Game preview: EMU vs Kent State

Eastern Michigan guard Mike Talley drives to the basket in the Eagles 82-81 overtime loss to Miami (OH) in Oxford, OH.

Eastern Michigan University Men’s Basketball continues their MAC play journey in hope of a win as they travel back to Ohio to play against the Kent State Golden Flashes (11-5). As the Eagles struggle with winning in the MAC play, they will be up for another challenge facing off Kent State who has a record of 1-1 in the MAC roundup.

Periodically facing each other, EMU and Kent State mark up a 31-39 series record with EMU trailing 8 games behind Kent State. After losing two straight games in the MAC play, Eastern will have a lot of stepping up to do defensively and offensively.

According, Kent State’s scoring offense averages 66 percent and is fifth in field goals in the MAC roundup with an average of 43.2 percent. They are also put at fourth for 3-point shooting with an average of 36 percent, which puts them ahead of Eastern who is put at 10 for three point shooting, averaging 30 percent from behind the arc.

Fortunately, the EMU Eagles defensive and offensive rebounding outweighs Kent State. The Eagles are put at first for defensive rebounding, averaging 27.6 percent and weighing second in offensive rebounding averaging 13 percent. They are also recorded at first in blocked shots (avg. 5.75 percent) and steals per game (avg. 8.81 percent).

Historically, EMU lost 17 straight games against the Kent State Golden Flashes but eventually ended that losing streak after earning a 79-74 win against the Golden Flashes on Feb. 8, 2014.

Two key players EMU has to look out for is Kent State’s own leading scorers Jimmy Hall (F), who averages 14.4 points a game and 7.4 rebounds, and Devereaux Manley (G), who averages 13 points per game and Khaliq Spicer (F/C), who averages 5 points and 6 rebounds.

In order for the Eagles to gain another successful win against the Golden Flashes, they must set up good plays defensively and offensively and also become more consistent with shot taking. Key players, Raven Lee (G), Mike Talley (G), and Karrington Ward (F), must step up to the plate and continue to put up high boards in order to lead the team to their first victory in the MAC tournament.

The tip-off battle between the EMU and Kent State begins Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. in Kent, Ohio.

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