Kent State (4-2) at Youngstown State (3-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,500) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Kent State 3-2, Youngstown State 1-0. Away Record: Kent State 1-0, Youngstown State 2-1. Neutral Record: Kent State 0-0, Youngstown State 0-2. Conference Record: Kent State 0-0, Youngstown State 0-0. Series Record: Kent State leads, 27-17.
GAMES NOTES: In a matchup of programs from the Buckeye State the Kent State Golden Flashes make the short trip to square off with the Youngstown State Penguins at the Beeghly Center.
Kent State comes into this game riding the momentum of back-to-back wins. The first came at home against Bethune Cookman (69-68) and the second, a 74-60 upset on the road over Nebraska. The Golden Flashes are 4-2 overall on the young season and the win over Nebraska was the first game on the road before this matchup. Kent State returns home next time out to face Princeton.
Youngstown State has a 3-3 record after posting a three-game losing streak in its last three games. The three defeats all came in Pittsburgh as part of the Legends Classic. In its final game against host Duquesne, the Penguins were handed an 84-74 loss. The Penguins were much more competitive in the other two games, losing by a total of four points. Youngstown faces another squad from Ohio on Saturday at Bowling Green.
In the all-time series Kent State has a 27-17 advantage, including wins in each of the last four meetings.
The Golden Flashes didn't seem to miss in their win over Nebraska as they connected on 57.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including 60.0 percent in the second half to close out the win. Kent State also nailed 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc and won despite having a 34-27 disadvantage in rebounds. Chris Evans led three players in double figures with 19 points.
Scoring is something that has come easily for Kent State this season as the Golden Flashes are putting in 75.0 points per game. However the squad's defensive efforts have been lacking, as teams are putting in 70.2 points per game and shooting a better percentage (45.6 FG percentage). Evans (17.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg) has enjoyed a strong start to the season and has been finishing at a high level, (59.7 FG percentage). Randal Holt (15.2 ppg) is a double-figure scorer as well but has done so out of the backcourt. Holt is a good shooter from beyond the arc and has at least two triples in each game this season.
Youngstown State trailed by double digits for the majority of the game against Duquesne but did managed to pull within five points with two minutes remaining. However it was too little too late, as they could not overcome a 41.5 percent shooting night, despite nailing nine 3-pointers. The Penguins were also crushed on the boards with only 29 rebounds to 53 by the Dukes. Kendrick Perry led the way with 15 points and five assists.
Just like Kent State, Youngstown State has been able to score in bunches this season (74.2 ppg), despite shooting 42.7 percent overall. The Penguins are still allowing 70.8 points per game and have been the victims of a -2.7 margin on the boards. Perry (17.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.2 apg) has been an all-around force for the Penguins and quite often has the ball in his hands directing the offense. Damian Eagle (12.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Kamren Belin (11.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg) provide nice scoring options inside as well as the bulk of the team's production on the boards. Blake Allen (12.2 ppg) is Perry's running mate in the backcourt but takes most of his shots from beyond the arc.
Although Kent State is coming off a big win, the Golden Flashes have struggled with consistency. Youngstown State is battle-tested on the road and will benefit from playing at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 73, Kent State 71
11/28 10:37:07 ET