Men's Basketball Preview: Buffalo at Kent State

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Men's Basketball

Buffalo at Kent State

Who: Buffalo (11-16, 6-6 MAC) vs. Kent State (15-12, 5-7 MAC)

When/Where: Tonight, 7 p.m./M.A.C. Center.

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Reggie Witherspoon, Buffalo (195-224, 14th season at Buffalo; 239-247 overall); Rob Senderoff, Kent State (36-24, 2nd season).

First Matchup: Kent State defeated the Bulls 80-68 in Buffalo.

Series: Kent State leads 27-8.

Kent State Leaders: Senior forward Chris Evans ranks among the top five in the MAC in scoring (4th, 17.0 ppg), rebounding (5th, 7.6 rpg) and steals (4th, 2.0 spg), and is shooting 50.2 percent from the field. He earned MAC East Division Player of the Week honors for the second straight week and fifth time this season after collecting his third straight double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) in Saturday's victory at Loyola-Chicago. Senior guard Randal Holt is second on the team in scoring (13.8 ppg) and leads the MAC in 3-pointers made (65) while shooting 35.9 percent from long range. Sophomore guard Kris Brewer is third on the team in scoring (9.7 ppg) and leads the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage (47.5 percent).

Scouting Buffalo: The Bulls are coming off a 65-64 home loss to Manhattan in the BracketBuster, but have won their last three MAC games. ... Buffalo is 0-15 at the M.A.C. Center. ... The Bulls are third in the MAC in 3-point field-goal percentage (.351), while the Flashes are first (.362). Buffalo is third in rebounding margin (+4.6), but last in turnover margin (-4.52). ... Bulls assistant coach Kevin Heck was an assistant at KSU under Gary Waters.

Flash Facts: Kent State is coming off a 70-63 win at Loyola-Chicago in the BracketBuster, and has won three of its last four games. ... Of the Flashes' seven league losses, five have come down to the last two minutes.

Senderoff on Buffalo: "There's a couple emphasis for us in this game. One is we have to rebound the basketball, because they're a very good rebounding team. They always are. McCrea is a great rebounder. No. 2, we have to play real hard without fouling, and we have to try to keep them out of the bonus. We fouled way too early (in the first matchup) and put them in the bonus really early in both halves. We go to the free throw line a lot -- I think we're in the top 20 in the country in free-throw attempts per possession. We have to do a good job of winning that battle (most free-throw attempts). And then, we have to win the turnover battle. The reason we won (the first matchup) is they turned it over a bunch and we didn't, and we have to do that again."

Next: The Golden Flashes will visit Miami (8-17, 3-9 MAC) Saturday at 3 p.m.

-- Allen Moff

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