5-4 Flashes play Friday afternoon in first-ever game against NJIT (3-8)

The Flashes in Times Square on their visit to New York for game against NJIT. (Photo from team Twitter feed.)

Kent State plays the New Jersey Institute of Technology Friday in its last Division I non-conference game of the season.

The game has an unusual 2 p.m. starting time.

NJIT is 3-8 with a 333 RPI (out of 351 Division I teams). The Highlanders have won two road games in a row, though against two teams with RPIs above 320.

The Flashes are 5-4 and have won two road games in a row against slightly better teams. KSU’s RPI is 140, seventh best in the Mid-American Conference.

Kent State is coming off its best offensive game of the season, a 76-64 victory over Saint Bonaventure.

“I was pleased with the win and how we’re improving,” coach Todd Starkey said. “But I feel like we still have a ways to go. That’s promising — to play a pretty tough non-conference schedule and be 5-4 and still feel like we haven’t played close to our best basketball yet.”

The Flashes are playing NJIT for the first time. The Highlanders are led by grad student Kelly Guarino, who scored 28 points with seven three-point baskets in NJIT’s 71-53 win against Colgate. Guarino is a 5-7 guard averages 14.6 points per game. 5-11 guard Danielle Tunstall averages 11.5 and 5-8 guard Ellyn Still 10.7. Grad student Tatianna Torres, another guard, is one steal away from the NJIT career record.

KSU freshman Lindsey Thall’s 14 points against Saint Bonaventure has moved her scoring averaging into double digits (10.1) for the first time this season. The 6-2 forward has never scored fewer than seven points this season.

Also averaging in double figures are redshirt junior guard Megan Carter (15.3) and freshman point guard Asiah Dingle (12.1). Dingle’s 17 points against Saint Bonaventure was the best of her young career.

Merissa Barber-Smith leads KSU in rebounds (7.0 per game) despite averaging just 16 minutes. Barber Smith 1.6 blocks a game leads the MAC.

How to follow the game

The game starts at 2 p.m. Friday at NJIT’s Wellness and Events Center. Here are directions if you’re anywhere near the area.

Audio broadcast starts about 1:45 p.m. on Golden Flash iHeart Radio.

Video is on ESPN Plus, which costs $4.99 a month. The service covers about 85 percent of KSU men’s and women’s basketball games and some KSU events in other sports. It includes access to many other MAC games and games in other conferences. Here’s a Kent State Q&A on ESPN+ and a link to this game’s webcast, which will guide you through a purchase.

Live statistics are available through the NJIT website.

Links

Game preview from Kent State women’s website, including links to statistics, roster and more.

Detailed media game notes for Kent State.

Preview from NJIT website, including links.

NJIT detailed media game notes.

MAC statistics, including standings.

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