By Michael Beaven
Special to the Beacon Journal
''It will be a fun game because it's Kent State, but it's also a MAC East game, and that is very important, too,'' Kest said. ''It will be a very exciting game. Both games went down to the wire last season.''
Kest also will be counting on senior forward Jolene Tamboue, senior guard Ayla Guzzardo, junior guard Amber Witt (Hoover), sophomore forward Jasmine Mushington and sophomore guard Natasha Williams to contribute.
Junior forward Taisja Jones (13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds) and junior guard Jamilah Humes (11.8 points) are the top scorers for KSU, which has won its past three games.
''I think we have been good in places, and we have been not so good in other places,'' KSU coach Bob Lindsay said. ''I don't think we have been a very consistent team this season. We have had games where we have been playing very good offensively, and we have had games where we have been playing very good defensively, but I am not so sure we have put together a complete game this season.''
Sophomore guard Jena Stutzman, senior forward Yoshica Spears (team-high 7.8 rebounds), junior center Ellie Shields, senior guard Rachel Bennett, junior forward Chenel Harris and junior guard Stephanie Gibson (Hoover) are also consistent contributors for the Flashes.
''Kent State is playing as well as anybody right now,'' Kest said. ''Coach Lindsay is a phenomenal teacher of the game. They work hard, defend well and rebound well.''
Kest and Lindsay each acknowledged the rivalry but said their primary concern is staying perfect in the MAC East.
''It's a divisional game, and every one of these is equally important,'' Lindsay said. ''From the standpoint of it being a local matchup and some players knowing each other, I think any time either the guys or girls play, you can throw the records out the window.''