Men's Basketball Preview Capsule: Kent State at Bowling Green

By Allen Moff | Staff writer Published:

Who: Kent State (11-7, 2-2 MAC) vs. Bowling Green (6-11, 1-3 MAC)

When/Where: Tonight, 7 p.m./Stroh Center in Bowling Green.

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Rob Senderoff, Kent State (32-19, 2nd season); Louis Orr, Bowling Green (82-93, 6th season at BG).

2011-12 Records: Kent State 21-12, 10-6 MAC; Bowling Green 16-16, 9-7 MAC.

Series: Bowling Green leads 81-67.

Last Season: The teams split the series last season, each winning at home.

Kent State Leaders: Senior forward Chris Evans ranks among the top five in the MAC in scoring (2nd, 17.2 ppg), rebounding (3rd, 7.7) and steals (3rd, 1.9 spg). He's also shooting 36.5 percent from 3-point range. Senior guard Randal Holt is second on the team in scoring (13.8 ppg) and second in the MAC in 3-pointers made (41), sophomore guard Kris Brewer is third in scoring (8.6 ppg) and leads the team in assists (2.4 apg), while junior forward Mark Henniger is second on the team in rebounding (4.1 rpg).

Scouting Bowing Green: On the surface the Falcons seem to be struggling mightily, losing seven of their past eight games. But only two of those losses have been by double-digits -- to national powers Michigan State and Temple -- and Bowling Green has been ahead or tied in the final 10 minutes of nine of its 11 losses. The Falcons are also 5-2 at home, with one of those losses coming to the Spartans. ... Bowling Green has struggled to score, ranking 10th in the MAC in points (61.5), field-goal percentage (.402) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.312). However, the Falcons shot over 60 percent in the second half of last season's 74-58 home victory over the Flashes. … Bowling Green is led by 5-foot-6 waterbug guard Jordan Crawford, who leads the team in scoring (16.5 ppg) and assists (3.8 apg). A'uston Calhoun, a 6-7, 234-pound senior forward, is second in scoring (16.1) and tops in rebounding (7.4 rpg), while 6-8 sophomore forward Richaun Holmes has 46 blocks. Former Kent Roosevelt standout Cameron Black, a 6-10 junior, starts at center for the Falcons. He is averaging 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per contest.

Flash Facts: The Flashes will look to bounce back from a tough home loss to rival Akron on Saturday. Kent State led by 10 at the half, but was outrebounded 31-13 in the second half of a 71-67 loss. "Obviously (Monday) in practice there was a lot of focus on rebounding, as there will be again (Tuesday)," said Senderoff. … The Flashes have been stellar on the road throughout the season, going 5-2 -- with wins over Nebraska, YSU, Cleveland State, Ball State and Buffalo. They lead the MAC and rank 18th in the nation with five road wins. ... Freshman forward Chris Ortiz has not done much in the past three games since returning to action after fracturing his foot in late November, but is rounding into shape and should be ready to bust out soon. Ortiz was playing well before suffering the injury, averaging 10 points and five rebounds in the two games before he went down on Nov. 28 at Youngstown State. … Holt needs one 3-pointer to become the fourth KSU player to make 200 in a career, tying Armon Gates and current assistant coach Eric Haut for 2nd place all-time. After shooting 5-for-5 from 3-point range in a victory at Buffalo, Holt missed all five of his 3-pointers against the Zips. He is shooting just 34 percent from the field on the season.

Senderoff on Bowling Green: "They have a point guard who is probably the fastest guard that we've played all year, Jordan Crawford. He's a one-man fastbreak. They have a forward in A'uston Calhoun who is just a shotmaker, can score inside and outside, a really dangerous player. They are similar to Chris Evans and Randal Holt in that those two guys really carry their team. They have an athletic frontline, and obviously we've struggled a little bit inside so that's certainly a concern. We have to make sure our frontline does a good job of keeping them off the glass. They're a little bit different than in the past. They've played zone exclusively every year (Orr) has been there until this year, but now they play some zone, play some man, they press a little bit. So it's a little bit different than our normal preparation for Bowing Green. We're gonna have to take care of the basketball, we're gonna have to execute and do a good job defensively against two of the best scorers in the league, and then we're gonna have to rebound. That goes without saying."

Next: The Golden Flashes will host Ohio (13-5, 4-0) on Saturday at 6 p.m.

-- Allen Moff/R-C

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