Road Rivalry Game Begins February Slate for Women’s Hoops
Kent State will seek their third straight win when they visit rivals Akron on Wednesday 1 February. The Crystal Clinic Wagon Wheel Challenge competition is scheduled for 7pm and the first 50 Kent State students to present their student ID get free entry.
The Golden Flashes (13-6, 5-3 MAC) are No. 23 in the mid-major top 25 and coming off
for the first time in 21 years, back-to-back wins over Mid-American Conference opponents by 20 or more points. Kent State led by as much as 35 points in Saturday’s 64-38 dismantling of Western Michigan. Senior Clara Kelly and graduate student Lindsey Thal led the Blitze with 12 points each in the evaluation. Kent State recorded assists on 19 of 24 field goals, the team’s highest total against a Division I opponent since December 11, 2020.
Kent State’s defense has been among the best in the MAC this season. The Flashes lead the conference in scoring defense (60.5 ppg) and rank second in field goal percent defense (.377). Kent State is 13-1 when the opponent is holding less than 70 points and 5-0 when opposing teams are shooting less than 30% from the field.
Forward Lindsey Thal is the top scorer with 12.1 points per game and has also achieved the team’s best marks with a total of 34 three-pointers and 17 blocked shots. Thall is the all-time all-time leader in the state of Kent with 252 triples, ranked 21st among active players in the NCAA Division I and 10th among active players in career blocks (189). Guard Corinna Hauser (9.9 ppg) averages 12.4 points as the best team per game in conference play. Guard Katie Shumate adds 9.6 points per game and a team-high 5.6 rebounds per contest.
guards Clara Kelly (7.8 ppg) and Dionna Gray (3.9 ppg) and Forward Bridget Dunn (4.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) lead a strong bench unit that scores 25.6 points per fight.
The Zips (14-5, 5-3 MAC) were the last undefeated team in the MAC standings, 3-0, but currently sit fourth with the Golden Flashes. Akron has a 9-2 home record and is averaging 9.5 points more per game at the James A. Rhodes Arena than on the road. The charity streak has played a big part in the Zips’ success this season as they rank 13th in free throws per game (15.89) and 21st in free throw percentage (0.778) nationally.
Forward Reagan Bass upped their game during their second campaign and leads Akron on averages of 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Guard Dominique Camp (11.8 ppg), forward Molly Neitzel (10.9 ppg) and guard Layne Ferrell (10.4 ppg) are also double-digit scorers for the Zips.
• Kent State is 56-18 all-time against Akron.
• The Golden Flashes lost both games last season, marking the first time they suffered back-to-back losses in the series since losing eight in a row from 2013-16.
• Kent State is 25-12 all-time at Akron.
• The Flashes’ 18-game winning streak from January 8, 2000 to February 23, 2008 is the longest for either school.
• Kent State is 8-3 against the Zips under head coach Death Starkey.
Michael Reghi and Jeff Phelps will be directing the action on ESPN+ while Tyler Henry will be on the phone on the Kent State Radio Network.
Next for Kent State
The Golden Flashes will travel to number-one Ball State on Saturday, February 4, completing a four-of-five-game stretch on the road.