Men's Basketball Preview: Kent State at Bowling Green

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

Records: Kent State (15-12, 6-8 MAC), Bowling Green (11-16, 5-9 MAC).

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

Radio: WHLO 640 AM.

Head Coaches: Rob Senderoff, Kent State (57-38, 3rd season); Louis Orr, Bowling Green (100-117, 7th season at BG; 200-197 overall).

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

Series: Bowling Green leads 82-69. The Flashes won the first meeting this season 62-61 in Kent, as junior guard Devareaux Manley nailed the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Scouting Bowling Green

The Falcons have been hard-luck losers of late. Their last five games have all been decided by three points or less, and they're 1-4 over that stretch. BG has dropped five of its last six overall. ... The Falcons feature one of the top defenses in the league, anchored by 6-foot-8 junior forward Richaun Holmes and 6-10 senior center Cameron Black (Kent Roosevelt). Holmes leads the team in scoring (13.4 ppg), is second in rebounding (7.6 rpg), and is second in the MAC in blocked shots (2.8 bpg). Black, a former Rough Riders star, has started all 27 games for BG this season and averages 6.8 points, a team-high 7.6 rebounds (5th in the MAC), 1.5 blocks and 1.5 assists. The Falcons rank second in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing 63.6 points per game. ... Junior point guard Jehvon Clarke spearheads a Falcons offense that has struggled at times, producing 63.3 points per game. Clarke averages 12.4 points and ranks fourth in the conference in assists at 4.9 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 (11.1 points, 41 percent 3-pointers).

Flash Facts

Kent State's three-game winning streak came to a close with a 78-69 home loss to Buffalo on Saturday, when Bulls senior forward Javon McCrea piled up 31 points and 11 rebounds. ... The Flashes won their last road game at Miami (75-63) to snap a four-game skid away from the M.A.C. Center. ... Junior guard Kris Brewer leads the Flashes in scoring at 12.1 points per game, followed by fellow junior guard Derek Jackson (11.3 ppg). They are the only two players averaging double-figure points. Senior forward Darren Goodson has slipped to 9.7 per game after failing to crack double figures in the past four contests. ... Senior forward Mark Henniger continues to lead KSU in rebounding at just five per game. The Flashes are 10th in the conference in rebounding margin during league play (minus-4.1), and they're shooting just 64 percent from the free-throw line against MAC foes. ... While the top five teams have separated themselves from the pack, Kent State and Bowling Green are two of five squads sitting between 5-9 and 7-7 in the MAC. Seeds five through eight will host a first-round game in the MAC Tournament.

Senderoff on Bowling Green

"We started out really slow (in the first meeting, down 13-0), so one of the keys to this game is trying not to dig ourselves a hole. The last couple times that we've played at their place we haven't even been in the game, so we've gotta come out of the gate fast. They scored 26 of their 61 points last time in transition, especially early in the game. We've gotta do a good job getting back in transition. Cam Black had a really good game last time we played them (18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks). Our post defense has to improve. We've gotta do a good job on the glass, gotta get second-chance points and really compete. We're getting outrebounded in nearly every (MAC) game. Some of that is (our lack of) size, but some of that is us. We've gotta be more physical."

Senderoff on Kent State

"I think we're fine. I think the fact that we're paying so many young guys (3 sophomore starters) is a positive. If we were a senior-laden team we'd probably be struggling right now, but we're not. Because of that guys are still competing and trying to get better."

Countdown to Akron: 8 days.

Email: amoff@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9445

Twitter: @AllenMoff_RC

Facebook: Allen Moff, Record-Courier

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