Kent State (8-5) at Cleveland State (8-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Wolstein Center (13,610) -- Cleveland, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: KSU 6-3, CSU 5-0. Away Record: KSU 2-2, CSU 1-5. Neutral Record: KSU 0-0, CSU 2-0. Conference Record: KSU 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: Kent State leads, 25-22.
GAME NOTES: The Kent State Golden Flashes look to stay hot as they near Mid- American Conference action with a non-conference tilt against the Cleveland State Vikings at the Wolstein Center.
Kent State picked up its third win in a row on Sunday by defeating Division II Fairmont State, 77-75, in a thriller. The victory improved Kent State's record to 8-5 on the season with a 2-2 mark on the road. Coach Rob Senderoff's team is netting 71.3 points per game on 43.2 percent shooting from the field, while limiting its opposition to 68.5 ppg with a .452 field goal percentage. Kent State will begin its MAC season next Wednesday versus Toledo.
The Vikings completed a 79-59 rout of the NAIA's Rio Grande on Friday to arrive at an 8-5 record. Coach Gary Waters' team has yet to lose at home this season and have won seven in a row at the Wolstein Center dating back to last year. Cleveland State is generating 68.8 ppg on 44.7 percent shooting from the floor, while allowing its opponents to score 69.9 ppg with a .462 field goal percentage.
Kent State holds a 25-22 edge in its all-time series with Cleveland State, but the Vikings came out of last year's duel with a 57-53 decision to extend their series winning streak to three in a row.
The Golden Flashes allowed Fairmont State to hang around with them by committing 17 turnover and missing eight free throws. Chris Evans came off the bench to pour in 27 points to go along with nine rebounds and Kris Brewer tallied 11 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Evans (16.9 ppg) and Randal Holt (13.2 ppg) combine to account for 42.2 percent of Kent State's scoring. Both are key players as Evans also leads the team on the boards (7.5 rpg) and Holt is leading the MAC with 30 makes from 3-point range.
Cleveland State played very well against Rio Grant its last time out as it hit 51.8 percent of its field goal attempts including 9-of-20 from beyond the arc. The Vikings assisted 22 of their 29 makes and limited their opposition to 35.1 percent shooting. Charlie Lee and Marlin Mason posted 14 points each, while Bryn Forbes and Tim Kamczyc scored 11 apiece. Lee also came up just shy of a double-double by dealing out nine assists. The offensive outburst came without leading scorer Anton Grady, who is still recovering from a knee injury. Lee is the most productive active player with 13.5 points and 4.9 assists per game and Kamczyc is chipping in 10 ppg.
This rivalry game will be a back-and-forth battle between evenly matched foes. The Evans and Holt duo may be too much for the Vikings to handle, but Lee can give Cleveland State a chance if he continues to knock down shots from the outside and dish out assists.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 71, Kent State 66
01/02 10:33:13 ET