OVERVIEW: The Golden Flashes of new coach Danielle O’Banion enter this contest with a 2-11 overall record. KSU won its most-recent game, a 73-55 home victory over Bethune-Cookman, but had lost four in a row before that as well as eight in a row to start the season.
BY THE NUMBERS: Statistically, Kent State is 12th (or last) in the MAC in offense, scoring an average of 53.9 points per game, and is ninth in the league defensively, allowing 66.8 points per contest. The Flashes’ scoring margin of minus-12.8 points per game also ranks last in the MAC. … A few other stats of note for the Golden Flashes: First, the team is not shooting well, ranking 10th in the MAC in field-goal percentage at 34.9 and last in 3-point shooting, making just 23.3 percent of their shots from behind the arc. KSU’s defensive percentages aren’t terrible; it ranks eighth in FG percentage at 41.6 percent and is sixth in 3-point defense with a 29.1 percent mark. The Golden Flashes haven’t been terrible on the boards, as opponents outrebound them by an average of just 1.6 rebounds per game (ninth in the MAC). Finally, and most noticeably, Kent State is struggling with turnovers, giving the ball away an average of 22.2 times per game (worst in the league). What’s more, the Flashes’ turnover margin is minus-4.08 (they turn the ball over four more times per game than their opponents), easily the worst mark in the MAC.
ALL-TIME SERIES: This is the 71st meeting in the series, and BG holds a 42-28 lead. Bowling Green has won 16 of the last 17 meetings of these two teams, sweeping both meetings last season. Kent State’s last win over the Falcons was a 44-43 win at KSU’s MAC Center in January of 2011.PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Golden Flashes are led by senior Tamzin Barroilhet, who ranks 18th in the MAC with her average of 10.4 points per game. She also grabs 6.7 rebounds per contest, tied for seventh-best in the league, and bears watching on the offensive glass since she is tied for eighth in the league in offensive rebounds per game with 4.3. … Senior Trisha Krewson is second on the team in scoring (and ranks 26th in the MAC) at 9.1 points per game. She also stands 11th in the MAC in 3-point shooting at 37.5 percent and is 14t in 3-pointers per game with 1.4 per contest. … Senior Diamon Beckford is third on the team (and tied for 30t in the league) with 8.8 points per game. Beckford, who did not play against Bethune-Cookman, ranks second on the team (and 19th in the MAC) with 5.4 rebounds per game. She leads the league in free throw shooting, making 85.7 percent of her charity tosses. … Junior Amber Dunlap, a transfer from Southwest Tennessee C.C., is a starter who averages 6.9 points per game. … The rest of the probable starters for the Golden Flashes include junior Ashley Evans, a transfer from Cloud County C.C. who averages 4.5 points per game and is tied for ninth in the MAC with 3.1 assists per game; and sophomore guard Jamie Hutcheson, who averages 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
BG KEYS TO VICTORY: 1. Do NOT look ahead. While the Falcons have said all the right things about focusing on Kent State, it’s human nature to peek ahead to the next opponent, arch-rival Toledo. It’s also a mistake. Hopefully BG learned this lesson after struggling to beat a Madonna team the Falcons overlooked early in the season. 2. Keep the turnovers coming. The Golden Flashes average 22.2 turnovers per game, which is two more than any other MAC team. The Falcons need to make sure KSU keeps losing the ball, then take advantage when the turnovers present scoring opportunities. 3. Don’t look ahead. Did I mention before that BG can’t look past what seems to be an easy league opener? If you don’t believe it, here’s another reason why it’s necessary: Kent State beat Temple, a team that knocked off the Falcons at the Stroh Center earlier this season.GAME NOTES: Tipoff is at 7 p.m. … The game will be on the radio at 88.1 FM. … The next game for the Falcons is on Sunday, Jan. 13, when they host Toledo at the Stroh Center. … At halftime Bowling Green who honor all of its athletes who have earned academic awards during the past semester.