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February 6, 2013

Game Preview & Predictions: Kent State







Game Information

Kent State Golden Flashes (12-10, 3-5) at Western Michigan Broncos (14-7, 6-2)
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Venue: University Arena
Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m.
All-time series record: Kent State leads 59-53

Broadcast Information
Radio: Bronco Radio Network
Announcer: Robin Hook
Stations: WKZO - 96.5 FM: (Flagship) Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan; WMAX - 96.1 FM: Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon; WVIC - 94.1 FM: Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek
Pre-game: Begins at 6:30 p.m.

Rob Senderoff's record at Kent State: 33-22 (2nd season)
Steve Hawkins' record at Western Michigan: 173-139 (10th season)


Additional Information

- The Broncos received 17 votes in the Feb. 4 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.

- Western Michigan will host Pacific in the 2013 Bracketbuster on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. in a game that will be aired on ESPN 3.

- The Broncos have won six straight MAC games for the first time since winning six straight from Dec. 4, 2004 - Jan. 19, 2005.

- The Broncos won eight straight conference games if one includes the last two games of the 2003-04 season.

- The Broncos are shooting 49.0 percent from the field, while holding their opponents to just 34.5 percent during their six-game
win streak.

- WMU is 2-2 against the MAC East division this season, with wins against Miami and Buffalo.

- David Brown is averaging 10.8 points per game off the bench during the win streak, including a 43.3 shooting percentage from
three-point range.

- The Broncos are out-scoring their opponents by an average of 16.0 points per game during this win streak.

- WMU is averaging 7.7 steals per game during this win streak, up from their season average of 5.3 steals per game.

- The Bronco bench is outscoring their counterparts by 16.0 points per game during the six-game win streak.

- WMU is 61-16 (.792) in MAC home games under head coach Steve Hawkins.


Staff Predictions

Brian Persky: The Broncos haven't had a lot of luck with Kent State in recent years, but both teams show something very different in 2013.

I think the Broncos match up very well against a Kent State team that likes to get out and run. WMU's size inside should also continue to be a factor. As long as WMU controls the Golden Flashes from behind the arc, I don't see Western having much trouble tonight.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 75, Kent State 66


David James: Kent State's a team that's given Western Michigan their fair share of trouble in the past, to be sure. But this isn't the Golden Flashes team we've gotten used to. With WMU on a six game win streak, playing at home, and KSU reeling, on paper this game shouldn't be one that comes down to the wire.

That said, I've watched too many Kent/WMU games do exactly that to pick otherwise. The main difference this time will be that the Broncos come out on top.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 72, Kent State 70


Brandon Fitzsimons: The Flashes are a shell of their former selves, but still should not be taken lightly. Despite their 2-2 record against the MAC West (that includes a loss to NIU), the Kent State is still a fairly solid team when on. They gave Ohio all they could handle and played Akron to 4 points, so this will be a great game to watch. Still, the Broncos at home are a tough team to face and I take them in a nail-biter.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 68, Kent State 67


D.J. Duckett: The Broncos continue to roll through MAC play and Shayne Whittington is emerging as a leader of this team. I think that they will take care of business against Kent State and continue their quest for a top-4 seed in the quickly approaching MAC tournament. I also expect Darius Paul to assert himself in the low post, taking some of the pressure off of Whittington, allowing him to make his presence felt on the defensive end. I still don't think WMU has its clear cut answer for the Point Guard position, but hopefully this game can be a step in the right direction. Broncos win easily.

Score Prediction: Western Michigan 73, Kent State 61


Additional Links

Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive: In the Paint: Western Michigan basketball keeps focus on Kent State, not season success

WMU Athletics: Broncos Look For Seventh Straight, Host Kent State

WMU Athletics: Official Game Notes

Kent State Athletics: Crossover Play Continues On Wednesday Night As Kent State Travels To Western Michigan


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