Huskies host Kent State on Saturday

By Andrew Singer

On Saturday, the Kent State men’s basketball team will enter the Convocation Center with 21 straight wins against MAC West opponents.

The Golden Flashes’ (16-7, 7-2 MAC) streak is bad news for an NIU squad coming off two ugly losses on the road to MAC East teams. The Huskies lost to Ohio (12-12, 5-5 MAC) 80-73 last Saturday and dropped an 84-72 decision to Miami (OH) on Wednesday evening.

Kent State head coach Geno Ford has no explanation for the Golden Flashes’ success against the West.

“I have no theory,” Ford said. “Usually when that’s said, people then are quick to downplay the significance of winning as many as we have. During this stretch, no other team from the East has swept the West even for one year. We’ve been playing well.”

Saturday’s contest will close out the Huskies’ slate of games against the MAC East.

NIU (7-15 overall, 3-7 MAC) is hoping to have starting point guard Bryan Hall back in the lineup against the Flashes. The senior was unable to play against the RedHawks on Wednesday because of a hamstring injury.

“I was told five minutes before the game that Bryan would be unable to go,” said NIU head coach Ricardo Patton. “The injury happened earlier in the week sometime. We don’t know exactly when.”

Patton remains unfazed by the recent losses, maintaining the lessons learned now will help the team in the long run.

“Our guys have battled hard,” Patton said. “We just didn’t make shots [against Miami], we had some good looks at times but they just didn’t fall.”

The Huskies will be kicking off a four-game home stand when Kent State comes to DeKalb. Following the Flashes, NIU will face Western Michigan, Seattle in the ESPNU BracketBusters game, and Central Michigan.

While the Huskies will be enjoying home cooking for the next two weeks, Kent State’s date against NIU is the first of four straight road games.

“Most of these four road games we can play and get beat,” Ford said. “We just have to hang in there and fight and remember to be appreciative that we still control our own fate.”