GAME NOTES: The Kent State Golden Flashes search for their fifth win in six games whey they square off with the Miami-Ohio RedHawks in a Mid-American Conference tussle at Millett Hall.
This will be the second meeting of the season between these East Division rivals. Kent State coasted to an 87-70 victory in the inaugural bout behind a balanced effort. Chris Evans scored 22 points to pace the Golden Flashes as they connected on 57.9 percent of their field goal tries. Allen Roberts led Miami with 16 points but it shot just 47.2 percent from the floor and trailed by as many as 25 points.
Kent State comes in sporting a 16-12 overall record and just one game under .500 in Mid-American Conference play after reeling off four wins in its past five outings. Coach Rob Senderoff's team outlasted Buffalo for an 83-81 overtime victory on Wednesday. Evans hit the game-winning jumper as time expired to lift the team to the win and finish with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Randal Holt poured in 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field while Darren Goodson added 18 points.
The Golden Flashes are one of the most explosive teams in the MAC as they produce 72.2 ppg versus league foes. However, they have given up 69.8 ppg to their conference rivals which is the second worst mark in the 12-team league. This will be a key game for KSU as it enters the weekend tied with Bowling Green, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan in the conference standings. Evans will be spearheading the charge as he enters with impressive averages of 16.9 points and 7.6 boards per tilt. Holt adds 14.3 ppg on 36.2 percent shooting from the field to the mix.
Despite falling to KSU earlier in the season, Miami holds an 86-45 all-time series lead versus the Golden Flashes.
John Cooper's RedHawks have stumbled down the stretch with only win over their past 11 games. Miami was defeated on Wednesday when it dropped a 52-44 decision at Bowling Green. The loss was the sixth in a row and dropped the team to an 8-18 overall record. Junior guard Allen Roberts went 7-of-12 to net 16 points versus the Falcons, but none of his teammates joined him in double figures as the other four starters combined to go 5-of-22 from the field.
On the season, Roberts is leading the squad in the scoring column with 12.8 ppg despite connecting on only 38.6 percent of his field-goal tries. Miami has been outscored by an average of 6.1 ppg in league action and has finished with more turnovers than assists in five of its last six outings. Although they have had a poor overall performance throughout the course of the campaign, the RedHawks will still equal their win total from a season ago with one more victory.
The RedHawks will need a huge effort in this one as they come into the contest against a stellar offensive unit allowing 69.6 ppg. Miami has shown it can play tough with teams but has yet to display the ability to finish. The Golden Flashes have too much on the line to let this one slip away.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 80, Miami-Ohio 72
03/02 10:46:10 ET
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