6-5 Flashes host 1-10 Bowling Green, which just upset 2nd-place Buffalo

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In National Play4Kay competition among women’s programs, fans pledge money for each free throw a team makes in February. Link to Kent State donation page.

The game

Bowling Green (1-10 MAC, 8-14 overall) at Kent State (6-5 MAC, 13-9 overall), 5 p.m. Saturday at M.A.C. Center. Game is first of a doubleheaders with KSU men, who play a half hour after women finish. One ticket gets you in both games.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: Bowling Green has won just one MAC game, but it was quite a game. The Falcons broke a 10-game losing streak (all in the league) Wednesday with a 78-72 upset of Buffalo, the second-place team in the conference and No. 31 (of 351 teams) in the latest RPI rankings. BG will be hungry for a second win. Kent State needs to win games like this in order to keep challenging for a first-division finish in the MAC.

PLAY4KAY: The  game is Kent State’s annual “Play4Kay” game to support research against women’s cancers. Players and coaches wear pink (shoes, warmups, ties, etc.) and the team takes donations. Cancer survivors and their families are honored. The team is also taking part in the Play4Kay Free Throw Challenge, in which a donation is made for every foul shot the team makes in February. (Details in caption above.) Game is named for Kay Yow, a Hall of Fame coach at North Carolina State who fought three occurrences of cancer before dying in 2009. About Play4Kay.

WHAT COACH TODD STARKEY IS SAYING: “We’re still struggling with our consistency —  game-to-game, sometimes quarter-to-quarter. You can take that as frustrating, or look at it as a positive since we’re 13-9 and No. 81 in the RPI and we still haven’t played our best basketball yet.

“Bowling Green will come in with a heightened sense of confidence. They’re a good team that’s continued to improve throughout the season. They play really hard and have enough shooters to make it interesting against anybody.”

(As quoted by Allen Moff in Record-Courier.)

About Bowling Green

IN THE MAC: Last at 1-10. Only win was Wednesday against Buffalo at BG.

(I use full league standings because seedings are determined solely on the conference record. Where a team finishes in its division means nothing.)

RPI: 210 of 351 teams. Schedule strength: 121. Road record: 2-8. Besides Buffalo, best win was 61-60 at home against 13-8 Robert Morris, which currently leads the Northeastern Conference with an 11-0 record. Kent State beat RMU 54-46 in December.

LAST GAME: Beat Buffalo 78-72. Kent lost at Buffalo 75-66 a week ago.

KEY TEAM STATS (conference games only)

  • Scores 68.1 points a game, seventh in MAC. Opponents score 78.3 (11th).
  • Field goal percentage: 40.8 (eighth). Field goal defense: 44.8 (last).
  • Three-point percentage: 32.2 (eighth). Three-point baskets per game: 7.9 (third). Three-point defense: 36.1 (10th).
  • Rebounding margin: Minus-1.1 (seventh). Turnover margin: Minus-3.4 (11th).

COACH: In her first year at BG is Robyn Fralick, who was enormously successful at Ashland. Her teams went 104-3 in three years, won Division II Tournament in 2016-17 and was runner-up last season.

KEY PLAYERS

  • 6-1 junior wing Andrea Cecil (15.0 points per game,13th in MAC).  Field goal percent: 41.5, (10th). Three-point percentage: 36.4. Rebounds: 5.5.
  • 5-9 freshman guard Morgan McMillen (11.2 points). Three-point percentage: 32.6 Three-pointers per game: 2.5 (seventh). Takes 7.8 three-point shots a game. McMillen went through the non-conference as MAC’s highest-scoring freshman but has cooled during league play.
  • 5-8 senior guard Sidney Lambert (12.8 points). Assists: 3.8. Rebounds: 4.8.
  • 5-9 freshman guard Kadie Kempfling (8.2 rebounds, seventh in MAC. 4.9 points).

Kent State

IN THE MAC: Tied for sixth with Northern Illinois at 6-5, one game behind Toledo, one game ahead of Akron, and three games behind first-place Miami.

RPI: 81. Schedule strength: 74. Home record: 8-2. Has won three of last four games.

LAST GAME: Won at Eastern Michigan 67-54 on Wednesday.

KEY TEAM STATS (conference games only)

  • 67.3 points a game (eighth in MAC). Opponents average 65.4  (third).
  • Field goal percentage: 38.2 (tied for last). Field goal defense: 39.7 (second).
  • Three-point percentage: 34.9 (fourth). Three-point baskets per game: 7.34 (sixth). Three-point defense: 32.7 (sixth).
  • Rebounding margin: Plus-0.4 (fifth). Turnover margin: Plus-1.7  (fifth)
  • Blocked shots: 4.18 (first). Steals: 8.73 (third).

KEY PLAYER STATS

  • 5-9 senior guard Alexa Golden: 10.1 points. Steals: 3.4 (first in MAC). Three-point percentage: 39.6 (10th). Assists: 3.1 (15th). Blocks: 0.9 (ninth). Rebounds: 6.4 (14th). She had Kent State’s first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Eastern Michigan.
  • 5-7 redshirt junior guard Megan Carter: 16.8 points, ninth in MAC. Field-goal percentage: 41.9 (ninth). Three-point percentage: 42.1 (sixth). Free-throw percentage: 72.6  (fifth).
  • 5-4 freshman point guard Asiah Dingle: 12.8 points (19th). Free-throw percentage: 78.8 (third) . Steals: 2.1 (sixth).
  • 6-2 freshman forward Lindsay Thall: 9.5 points. Three-point percentage: 45.5 (fourth). Blocked shots: 1.9 (tied for first). Rebounds: 5.3.
  • 6-0 junior guard Ali Poole: 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds.

THE BOTTOM LINE: On paper and at home, Kent State is clear favorite. If BG plays anywhere near the way they did against Buffalo, though, things will get interesting.

To follow the game

The game starts at 5 p.m. Saturday at the M.A.C. Center. It’s the first game of a doubleheader with the KSU men, who play Eastern Michigan a half hour after the women finish. A $5 women’s general admission ticket or any men’s ticket gets you into both games. Average Kent State attendance is 1,329, seventh in the MAC and highest in at least 15 years.

Audio starts at about 4:45 p.m. on Golden Flash iHeart Radio. Jacob Pavilack is the announcer.

Video is through ESPN Plus, which costs $4.99 a month. The service covers about 50 percent of KSU basketball games (the rest are broadcast elsewhere) and other games and features. You can watch it through your cable or satellite company or the ESPN app. Here’s a link to the ESPN broadcast, which will guide you through a purchase. David Wilson is play-by-play announcer.

Live statistics are available through the Kent State website.

Links

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

Bowling Green website, including links.

MAC conference game statistics, including link to full-season stats.

MAC standings


 


The game starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Alumni Arena at the University of Buffalo. It’s about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Kent. Here are directions from the Eastern website. General admission tickets are $5. Average Buffalo attendance is 1,856, fifth in the MAC.

Video is through ESPN3. You need a subscription to ESPN on your cable or satellite system or through the ESPN app.

Links

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

Detailed media notes from Kent State.

Preview from Eastern Michigan website, including links.

Media notes from Eastern Michigan.

 

 

 

 

 

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