Freshman Asiah Dingle is KSU’s second-leading at 12.8 points per game. Her status for the Youngstown State game is unclear because of an ankle injury suffered Sunday. (Photo by Melanie Nesteruk/Kent Stater)
Kent State plays third straight Horizon League team Tuesday, but this one is likely to be a lot harder than the two the team beat last weekend.
The Flashes host Youngstown State at 5 p.m. at the M.A..C.C. in the first game of a doubleheader with the KSU men’s team, which plays Savannah State a half hour after the women end.
YSU is 4-0, with wins over Pittsburgh (2-2), Loyola (2-1), Robert Morris (1-3) and Carlow University, an NAIA school. All of the Penguins victories over Division I schools were by about 10 points.
Youngstown has won 11 of its last 12 games going back to last season. Kent State beat the Penguins 55-44 in Youngstown in its second game last year.
The Penguins have four players back with starting experience, including 6-1 redshirt senior forward Sarah Cash, who has scored 1,059 points in her career. Cash was a Horizon League preseason first-team selection. A second-team member was 5-10 point guard Chelsea Olson, who is averaging 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds through four games.
Kent State beat Eastern Kentucky 62-61 Saturday and Oakland 75-65 Sunday in the the initial Kent State Classic tournament. Both are Horizon League members, picked to finish sixth and seventh in the league. Youngstown is predicted to finish fourth.
The Flashes may be without a key member of their lineup. Starting point guard Asiah Dingle hurt her ankle late in the Oakland game and was on crutches after the game.
If she can’t play, point duties will go to freshman Moriah Modkins and junior Megan Carter. Modkins played 15 minutes — her most of the season — against Oakland and had six points on two three-point baskets. The 5-foot guard played for Solon High School’s state runner-up team last season.
Carter is Kent’s leading scorer at 17.8 points a game, ninth in the MAC. She’s averaged 34.5 minutes a game this season; senior Alexa Golden played 35 Sunday.
“I’d like to play Lex and Morgan for a few less minutes,” KSU coach Todd Starkey said Sunday, “but right now some of our freshmen and transfers aren’t quite ready to be in the heat of the battle.”
Freshman guard Hannah Young averages 16 minutes and six points a game. No other shooting guard has played more than a minute.
Carter and 6-4 senior Merissa Barber-Smith lead the Flashes in rebounding at 5 per game. Barber-Smith has done it in only 14 minutes per game, but she’s also scored only four points.
Golden is fourth in the conference with 2.5 steals a game. Dingle (1.8) is 14th, Ali Poole (1.5) 19th and Carter (1.3) 27th.
Thall is fourth with 1.5 blocks per game, heavily influenced by her four blocks against Oakland.
Preview from Kent State women’s website, including links to statistics, roster and more.
Preview from YSU website, including links.
To follow the YSU game
The game starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the M.A.C.C. Reserved seat tickets are $10, general admission $5. The men’s game at Savannah State follows a half hour after the women finish. One ticket gets you in both games.
Audio broadcast starts about 4:45 p.m. on Golden Flash iHeart Radio.
Video is through ESPN-plus, which costs $4.99 a month. It covers about 85 percent of KSU men’s and women’s basketball games and some KSU events in other sports. The service includes access to other MAC games and those of many other schools, plus some unique programming. You can watch it through your cable or satellite company or the ESPN app. Here’s a Kent State Q&A on ESPN+ and a link to the KSU-YSU game. When you try to watch it, it will guide you through a purchase.
Live statistics are available through the KSU website.