Now that it’s clear that Toledo has Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball’s number this year, it’s time for them to put their most recent loss behind them and get ready for a matchup with Kent State. The Golden Flashes are a team that are currently thriving in MAC play after struggling in out of conference play against tough opponents.
KSU named a new coach to the mantle in the offseason. Todd Starkey is the new head coach after spending the prior two seasons at Indiana. The Hoosiers made their fifth-ever NCAA Tourney with his help and the team garnered a perfect 14-0 record at home.
After a tough season last year, Kent is slowly putting everything together. The Golden Flashes currently sit 12-10 overall but their MAC play endeavors have been surprising. At 6-4, Kent currently places second in the MAC East Division while holding wins over Ohio and Toledo—both of which are teams Buffalo has failed to win against this season.
UB will have to look out for the 1-2 scoring punch of Larissa Lurken and Jordan Korinek. Lurken, a 5-9 guard, has brought in a dominating 23.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game so far this season. Korinek will help spread the floor as a 6-2 Forward for the Golden Flashes. She’s bringing in 14.8 points and 6.3 rebounds a contest.
What to watch for
1. 70 is the magic number
Buffalo has lost every single one of their games that they let their opponent score 70 or more. On the flip side, they’ve won every game that involved them holding the opponent under 70. It’s just fact: UB has about 70 points on offense at their disposal. Whether you get those points through a 12-deep bench or through JoAnna Smith dominance, you have about 70 points on an average afternoon.
2. Gabi Bade
Alright, Kat Ups and Mariah Suchan have stepped up to the challenge in these past few games and are helping this team get better. Next, the Bulls would really benefit from Gabi Bade being the player she was in the earlier portion of this season. If Bade can knock down 2-3 threes and another layup or two, that’s just enough bench scoring to help UB out.
3. Put either Reid or K. Ups on Lurken and checkmate
Without a big night from their 23ppg scorer, Kent State is going to really struggle on offense despite being one of the better teams in the conference at scoring the ball. Get a really good defender on Lurken and force her to look inside for the forwards to be waiting there and collapse on her.
4. The second quarter
Buffalo hasn’t been the best team in the second quarter—losing a lot of defensive intensity in these ten minutes. UB needs a strong second quarter on top of their first quarter instead of giving up 20 or so points.