Flashes host Slippery Rock at 2 p.m. Sunday in opening exhibition game

Alexa Golden (24), Megan Carter (31) and Ali Poole (23) have started a total of 114 games at Kent State. The rest of the team combined? Two.

We get our first look Kent State women’s basketball team at 2 p.m. Saturday when the Flashes host Division II Slippery Rock in an exhibition game at the M.A.C. Center.

Admission is free. Doors open about 1 p.m.

It will be the first exhibition game since Todd Starkey became head coach in 2016. Teams are allowed a total of two preseason meetings with other teams — either an exhibition and a closed scrimmage or two closed exhibitions. Exhibitions are usually against Division II or Division III teams. Scrimmages are almost always against other Division I teams. Last year the Flashes scrimmaged Cleveland State and Xavier on the same weekend.

“We just felt like we needed on-court game experience more than we needed scrimmage this year,” Starkey said in a preseason interview. Five of Kent State’s 14 playrs are freshman; two more have only community college experience.

“The last few years we had people who played in games, so we needed scrimmage time,” Starkey said. “This year it’s a matter of them understanding the drill — putting on a uniform, going through pregame warmups, checking in at the scorers table, the whole process of a game before we’re actually in one.

“I felt like we really need to have fans in the stands, then go through pregame warmups and all that type of thing for the first time here instead of in North Carolina.”

The Flashes officially open the season next Friday at North Carolina, then play at North Carolina State on Sunday.

Sunday’s opponent, Slippery Rock, is picked fourth in the nine-team East Division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The Rock — Slippery Rock’s nickname — was 12-16 last season and 10-12 in its conference. Ten league wins were the most in school history.

Slippery Rock has four players who started at least 11 games last season, including its top four scorers — 5-7 senior guard Ciara Patterson (15.8 points per game), 5-6 junior guard Brooke Hinderliter (14.1), 6-2 senior forward Morgan Henderson (9.3) and 5-8 junior guard Madison Johnson (9.2). Freshman guard Olivia Fusaaro was a two-time all-state selection in high school.

It will be interesting to see KSU’s starting lineup. Here’s my guess:

POINT GUARD: 5-4 freshman Asiah Dingle, with 5-foot freshman Mariah Modkins getting lots of playing time.

SHOOTING GUARD/WING: 5-9 senior Alexa Golden and 5-7 redshirt junior Megan Carter. 6-foot hunior Ali Poole and 5-10 freshman Hannah Young are likely the first guards off the bench, though Poole may start. She did most of last season.

FORWARDS: 6-4 senior Merissa Barber-Smith and 6-2 freshman Lindsey Thall, with 6-foot community college transfer Sydney Brinlee getting lots of time.

In a game like this, everybody on the roster is likely to play.

Radio and live statistics

The new scoreboard

Fans will see the MACC’s new electronic scoreboard for the first time. It’s huge — four times the area for video as the old one, which just wore out and couldn’t be fixed for lack of parts.

 

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