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Buffalo (11-16) at Kent State (15-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 27, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: M.A.C. Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 7-5, Kent State 9-6. Away Record: Buffalo 4-8, Kent State 6-6. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-3, Kent State 0-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 6-6, Kent State 5-7. Series Record: Kent State leads, 27-8
GAME NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls hit the road on Wednesday for a Mid-American Conference tilt against the Kent State Golden Flashes at the M.A.C. Center.
The Bulls will be looking to avenge an 80-68 setback they sustained on Jan. 16 when the Golden Flashes visited them in upstate New York. Javon McCrea registered a monster double-double of 33 points and 10 boards for Buffalo, but Chris Evans kept Kent State in front by tallying 25 points and 14 boards. The Golden Flashes are 27-8 in history versus the Bulls.
Reggie Witherspoon's Bulls had their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday as they ran out of steam and fell, 65-64, to Manhattan at home. Buffalo shot 21-of-38 from the field and 10 of 15 on 3-point tries to Manhattan's 21-of-50 from the floor and 5-of-11 efficiency from distance, but Manhattan made 18-of-23 at the free-throw line and scored 29 points off Buffalo's 24 turnovers. Tony Watson scored 24 points for the Bulls, while McCrea posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jarryn Skeete also contributed a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
The Bulls are averaging a modest 65.3 ppg on the year, but have turned up the heat at the offensive end of late, posting at least 75 points in two of their last three games. McCrea is the leader at both ends of the floor, as the 6- foot-7 junior is shooting .553 from the field, while leading the team in scoring (17.0 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg) and blocked shots (67). Watson complements with his perimeter shooting, converting .431 from behind the arc (63-of-140) and posting 11.0 ppg.
Kent State comes in sporting a 15-12 overall record, but is two games under .500 in Mid-American Conference play. Coach Rob Senderoff's team has been on the rise and its 70-63 decision over Loyola-Chicago on Saturday in the BracketBuster marked its third win in four games. The only loss during that span came in overtime to Ohio at the Convocation Center, where the Bobcats are 15-1 on the season. Evans posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus the Ramblers as the Golden Flashes overcame an 11-point deficit to win by 11. Randal Holt and Darren Goodson scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Golden Flashes are one of the most explosive teams in the MAC as they produce 71.3 ppg versus league foes. However, they have given up 68.6 ppg to their conference rivals which is the third worst mark in the 12-team league. A win over the Bulls would tie these schools for third place in the East Division standings. Evans will be spearheading the charge as he enters with impressive averages of 17.0 points and 7.6 boards per tilt. Holt adds 13.8 ppg on 35.2 percent shooting from the field to the mix.
Kent State suffered a disappointing two-point loss to Northern Illinois to close out its January schedule. Since, it has played much better on a consistent basis. Buffalo has lacked that consistency since losing starting point guard Jarod Oldham to an injury earlier in the season. The Bulls have a chance to win, but they need one of the members of their backcourt to control the pace to keep the Golden Flashes from turning the contest into a track meet.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 79, Buffalo 70
02/27 10:33:39 ET
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