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Kent State Golden Flashes vs Ohio Bobcats men's basketball preview: Kent State goes for 7-1 start in conference play

Kent State looks to go to 7-1 on Friday night. Jimmy Hall and Antonio Campbell square off for the second time this season.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Kent State Golden Flashes and Ohio Bobcats match up on Friday night at the Convocation Center in Athens with Ohio being the 1.5-point favorite. Kent State holds a one game lead over Akron currently and this will be a huge game with MAC East implications. The game will tip-off at 9 p.m. Eastern and will be shown nationally on ESPNU.

Kent State's only MAC loss was at home against Buffalo in the second conference game of the season. They won the previous match-up between these two schools in Kent 89-82 just a few weeks ago. The Golden Flashes won this game on the strength of big games from Xavier PollardKellon Thomas, Jaylin Walker and Jimmy Hall. It was a close game at half with the Golden Flashes having a one point lead but they pulled away late to secure the victory.

Hall, the junior from Brooklyn, New York, is averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds per game and has been the most consistent player for Kent State. He's shooting very comparable to last year number's at 48 percent from the field and 75 percent at the line.

The Ohio Bobcats come in at 12-7 and 3-4 in the MAC East. It's a big game for them as they just defeated Toledo in a highly-contested battle on Tuesday night. It's been a mixed bag for the Bobcats as they have gotten blown out in three of their four losses. Three of those four losses occurred on the road so it does help them tonight to be in front of their home crowd. Antonio Campbell has been the Bobcats version of Jimmy Hall doing a little bit of everything. He's averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds while shooting an astonishing 58 percent from the field.

The Bobcats play next at home against the Akron Zips and the Kent State Golden Flashes continue their road trip to Central Michigan next week.