Men’s basketball eyes Miami
DetailsWritten by Nick Shook Hits: 644
Coming off of an 80-73 loss Saturday to the College of Charleston, Kent State (19-7, 9-3 MAC) returns to Mid-American Conference play Tuesday at Miami.
The Flashes have won seven straight conference games and narrowly defeated the Redhawks, 71-67, Jan. 11 at home. In that match, Flashes' senior forward Justin Greene scored 23 points to lead all scorers, but Miami's Julian Mavunga scored 14 points as the Redhawks nearly stole a victory away from Kent State.
This time around, Greene will be playing through at least mild pain. The 6-foot-8 senior injured his right ankle against Buffalo, and a combination of pain and swelling forced him to miss Saturday's loss. Greene, who is aware of the importance of Tuesday's game to the Flashes' conference title hopes, said he will play against Miami.
Even with Greene, the Flashes won't have an easy go against Miami. Although the Redhawks don't boast an impressive record, Miami has won three of its last five conference games. Kent State hasn't won at Miami's Millett Hall since 2008, and the Redhawks own a 48-13 all-time home record against the Flashes.
Greene's defensive assignment, Mavunga, has been playing well as of late. The senior forward is averaging 13.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in the Redhawks' last five MAC games, including a 19-point, 19-rebound performance versus Eastern Michigan. Greene doesn't want the focus to be on him and Mavunga; he wants it to stay on Kent State versus Miami.
For the Flashes to win their third straight MAC East regular season title, they must win the remainder of their conference games and hope that conference leader Akron loses a conference game outside of the two teams' season finale in Kent. Both the players and coach Rob Senderoff know they can control only their performance on the court and hope that everything else falls in their favor.