Kent State (19-8) at Bowling Green (14-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 6:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,700) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: Kent State 11-2, Bowling Green 10-3. Away Record: Kent State 7-5, Bowling Green 4-10. Neutral Record: Kent State 1-1, Bowling Green 0-0. Conference Record: Kent State 9-4, Bowling Green 7-6. Series Record: Bowling Green leads 80-67.
GAMES NOTES: The Kent State Golden Flashes will try to stop a losing skid and stay in the running at the top of the Mid-American Conference when they land in the Stroh Center to tangle with the Bowling Green Falcons.
Offense was plentiful in the first matchup between these squads this season as Kent State won a 92-87 decision on its home floor. The win was the fourth straight in the series for the Golden Flashes who still trail 80-67 in 147 all-time matchups.
Kent State has lost back-to-back games after winning seven straight earlier this season. The Golden Flashes' recent stumbles leave them tied at 9-4 with Buffalo and Ohio for second place in the MAC East Division. The next two games of the season will be a real challenge as the Golden Flashes will play host to the same Ohio squad and conference leading Akron.
Bowling Green has lost two of its last three after a four-game winning streak. The Falcons have had a mediocre season, with an overall record of 14-13 to go along with an equally pedestrian 7-6 mark in MAC play. The Falcons are now in fourth in the MAC East Division and will play against the one team they lead, Miami-Ohio, in their next matchup.
Miami-Ohio's Julian Mavunga sank two free throws with three seconds left to hand Kent State it's most recent loss on Tuesday. The team squandered a solid shooting night in which it connected on an even 50.0 percent of its shots by turning the ball over 14 times while being outscored 27-18 from beyond the arc.
Despite the high shooting percentage the normally high scoring Kent State offense was kept in check against the RedHawks. Normally Kent State scores 71.6 points per game which is the third highest mark in the conference while handing out the second most assists (15.0 apg) in the league. Defensively the Golden Flashes are passable allowing 65.1 points per game. The teams offense is led by a trio of scorers who yet again spearheaded the teams attack on Tuesday. Lead scoerJustin Greene (13.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg) returned after missing a game with concussion like symptoms and had 11 points and six rebounds. Randal Holt (12.7 ppg) was the teams lead scorer on Tuesday netting 15 points while Carlton Guyton (10.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) was second with 13 points. Michael Porrini (9.0 ppg, 4.7 apg) has led the team's stellar passing game and had six points and a below average four assists in the loss.
Bowling Green was just no match for league leading Akron on Wednesday. The Falcons defense allowed the Zips to shoot at an impressive 56.0 percent clip while the Falcons managed to convert on only 44.6 percent of its shots from the floor. Bowling Green was also done in by a 19-6 discrepancy on points from the free throw line.
The Falcons have been efficient this season, although not a very high scoring one. Bowling Green has the second best field goal percentage on the season in the conference (46.1 FG%) but is only the seventh best scoring squad at 67.0 points per game. The team has still managed a +3.5 scoring differential by allowing 63.5 points per game. A'uston Calhoun went up against the conferences best shot blocker in Akron's Zeke Marshall on Wednesday but still put together a stellar performance. The teams leading scorer (13.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg) put in a game-high 18 points and brought in seven rebounds as well in the losing effort. The performance was encouraging after Calhoun failed to get into double figures in each of the last two games. Jordon Crawford (10.7 ppg, 5.0 apg) stepped out of his role as a primary distributor and scored 13 points to go with just three assists as the only other player in double figures for the Falcons on Tuesday. Scott Thomas (12.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg) the teams second option and leading rebounder had nine points and seven assists.
Kent State needs to get a win in this matchup to keep itself in the conversation at the top of the MAC. Unfortunately the Golden Flashes are facing a Bowling Green team that has been tough to beat at home (10-3). Expect a tight one with the Falcons pulling it out in the end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 71, Kent State 70
02/25 10:43:23 ET