Kent State will travel to Muncie, Indiana, to play Ball State in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference tournament on Monday at 7 p.m.
“Ball State plays really well at home,” said Kent State head coach Danielle O’Banion. “They actually earn 26 free throw attempts when they win. As opposed to 18 free throw attempts when they lose. Fortunately for us the free throw line has been very kind to us on the road when we’ve won. The free throw line is going to be big, and certainly making sure all the threes that they shoot are contested.”
These two teams split the regular season battle. They last met on Super Bowl Sunday at the M.A.C. Center. The Flashes ended up defeating the Cardinals in a close game, 60-57.
The Flashes committed 27 turnovers in their most recent contest, and fell in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at Buffalo, 64-51.
Flashes senior guard Ashley Evans led the Flashes in scoring for the second consecutive game with 14 points. Montia Johnson added 12 points, and five rebounds.
The Flashes (7-22, 4-14 MAC) found themselves limited on available guards during the game at Buffalo. Rachel Mendelsohn had to exit the game early in the first half due to a knee injury. Mikell Chinn also fouled out with 11 minutes to play in the second half with her team only trailing by seven.
“Rachel’s knee injury was just a little tweak fortunately,” O’Banion said. “So we’re expecting her to be in uniform tomorrow.”
Ball State (14-15, 9-9 MAC) is coming off of a strong surge to end the season. In their most recent contest the Cardinals defeated Toledo, 69-56.
The Cardinals have won three consecutive games which started with a 79-73 home win against Western Michigan. Both teams will be trying to advance to the second round in Cleveland and face the winner of the Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan game.
“This team has been very vocal as of late about really wanting to earn a first round win,” O’Banion said. “It’s been two seasons since our team has qualified to play in Cleveland. This team wants to be that team to get it done. We’re excited about the opportunity to play a team of Ball State’s caliber. They will certainly make us play some of our basketball tomorrow night. That’s how you want to do it you want to earn it in March.”
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