Women’s basketball to host Buffalo Wednesday

Sophomore guard Jamie Hutcheson passes the ball during Kents game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Sophomore guard Jamie Hutcheson passes the ball during Kent’s game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Kevin Battaglia

After two tough losses on the road to open up Mid-American Conference play, Kent State will get a chance to host a MAC opponent at home.

The Flashes (2-13, 0-2 MAC) will host Buffalo at 7 p.m. tonight at the M.A.C. Center.

Kent State coach Danielle O’Banion jumped at the opportunity to express the importance of home court advantage.

“Our wins this season have come at home, and this is a great opportunity to become familiar with our fans and supporters,” O’Banion said. “We take a tremendous amount of pride in defending our home court.”

Kent State, coming off a 93-58 loss Sunday at Akron, will attempt to earn their first victory in conference play. The Flashes will try to rely on seniors Tamzin Barroilhet (9.9 points per game) and Trisha Krewson (11.2 points per game) to pull them out of their recent struggles.

Buffalo (4-11, 2-0 MAC) had struggled earlier in the season but has managed to win three of its last five. The Bulls are coming off a 73-36 home victory over the Ohio Bobcats.

The Bulls are a young team with most of their impact players being underclassmen. Mackenzie Loesing, a freshman forward averaging 9.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week.

Kent State will also have their hands full with forward Rachael Gregory averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. The 5-foot-11 freshman currently leads the Bulls in rebounding.

O’Banion credits Buffalo’s recent success to the effort and toughness they put in each game. She says they have three key things that have been causing so many teams fits in the past few weeks: they rebound well, get to the free throw line and fight their way to earn points in the paint.

“Those are effort-based areas of the game,” O’Banion said. “Buffalo is maximizing what they have on their roster by playing extremely well and doing what they do very well and consistently.”

She believes in order to be successful against the Bulls, the Flashes will have to create fast-break opportunities to get transition baskets as well as rebound well enough to limit any second chance baskets for Buffalo.

Kent State will not have time to settle in, as their next tip-off will be at Worthen Arena against Ball State Saturday at noon, a game that can be seen on Sports Time Ohio.

Contact Kevin Battaglia at [email protected].