkey.
The Flashes are 6-4. That’s as many wins as they had all last season.
Both Iowa and Minnesota are 8-4. Iowa is ranked 61st in the latest RPI rankings, Minnesota 13th, both in large part because of difficult non-conference schedules. Iowa has lost to No. 10 UCLA, No. 2 Notre Dame, 6-3 Drake and 8-3 South Dakota State, which was ranked No. 1 among mid-major schools at the time the two teams played. The Hawkeyes have beaten 8-2 Iowa State and 5-3 James Madison.
Minnesota has lost to No. 6 South Carolina, No. 7 Florida State, 7-3 Georgia and 8-2 North Carolina. It has beaten 8-2 Georgetown, 8-1 Harvard and 8-2 Army and 7-2 Seton Hall.
Kent State’s toughest opponent has been No. 3 Baylor, which beat the Flashes 84-42 in the Gulf Coast Showcase. That actually was a fairly close game for Baylor (10-1); it’s beaten three teams by at least 60 and three others by at least 40. Baylor’s RPI is only 31 and heavily influenced by a fairly easy schedule, computed at 133rd in the country by RealTimeRPI.com. That’s easier than the schedule of 8-0 Buffalo of the Mid-American Conference.
Kent State’s RPI rank is 228.
Iowa has two outstanding three-point shooters in leading scorer Ally Disterhoft (17.8 point per game, 51.7 percent distance shooting) and Rania Davis (10.9 ppg and 40.4 percent on three-pointers). Megan Guftason, a 6-3 sophomore forward, averages 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds a game.
Iowa leads the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage defense (.265). The Hawkeyes also rank third in field goal percentage defense (.354), field goal percentage (.487), and assists (18.2).
Kent State’s top scorer is senior Larissa Lurken, who’s sixth in the country with a 23-point-per-game average. She’s making 44.9 percent of her three-point shots. The Flashes’ best post player is 6-2 forward Jordan Korinek, who is averaging 12 points and five rebounds, both about three below what she did a year ago.
Kent State and Iowa have one common opponent so far this season. Iowa beat Robert Morris 81-60 in Iowa City; the Flashes lost to the Colonials 68-65 in overtime in Kent. Robert Morris is 5-6 this season.
Preview from the Kent State website, including links to statistics, roster and schedule/results.
Preview from the Iowa website, which is a detailed PDF file.
To follow the game
- Video starts at 5 p.m. on the BTN2Go network. (To watch, you’ll need to pay $14.95 for a monthly subscription, which also will let you watch Thursday’s Minnesota game and other Big Ten games. If you pay, make sure you cancel this month, or it will automatically renew.)
- Audio at about 4:45 on Golden Flash iHeart radio.
- Live statistics are available through the Iowa website.
- In-game updates on Twitter at @KentStatwbb.
MAC score update
Central Michigan (8-3) 82, Illinois (5-7) 51 at Central.
Miami (4-6) 69, Fort Wayne (2-9) 47 at Fort Wayne.
South Dakota (10-2) 97, Northern Illinois (6-4) 83 at South Dakota.
Ohio (8-1) 63, Binghamton (4-7) 554 at Ohio.
No. 2 Notre Dame (10-1) 85, Toledo (8-2) 68 at Toledo.
Lipscomb (2-10) 78, Ball State (6-4) 74 at Ball State.
Western Michigan (8-2) 83, Bradley (2-7) 64 at Western.
Purdue (9-4) 77, Eastern Michigan (4-7) 50 at Purdue.
Duquesne (6-6) 67, Akron (5-3) 57 at Akron.
MAC standings with some team statistics.