Kent State (12-10) at Eastern Michigan (12-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,824) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: KSU 9-5, EMU 9-3. Away Record: KSU 3-5, EMU 3-7. Neutral Record: KSU 0-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: KSU 3-6, EMU 4-5. Series Record: Kent State leads, 39-30.
GAME NOTES: Two struggling teams in the Mid-American Conference will go head- to-head on Saturday afternoon, as the Kent State Golden Flashes take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles at the Convocation Center.
Kent State fell 78-73 in overtime to Central Michigan on Wednesday, marking its fifth loss in the last six games. The Golden Flashes are now 12-10 overall, but they are even worse in conference play (3-6). They will be at home for their next two games against Bowling Green and Central Michigan.
Eastern Michigan also fell short on Wednesday, as it was edged out by Akron, 52-48. The Eagles are also 12-10 overall, but they have had a bit more luck in league play (4-5), although not much more. They are 9-3 at home, but will visit Ball State in their next outing.
It has been quite awhile since Eastern Michigan knocked off Kent State. The Golden Flashes have won the last 17 contests between the teams, with the Eagles' last victory coming in December of 1998. Kent State also leads the all-time series, 39-30.
A 32-25 halftime lead disappeared for the Golden Flashes on Wednesday. They were outscored from beyond the arc (15-12) and at the free-throw line (9-3) in the second half, which allowed the Chippewas to force overtime. In the extra session, the Golden Flashes only connected on 3-of-9 from the floor to let the game slip away.
Kris Brewer led the way in the losing effort, tallying 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Brewer often leads the team in the scoring department as he is netting a team-best 12.1 ppg, despite shooting just 39.6 percent from the floor. Derek Jackson (10.7 ppg) and Darren Goodson (10.5 ppg) are the only other members of the team averaging in double figures. Goodson recorded a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds against Central Michigan, while Jackson chipped in 12 points. As a team, the Golden Flashes are scoring 71.2 ppg, while shooting the eighth-best percentage from the floor (.428) in the MAC.
Eastern Michigan also let a halftime lead get away from it on Wednesday, with its 27-18 advantage at intermission wiped out when the Eagles tallied only eight field goals over the final 20 minutes. Daylen Harrison and Darell Combs each scored 10 points for the losing side.
The Eagles' strength is definitely defense, as they are holding teams to 63.7 ppg and 37.2 percent shooting. Their opponent's field goal percentage is the 10th-lowest in the country. However, the Eagles are extremely weak offensively, netting just 67.2 ppg on 42 percent shooting. There are actually four double-digit scorers on the roster, led by Karrington Ward (13.1 pp, 6.9 rpg). Ward was limited to seven points on 2-of-3 shooting against Akron. Glenn Bryant (10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Raven Lee (10.1 ppg) and Mike Talley (10 ppg) are all averaging in double figures, but none is producing at a particularly strong pace.
The Golden Flashes do not have the type of scoring punch to give Eastern Michigan much of a problem. Expect the Eagles to grind out another win by playing some pretty stingy defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Eastern Michigan 66, Kent State 60
02/08 10:34:45 ET