Flashes look for second straight road victory at Miami Saturday

Bench celebrates

Flashes are tied for first place in MAC East with Ohio and Buffalo with 2-2 record but are sixth overall in the conference. Overall standings determine seeds for the MAC Tournament. (Photo from KSU website.)

Kent State (2-2 and tied for sixth in MAC, 9-6 overall) at Miami (1-3 and tied for ninth, 8-8 overall)

Game is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Millett Hall at Miami University in Oxford. It’s about a four-hour drive. Here are directions from the Miami website. Address is 500 E. Sycamore Street, Oxford, Ohio, if you need it for GPS.

General admission tickets are $8.50. Miami attendance averages 407, last in the MAC. Kent State home attendance is sixth at 1,450.

What’s at stake

It’s the second straight road game for Kent State, and if the Flashes could sweep the two, it’s significant. (They won at Northern Illinois 79- 71 Wednesday.) Road wins are tough to come by in the MAC, where visiting teams are 10-14 through the first four games of the league season. In all games, MAC teams are 36-45 on the road and 52-24 at home.

Miami won 23 games last season and finished fourth in the MAC. This season has been harder under new coach Deunna Hendrix. The Redhawks have yet to beat a team with a winning record. Their only MAC win is against Northern Illinois (0-4 MAC, 4-11 overall).  If Miami is going to make any impact in the MAC season, it’s going to have to start winning.

Over 43 years of play, Miami has won 46 games, Kent State 45. But Miami has won seven of last eight at home and is 31-10 against Kent State in Oxford. 

What to watch

Miami has two returning all-MAC players. Guard Lauren Dickerson is fourth in the MAC in scoring at 16.6 points a game, eighth in assists (3.7) and third in steals (2.7). Forward Savannah Kluesner is third in rebound (8.7), first in blocked shots (1.7) and 14th in scoring (13.6), Freshman Peyton Scott, who scored more than 2,200 points in high school, and has started every game this season and averages 12.4 points a game.

Against Northern Illinois Wednesday, Kent State posted excellent numbers in field goal percentage, assists, bench scoring and points off turnovers. Those categories are key to winning for the Flashes. They struggled with NIU’s press late in the game; Miami may try to test the Flashes with that tactic.

The Flashes have won two games in a row without Megan Carter, last year’s leading scorer and the only senior in the starting lineup. She has mononucleosis, and there’s no anticipated date for her return. In those two wins, the Flashes have found more bench scoring than they’ve had all season, led by Hannah Young’s 21 points. Wednesday’s starting lineup had three freshmen and two sophomores. Young is also a sophomore.

Team comparisons

  • RPI: Kent State 116 of 351 Division I teams. Miami 182. (RPI is based on a team’s record and schedule strength.)
  • Power rankings: Kent State 121. Miami 206. (Adds factors like injuries, margin of victory, record in recent games.)
  • Kent State road record: 3-2. Miami home record: 4-1.
  • Scoring average: KSU third in MAC at 72.1 points per game. Miami sixth at 70.4.
  • Defensive average: KSU eighth at 68.2. Miami 11th at 70.6.
  • Field-goal percentage: KSU 10th at 39.1 (sixth on 3-pointers at 31.1%). Miami 11th at 39.5 (12th one 3s at 26.5).
  • Field-goal defense: KSU 11th at 41.9 (last on 3s at 36.6%). Miami last at 44.1 (eight on 3s at 31.7).
  • Rebounding margin: KSU 10th at -1.3. Miami 11th at -2.8.
  • Turnover margin: KSU third at +4.1. Miami second at +4.2. KSU eighth in steals at 7.9. Miami second at 10.4.
  • Blocked shots: Kent State first at 4.1. Miami second at 3.9.

Top players

Kent State

  • 6-2 freshman forward Nila Blackford (13.9 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, 0.7 blocks).
  • 5-4 sophomore guard Asiah Dingle (12.6 points, 3.7 assists, 2.1 steals).
  • 5-11 freshman guard Katie Shumate (11.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.0 blocks, 1.5 steals).
  • 6-2 sophomore forward Lindsey Thall (11.2 points, fifth in MAC in 3-point percentage at 39.3, second in MAC in blocked shots at 1.7).

Miami

  • 5-3 senior guard Lauren Dickerson (16.6 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 steals).
  • 6-2 senior Savannah Kluesner (13.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks).
  • 5-8 freshman guard Peyton Scott (12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists).

Following the game at home

Video stream on ESPN3 starts at game time at 2 p.m. It’s free if you have a subscription to ESPN on cable, satellite or on the ESPN app.

Audio starts at about 1:45 p.m. on WHLO 640 and Golden Flash iHeart Radio.  David Wilson is the announcer.

Live statistics will be on the Miami website during the game.

Links

Kent State website, with links to roster, statistics schedule and more.

Miami website, with links.

MAC statistics.

MAC standings.

 

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