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Ohio gaurd Erica Johnson drives toward the basket with pressure from Akron gaurd Kendall Miller during the Bobcat 70-57 victory in the Convo on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (FILE)

Women's Basketball: Kent State scouting report and how to watch

Ohio is looking for a second-straight win on Saturday when it plays Kent State. The Golden Flashes are trailing the Bobcats by two games in the Mid American Conference East Division, and the winner of Saturday’s game could find themselves with a better seeding in the MAC Tournament. 

GAME INFORMATION 

Opponent: Kent State (12-8, 5-4 MAC) 

Gametime: 1 p.m.

Place: Convocation Center (Athens, Ohio) 

How to watch: ESPN3

How to listen: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ohio/

MEET THE OPPONENT 

Head Coach: Todd Starkey (Fourth season) 

Probable Starters 

44 Lindsey Thall 

14 Katie Shumate 

04 Nila Blackford 

31 Megan Carter 

05 Mariah Modkins 

Reserves 

03 Asiah Dingle 

20 Clare Kelly 

32 Hannah Young 

25 Monique Smith 

INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS 

Points per game: Blackford (13.8) 

Rebounds per game: Blackford (7.8)

Steals: Dingle (35)

Field Goal percentage: Blackford (.410)

3-point percentage: Thall (.385)

Free throw percentage: Carter (.800)

TEAM STATS COMPARED TO OHIO 

*Ohio’s stats are in parenthesis 

Points per game: 69.7 (73.2)

Rebounds per game: 35.3 (35.9)

Steals per game: 7.40 (11.05)

Field Goal percentage: .396 (.410)

3-point percentage: .320 (.319)

Free throw percentage: .742 (.650)

SERIES HISTORY 

Ohio trails the all-time series to Kent State 53-34, but the Bobcats have won the last four meetings against the Golden Flashes. The last time the two teams faced off was in Kent on Feb. 23, 2019. Ohio was in control for most of the game, but a fourth quarter surge by Kent State made the game much tighter. The Bobcats ended up holding on for the 69-67 win. 

PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR 

Ohio: Gabby Burris, who has played in a more subtle role this season while guards Cece Hooks, Erica Johnson and Amani Burke have led the point totals. In the Bobcats win Wednesday, Burris had a season-high 19 points.

Kent State: Nila Blackford. She’s the team’s best scorer and rebounder, and the freshman is a major reason why Kent State could be a threat to Ohio in the standings. This season, she’s reached double-digit scoring totals 13 times. She hasn’t done that yet against the Bobcats defense yet, but Ohio hasn’t seen her versatility in person yet 

WHY THIS GAME MATTERS?

This game is important because what it could mean later. Ohio currently leads the Golden Flashes by two games in the MAC East standings. When it comes to the MAC Tournament, the conference’s top four seeds earn an automatic bid to the tournament quarterfinals in Cleveland. Ohio had that advantage in last season’s tournament and used the rest to recover for a title run. While a loss would still keep Ohio in first place in the East, the loss in space would make things much tighter heading into the final seven games of the regular season. 

@JL_Kirven 

jk810916@ohio.edu 

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