On Jan. 27, Akron pretty much ran Kent State off the court in the fourth quarter, outscoring KSU 28-18 on the way to a 76-60 victory.
It may have been the low point of a Kent State season without a lot of high points. At that time, Akron hadn’t won a league game. Kent State went into the game with hopes of climbing back into contention in the MAC.
Since that game, both teams have lost five of six games. The Flashes are pretty much out of contention for even a home game in the first round of the MAC Tournament.
Saturday Kent State (4-11 in the MAC, 11-16 overall) gets a chance to avenge the Akron loss in a 2 p.m. game at the M.A.C. Center. Akron is 2-13 and 8-18.
In the first Akron game, the Zips pushed the ball hard in transition, outscoring KSU 14-0 on fast-break points. They had nine steals and outscored the Flashes 13-2 off turnovers.
Turnovers and fast-break baskets have hurt Kent State throughout the season, though the Flashes actually outscored Ohio off turnovers in their 79-78 loss in Athens Wednesday.\
That game was KSU’s best in a month, and coach Todd Starkey said he expects that kind of play to carry over to the Akron game.
“We’ll be ready,” the coach said in his postgame interview Wednesday. “These girls are going to take the momentum of how hard they fought in this game, and I expect us to play well.”
Jordan Korinek continues to lead the Flashes in scoring at 20.7 points a game (22.3 in MAC games). Both figures are second in the conference by about a point per game to Courtney Woods of Northern Illinois. Korinek is third nationally in made foul shots and seventh in free-throw attempts.
The senior forward scored 26 at Ohio and is up to 1,711 in her career. That’s sixth all time for the Flashes. She’s 17 points behind Ann Forbes for fifth and 88 behind Lindsay Shearer for fourth with at least four games to play. Ahead of Forbes and Shearer are three 2,000-point scorers in Amy Sherry, Tracey Lynn and Bonnie Beachy.
Akron is led guards sophomore Shaunay Edmonds, who averages 11.5 points a game, and freshman Destiny Perkins, who averages 8.0. Perkins had her best collegiate game against Kent State in January, scoring 19 points with four assists and two steals. Forward Haliegh Reinoehl leads the Zips in rebound at 8.8 rebounds per game (fourth in the MAC) and averages 7.5 points.
The game is Senior Day for the Flashes. Korinek, McKenna Stephens, Naddiyah Cross and Zenobia Bess will be honored before the game. It’s actually the second senior day for Stephens, who also was honored last season. She graduated in May but still had eligibility remaining because she sat out a year as a transfer. She returned to the team as a graduate student this season.
The game is also part of the Wagon Wheel Challenge, which matches the two schools in all sports. Saturday is worth a half point (because the teams play twice in basketball). Akron leads 4.0-2.0 this season.
To follow the game
Action starts at 2 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center. The men’s game against Bowling Green will follow at 6 p.m., but it’s not technically a doubleheader. You’ll need separate tickets for both games.
Video is through the KSU website. (For the second straight weak, the game is not on ESPN3.)
Audio starts at about 1:45 p.m. on Golden Flash iHeart Radio and WHLO.
Live statistics will be available through the Kent State website.
Preview from the Kent State website, including links to statistics, roster, schedule/results, record book and more.
MAC statistics, including standings.