Freshman Katie Shumate (14) is third on the team in scoring (12.6 points per game), second in rebounding (5.2), first in steals (2.5) and tied for first in blocked shots (1.3).
Kent State’s women return to action against St. Bonaventure Tuesday in a game that’s unlike any they’ve played this season: a home game against a weaker opponent.
The game is at noon at the M.A.C. Center. The unusual starting time for “Kids Day Presented by PSI,” which, the KSU website site says, means more than 1,000 elementary school students are expected to attend. PSI is a Twinsburg-based company that provides support services to school districts.
So far five of the Flashes’ six games have been in two categories:
- A close victory against a decent mid-major team — Duquesne 77-75, Youngstown State 82-73 in overtime, Robert Morris 82-81 on a last-second basket.
- A sound defeat by a Big Ten team — 88-53 by Michigan at the Akron Classic and 75-65 by Ohio State in Kent in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score.
The one exception — a 75-67 win over Purdue Fort Wayne in Akron — is the most comparable to St. Bonaventure. Fort Wayne is 2-5 with wins over Division III Heidelberg and Division I University of Illinois at Chicago, which is 0-7.
St. Bonaventure is 1-6, though it hasn’t lost any game by more than 12 points. It lost 78-67 Wednesday to 7-0 Binghamton and 65-62 to 5-1 Cleveland State. Its only win is against 1-6 Niagara.
Kent State beat the Bonnies 76-64 on the road last season.
St. Bonaventure was picked 13th in the 14-team Atlantic 10 Conference. Its top players are four guards — 5-foot-8 sophomore Asianae Johnson (12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game), 5-11 senior Dajah Logan (12.1 points per game) and 5-7 sophomore Deja Francis (6.9 points), who made the Atlantic 10 all-freshman team last season. 5-8 freshman freshman Olivia Brown has made 50% of her 18 three-point attempts and scored 20 points against Binghamton.
The Bonnies have only three players 6-foot or taller and only 6-1 junior Emily Calabrese has played significant minutes. She averages 8.4 points and 7.0 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure averages 64 points a game and gives up about 70. The Bonnies average eight 3-point baskets per game and have made 36% of their 3-point shots. They hit 10 of 17 against Binghamton.
It’s the kind of team that Kent State ought to beat by 15 or 20 points at home. It’s the kind of team Kent State ought to hold below 40% shooting.
But so far the Flashes haven’t beaten anyone by more than nine points and have held only one team — Fort Wayne — below 45% shooting.
The Flashes are scoring a lot of points —72.3 a game, almost seven more than last season. But they’re giving up a lot — 76.5, almost 14 more than last season.
All five KSU starters average in double figures, led by sophomore forward Lindsey Thall at 15.3 and freshman forward Nila Blackford at 14.8. But KSU’s entire bench is averaging 5.9 points a game, and half of that comes from two games by sophomore guard Hannah Young.
Senior Megan Carter would become Kent State’s 22nd 1,000-point scorer if she scores seven points against St. Bonaventure. (Here’s a nice feature on Carter by Kent Stater sports editor Gina Butkovich.)
To follow the game
Tipoff is at noon Tuesday at the M.A.C. Center. General admission tickets are $5. Students get in free with their ID.
Video is on ESPN+, which costs $4.99 a month. Link will take you to game page, which will explain how to pay when you try to watch. About half of MAC men’s and women’s games are on ESPN+; most of the rest are on other ESPN channels (free if you get ESPN) or other broadcast outlets. ESPN+ also streams some wrestling and gymnastics matches and other others during their season, along with games from a number of other mid-major conferences. David Wilson and Ben Pagani are announcers. Most ESPN+ games are archived, so you should be able to see replay after work Tuesday if you can’t attend.
Audio starts at about 11:45 a.m. on Golden Flash iHeart Radio. Dan Griffin is the announcer.
Live statistics during the game will be on the KSU website.
Preview from Kent State team website, including links to rosters, schedule and more.
Preview from St. Bonaventure website, including links.