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Kent State Flashes

Kent State men take on Buffalo

By admin Published: January 20, 2010

By Stephanie Storm

Beacon Journal staff writer

Kent State coach Geno Ford channeled his inner Jim Christian to let his underachieving team know exactly where it stands.

No one's playing time is safe, going into the game tonight against Buffalo.

With back-to-back losses at Miami (55-53 in overtime Jan.12) and to visiting Bowling Green (76-70 on Sunday), Ford is not averse to calling out players — veterans or otherwise — the way Christian, a former KSU coach, did before leaving two years ago for Texas Christian University.

''We are looking at some lineup changes,'' Ford said. ''We aren't going to start the same five guys; we might not start any of them.''

The starters for the Flashes (10-7, 1-2 in MAC) last weekend were forward Frank Henry-Ala (1-for-4 on field-goal attempts), center Justin Greene (4-for-8), guard Tyree Evans (4-for-12), guard Chris Singletary (4-for-9) and point guard Rodriquez Sherman (1-for-10).

The bright spot against Bowling Green was the play of guard Mike McKee, who made six 3-pointers to help lead KSU to a season-high 11 3-pointers.

But McKee's sideshow wasn't enough to overcome the team's collective poor shooting near the basket. The Flashes were a maddening 11-of-33 on layup attempts and also continued their pattern of spotting an opponent an early lead as the Falcons opened the game with an 11-0 run.

''Defensively, we aren't in it right now,'' Ford said. ''I don't know that I've ever been more embarrassed with a group of guys in terms of our collective effort to start the game . . . [but] we've got to get this turned around because the hottest team in the league is rolling in here Wednesday.''

That team would be East Division-leading Buffalo, which is 3-0 in league play for the first time since joining the MAC in 1998 and has one of the best overall records in the league at 10-4.

Leading the way for the Bulls is senior guard Rodney Pierce, the reigning MAC East Player of the Week. He led Buffalo to wins over Bowling Green and the University of Akron last week, and he ranks second in the league with 19.8 points per game.

Against the Falcons, Pierce scored 21 points with a career-best six assists, including assisting on the game-winning 3-pointer that gave the visiting Bulls only their second win at Anderson Arena.

Pierce was even hotter against UA, matching his career-high with 31 points, including four 3-pointers, a career-high tying four steals and 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. Additionally, 24 of Pierce's points came in the final 23 minutes to help the Bulls pull away for the victory.

Buffalo has never won at the M.A.C. Center.

Kent State game notes

Buffalo game notes

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