Miami-Ohio (11-16) at Kent State (16-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MAC Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Miami 7-5, KSU 11-6. Away Record: Miami 4-11, KSU 5-7. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, KSU 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 7-9, KSU 7-9. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 86-47.
GAME NOTES: In their final home game of the season the Kent State Golden Flashes welcome the Miami-Ohio RedHawks to the MAC Center for a Mid-American Conference duel.
Kent State is back home after splitting a pair of road games. The Golden Flashes fell at Bowling Green (73-66) before earning a surprisingly easy win at Ohio (75-61). The Golden Flashes are now 16-13 overall, but with a record of only 7-9 in league play. They tangle with Akron on the road this Friday to put the wraps on the regular season.
Miami had won back-to-back games for the first time in a month before being run over by Buffalo, 78-55, this past Saturday. The RedHawks are just 11-16 overall, but they have the same league mark (7-9) as their counterpart this evening. They will have hosting duties against Ohio to end the campaign later this week.
On Feb. 19, Kent State earned a convincing 75-63 victory over Miami on the road. The win was the third straight for the Golden Flashes in the series, which they still trail, 86-47.
In its loss to Buffalo, Miami had trouble finding a rhythm on offense, hitting only 38.9 percent of their shots from the floor. Their margin of defeat was also inflated by a 33-12 scoring deficit from beyond the arc. Will Felder ended up with 12 points as the leading scorer in the setback.
The RedHawks have had issues on offense all season long, as they are only putting up 64.7 ppg while shooting a modest 43.3 percent from the field. Another area of weakness for Miami is on the boards, as it is the worst rebounding team in the MAC (31.1 rpg). Felder (14.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is used to being the lone offensive threat, as he is the only player on the team averaging in double figures. Geovonie McKnight (9.8 ppg) has shown flashes of scoring ability and Quinten Rollins (6.7 ppg) had 11 points against Buffalo, ending a streak of eight games in which he finished in single digits.
Devareaux Manley provided quite the spark off the bench, finishing with a game-high 17 points while going 5-of-6 from 3-point range in 23 minutes to lift Kent State over the Ohio Bobcats. The Golden Flashes held their hosts to just 34.5 percent shooting to make up for a 19-8 scoring deficit off of turnovers.
Kent State is shooting the same percentage from the floor as Miami this season (.433), and also suffers from ineffective efforts on the glass, ranking 10th in the MAC in rebounding (33.6 rpg). However, the Golden Flashes are scoring at a better rate than their opponents in this one (70.7 ppg). Kris Brewer (12.2 ppg) and Derek Jackson (11.3 ppg) provide most of the offensive punch, although Manley (9.7 ppg) has kicked it into gear recently, scoring in double figures in five of the last six games. Jackson supported Manley's game-best efforts against Ohio with 16 points and Brewer finished with a line of 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
Although neither of these teams is particularly strong offensively or on the glass, Kent State has enough of an edge in each area to expect a victory, especially on its home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 74, Miami-Ohio 64
03/04 10:33:31 ET