ESPN3. Miami is 8-17 ( 4-12). Kent is 16-9 ( 8-8). Last night Kent lost at home to BG by 10 points. Kent and BG are 2 of the 6 teams who all have 7 or 8 wins and 7 or 8 losses. With about 10 days left in the regular season, all of these teams are battling for seeds 4 through 9. Toledo is easily headed for the #1 seed and Buffalo for #2 and Akron for #3. Remember that only the top 8 make the MAC tournament. This is a big game for Kent. They are a veteran team and started out the season very strong with a couple of power 5 wins, but have not been as strong in conference play. Miami was in a 6 games in 12 days stretch when we played at Kent and lost 83-61. This time it is Kent who will be playing their 3rd game in 5 days on the road, which might help even things out a bit. Last year we split with Kent with both games being decided at the buzzer, Kent winning on a put back by Lindsey Thall and Miami winning on a 3 by Peyton Scott.
The first time we played them our post players showed no recognition of the scouting report on their three big girls. 6-2 Senior Nia Blackford had 22 points and 9 rebounds. Blackford is a poor shooter ( no 3’s all year) but is athletic and has very strong post moves and gets to the rim and finishes. Their other 6-2 girls, Lindsey Thall and Bridget Dunn are just the opposite, they are excellent 3 point shooters and we left them wide open from the perimeter… Kent features very balanced scoring with 6 girls averaging between12 and 9 ppg, led by Jr Katie Shumate, who is the sister of Toledo center JT Shumate.
Miami is #1 in the MAC in ft% but we are in the bottom 10 in the nation in fouls committed. Opponents have shot 565 free throws this year, Miami only 313. That along with our high turnover numbers have a lot to do with our record. Being that bad in those two areas is difficult to overcome.