Central Michigan (9-13) at Kent State (12-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: CMU 5-4, CMU 7-6. Away Record: CMU 1-8, CMU 5-5. Neutral Record: CMU 3-1, CMU 0-0. Conference Record: CMU 2-7, CMU 3-6. Series Record: Kent State leads, 42-27.
GAME NOTES: Both sides will be looking to turn things around when the Central Michigan Chippewas visit the M.A.C. Center for a Mid-American Conference duel with the Kent State Golden Flashes.
The Golden Flashes are 42-27 against CMU in the all-time series after their 67-60 victory in Mount Pleasant last season.
Keno Davis and his Chippewas are mired in a five-game slide after being defeated at Akron, 68-56, by the Zips on Tuesday. CMU held leads late in both halves, but the Akron was able to hold it scoreless down the stretch each time to stay perfect atop the league standings. The five straight setbacks dropped the Chippewas four games below the .500 mark on the season including its 2-7 mark in MAC action. Kyle Randall paced the team in the losing effort with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field, while Blake Hibbitts and John Simons each chimed in with nine points.
After shooting 40.4 percent against Buffalo a game earlier, the Chippewas cooled off to connect on 35.3 percent of their field-goal tries against the RedHawks on Saturday. Miami shot 42.9 percent from the field and assisted 12 of their 21 made field goals. Randall has scored 20 or more points in three straight games and is the third-leading scorer in the conference at 17.1 ppg, but Hibbitts is a distant second on the team at 8.7 ppg. Chris Fowler has shown the ability to run the offense and distribute effectively, as he deals out 5.0 assists and records 1.3 steals per contest as well. On the season, the Chippewas are weak on both ends of the court with a scoring offense of 66.3 ppg against their scoring defense of 70.4 ppg.
Rob Senderoff's Golden Flashes snapped a four-game losing steak on Saturday with a 77-62 victory over Eastern Michigan before enduring an 82-76 loss at Western Michigan four days later. The loss placed KSU at a 12-11 overall record and in a three-way tie for fourth place in the East Division standings with a 3-6 mark in league action. The Golden Flashes are led primarily by the dynamic duo of Chris Evans and Randal Holt. Evans is posting team-highs of 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game while converting at the high-rate of 49.0 percent from the floor. Holt is shooting only 34.6 percent from the field to net 14.0 ppg. The tandem has helped KSU to the third highest scoring offense (69.8) in the conference, but it is just a middle of the road team on the other end of the court with an allowed average of 67.5 ppg.
In the loss to WMU, Evans paced Kent State with 19 points and nine rebounds. Holt added 18 points, Darren Goodson chipped in 17 points, and Kris Brewer went 4-of-4 from 3-point range en route to 15 points for the Golden Flashes. The Broncos enjoyed a 35-27 edge in the rebounding battle and outscored KSU, 28-16, in the paint. The Golden Flashes, who owned a 38-32 halftime edge, went 12- of-27 from beyond the arc and converted 20-of-28 at the charity stripe to challenge their league rivals until the very end.
KSU's loss to the Broncos was tough to swallow after it shot so well, but it should coast to a decision if it performs in the same manner against CMU. The Chippewas do not have enough talent surrounding Randall to win tough conference games away from home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 78, Central Michigan 68
02/09 10:38:03 ET