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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 11 a.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (6,327) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: KSU 9-6, Ohio 13-1. Away Record: KSU 5-5, Ohio 5-5. Neutral Record: KSU 0-0, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: KSU 5-6, Ohio 9-1. Series Record: Ohio leads, 90-44.
GAME NOTES: The Kent State Golden Flashes will be seeking revenge as they visit the Convocation Center for a Mid-American Conference bout with the Ohio University Bobcats early on Saturday.
This will be the second meeting between these teams this season and 135th in history. Ohio extended its all-time series lead to 90-44 on Jan. 26 when it clipped the Golden Flashes, 69-68, at the M.A.C. Center. Kent State held a 36-32 halftime lead before the Bobcats stormed back and held KSU scoreless from the field in the final minute to secure the decision.
Round two of this season series will be held at the Convocation Center, where Ohio is an impressive 13-1 in 2012-13. Coach Jim Christian's Bobcats took their show on the road on Wednesday to complete an 82-63 rout of Central Michigan, making their third win in a row. Coming into the weekend, Ohio trails Akron by 1.5 games for the East Division lead. The Zips are still the only MAC team that Ohio has lost to through 10 games of conference action.
Ohio was tested in the first half of its recent win over CMU held an early lead before the Bobcats wrestled their way to a 35-31 edge at the intermission. Ohio's bench provided 27 points over the final 20 minutes to help it run off to a comfortable 19-point victory. The win made the current senior class the all-time winningest in school history (88). Fittingly, senior guard Walter Offutt led the team in scoring in the milestone win with 17 points while Reggie Keely chipped in 14. Keely now needs just two points to reach 1,000 for his career. If he manages to do so, it will mark the first time in Ohio history that a class includes three, 1,000 point scorers. D.J. Cooper (1,923) and forward Ivo Baltic (1,035) have already eclipsed the mark. Cooper is not only a consistent scorer with 13.9 ppg, he also leads the MAC in assists with 7.7 per tilt.
Rob Senderoff's Golden Flashes picked up their third win in four outings in convincing fashion on Wednesday as they downed Miami-Ohio, 87-70, at home. The recent surge has lifted KSU to a 14-11 overall record and just one game below the .500 mark in conference play. The Golden Flashes are led primarily by the dynamic duo of Chris Evans and Randal Holt. Evans is posting team-highs of 17.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game, while converting at a high-rate of 50.2 percent from the floor. Holt is shooting only 35.4 percent from the field to net 14.0 ppg. Thanks to Evans and Holt's efforts, KSU has the third-highest scoring offense in the conference at 71.2 ppg. Although they allow 67.8 ppg on the season, the Golden Flashes' last three opponents have finished with 70 points or more.
Evans registered a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds to propel KSU past Miami his last time out. Holt and Kris Brewer each added 13 points, Mark Henniger chipped in 11 and Bryson Pope tacked on 10 to indicate KSU is more than a two-man show.
This will be a challenge for both sides just as it was the first time they met. Evans gives the Golden Flashes an edge on the interior, but Cooper, who is due for a big game, is going to be the best all-around player on the floor. It should be a very closely contested matchup, but the Convocation Center tends to favor Ohio.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio 73, Kent State 68
02/16 10:34:49 ET
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