Flashes have rematch with 2nd-place Ball State at M.A.C.C. Wednesday


Lindsay Thall leads the MAC in conference play in blocked shots per game (2.7 per game). (Photo by David Dermer from KSU Twitter feed.)

Ball State (5-2 and tied for 2nd in MAC, 13-6 overall)

at Kent State (3-3 and eighth in MAC, 10-7 overall)

7 p.m. Wednesday at the M.A.C. Center. General admission tickets are $5. Students are free with Kent State ID. Average home attendance for Kent State is 840 in MAC games, eighth in the league.

What’s at stake

Flashes lost at Ball State in their MAC opener 66-62. Since then Flashes have beaten one good team (Western Michigan) at home and two teams tied for last in the conference on the road. They’ve lost at home to Buffalo and Eastern Michigan, both first-division teams. Ball State has lost at Central Michigan and Buffalo, two of the best teams in the league.

It’s the kind of game Kent State needs to win if it wants to preserve hope for a first-round bye in the MAC tournament. Flashes are only a game and a half behind BSU in standings.

Ball State (or anyone else) probably doesn’t have much a chance of catching first-place Central Michigan. But Cardinals have as good a shot as anyone at the No. 2  seed. A win on the road would be a big help.

Kent State is 12-2 against Ball State in Kent since 1997. At Ball State, the Flashes are 0-13 in that time.

What to watch

Kent State coach Todd Starkey has called Ball State the best defensive team in the conference. The Cardinals allow conference opponents to made 37% of their baskets. Kent has been making just 38% of its shots, and the Flashes hit just 24% against Buffalo Saturday.

The Cardinals fell behind Buffalo by 14 points in the second quarter last week but came back to beat the Bulls 69-65.

Kent State led Buffalo 38-35 going into the fourth quarter Saturday but were blitzed 27-11 by the Bulls in the last 10 minutes.

Wednesday’s game is pretty simple: Kent State needs to put the ball in the basket. 

REPORT CARD ON THE BUFFALO LOSS: You can’t overcome poor shooting and lack of scoring.

Team comparisons

All statistics are conference games only, which are more current and reflect similar competition.

  • RPI: Kent State 110 of 351 Division I teams. Ball State 65. (RPI is based on a team’s record and schedule strength.)
  • Power rankings: Kent State 124. Ball State 72. (Adds factors like margin of victory, record in recent games, injuries.)
  • Kent State home record (all games): 4-3. Ball State road record: 3-4.
  • Scoring average: KSU seventh in MAC at 67.8 points per game. Ball State eighth at 67.1.
  • Defensive average: KSU sixth at 67.7. Ball State fourth at 67.0.
  • Field-goal percentage: KSU tied for last at 38.1 (ninth on 3-pointers at 30.3%). Ball State eighth at 41.6 (eighth on 3s at 30.8).
  • Field-goal defense: KSU fourth at 38.4 (last on 3s at 44.3%). Ball State second at 37.4 (fifth on 3s at 29.8).
  • Free throw shooting: Kent State first at 74.0%. Ball State 10th at 65.5.
  • Rebounding margin: KSU seventh at -0.7. Ball State last at -5.1.
  • Turnover margin: KSU fourth at +1.0. Ball State eighth at -1.1. KSU fifth in steals at 7.7. Ball State eighth at 6.7.
  • Assists: Kent State last at 10.0. Ball State fourth at 12.0.
  • Blocked shots: Kent State second at 4.3. Ball State first at 4.7.

Top players

Kent State

  • 6-2 freshman forward Nila Blackford (15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds per game).
  • 5-4 sophomore guard Asiah Dingle (13.5 points, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals).
  • 5-6 senior grad Megan Carter (11.7 points, 4.0 rebounds).
  • 5-11 freshman guard Katie Shumate (11.5 points, 6.3 rebounds).
  • 6-2 sophomore forward Lindsey Thall (8.3 points, 1.7 three-point baskets a game, first in MAC in blocked shots at 2.7 per game).

Ball State

  • 6-1 junior forward Oshlynn Brown (14.4 points, 8.9 rebounds).
  • 5-8 freshman guard Sydney Freeman (11.9 points, 3.0 assists).
  • 5-9 senior guard Jasmyn Samz (10.0 points, 1.4 steals).

Following the game from home

Video stream on ESPN+ starts at game time at 7 p.m. Service costs $4.99 a month and includes about half of all MAC men’s and women’s games. (Others are mostly on ESPN3, which is free.) This link takes you to to the game, where you can sign up.

Audio starts at about 6:45 p.m. on WHLO 640 and Golden Flash iHeart Radio.  David Wilson is the announcer.

Live statistics will be on the Kent State website during the game.


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

Ball State website, with links.

MAC statistics.

MAC standings.

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