Men's Basketball Preview: Bowling Green at Kent State

By Allen Moff | Staff writer Published:

Records: Bowling Green (10-13, 4-6 MAC), Kent State (12-11, 3-7 MAC).

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

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Louis Orr, Bowling Green (99-114, 7th season at BG; 199-194 overall); Rob Senderoff, Kent State (54-37, 3rd season).

2012-13 Records: Bowling Green 13-19, 7-9 MAC; Kent State 21-14, 9-7 MAC.

Series: Bowling Green leads 82-68. Both teams won at home last year.

Scouting Bowling Green

Not much was expected out of the Falcons this season, especially after they lost junior swingman Chauncey Orr to a season-ending knee injury just one game into the season. Orr, the son of head coach Louis Orr, was the team's top returning scorer (7.5 ppg). But Bowling Green was actually 3-2 in the MAC after back-to-back wins at Western Michigan before dropping four of its next five games. ... The Falcons feature one of the top defenses in the league, anchored by 6-foot-8 junior forward Richaun Holmes a 6-10 senior center Cameron Black. Holmes leads the team in scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.5 rpg), and leads the MAC in blocked shots (3 bpg). Black, a former Kent Roosevelt High School star, has started all 23 games for BG this season and averages 5.9 points, 7.2 rebounds (8th in the MAC), 1.4 blocks and 1.3 assists. The Falcons rank second in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing 64.2 points per game. ... Junior point guard Jehvon Clarke spearheads a Falcons offense that has struggled at times, producing 64 points per game. Clarke averages 12.8 points and ranks third in the conference in assists at five per game. ... Other top performers for BG include 6-7 sophomore forward Spencer Parker (12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds) and 6-1 junior guard Anthony Henderson (11.3 points, 42 percent 3-pointers).

Flash Facts

Kent State is coming off a brief but disastrous road trip, falling 78-73 in overtime at Central Michigan and 70-53 at Eastern Michigan. The Flashes have now lost six of their last seven, and own their worst MAC record after 10 games since 1994-95. Freshman forward Marquiez Lawrence was born in 1995, while Senderoff was a student assistant at the University of Albany that year. ... The entire team has struggled in MAC play. Kent State is averaging 70.4 points per game while shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from 3-point land and 69.6 percent from the free-throw line on the year, but those numbers plummet to 64.4 points, 40.9 percent field-goal shooting, 28.6 percent 3-point shooting and 65.1 percent free-throw shooting. . After sinking a school-record 41 straight free-throws early in the season, senior forward Mark Henniger is 10-of-21 from the line in MAC play. Senior forward Darren Goodson is hitting just 57 percent of his free throws in MAC games, while junior point guard Kris Brewer is shooting 34 percent from the field and 20 percent from beyond the arc. . Brewer leads Kent State in scoring (11.7 points, 2.9 assists), followed by junior guard Derek Jackson (10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.9 steals) and Goodson (10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists). ... Sophomore forward Khaliq Spicer suffered a right wrist injury during a morning shoot-around last Wednesday at Central Michigan, but he still started at Eastern Michigan on Saturday and will be in the lineup as usual tonight.

Senderoff on Bowling Green

"They're a very good defensive team. They have one of the best shot-blockers in the league in Richaun Holmes. They arguably have the best point guard in the East (Division) in Jehvon Clarke, who is certainly playing very well right now. They're physical, they rebound the ball well. They're not very deep. It's a game that they're gonna want to try to grind out with you. We'll have to have a very good defensive effort and we'll have to play with a lot of energy on both ends in terms of crashing the offensive glass and keeping them off the glass. They're a solid team. And just like us they're trying to find ways to win games."

Senderoff on Kent State

"We had one of our best practices of the year (Monday). We came to practice with a great mindset, had very good energy. We need to bring a ton of energy (tonight) as well. We'll have to play a 40-minute game and compete at a very high level to win."

Email: amoff@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9445

Twitter: @AllenMoff_RC

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