KSU women make late-season push
Team seeks 10th win in last 11 games
With two games left in the season, the Kent State women’s basketball team finds itself in the thick of a race for a first-round bye in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Even though the tournament has yet to begin, several players can’t help but think of the hardware awaiting the conference’s top team.
“Everyone wants a ring so our goal is to get a ring, nothing less,” senior forward Yoshica Spears said.
Kent State (18-8, 11-3 MAC) are currently ranked second in the MAC East Division, and have an opportunity to unseat conference-leading Bowling Green when they face off Saturday at Anderson Arena.
If Kent State can win out, defeating Bowling Green and Buffalo (March 2), the Flashes will hold a tie with the Falcons for first in the division. The tiebreaker goes to the team with the better record against the MAC West division’s top team, Toledo, where the Flashes have the advantage.
Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said he is not concerned with where the Flashes are seeded come tournament time, but wants the team to focus on the next two games.
“As far as the byes go, I say this every year, the byes to me aren’t necessarily very important. I don’t like having seven of eight days off,” Lindsay said. “I’d rather play on that Saturday, but if we get a bye, we get a bye. We’re trying to win as many games we can.”
The Flashes’ dominance against conference opponents has continued to progress throughout the season, as the team has won nine of its last 10 games.
The Kent State attack ranks among the top five in the MAC in scoring margin and field goal percentage, but Spears said the team’s defensive effort late in games still needs to improve.
“I think we always get to the point in the game when we have a good defensive effort, but towards the end we give up a little bit,” Spears said. “We have to keep the intensity going consistently in the second half, and not just get to the 10-minute mark and let them get whatever shot they want.”
Although failure to close out opponents has been the team’s weakness, that was not the problem for Kent State in their last meeting against the Falcons.
The Flashes lost 89-61 on Jan. 16, as Lauren Prochaska, the Falcons’ junior guard and reigning MAC Player of the Year, scored 24 points in the route over Kent State.
Lindsay said the team has improved greatly as the season has progressed, and believes the team is poised for the upcoming schedule.
“I think we have confidence that we can win games,” Lindsay said. “That’s where we are. We aren’t perfect. There are a lot of things we need to improve, but I think have some confidence that we can win and that we can make plays to win. That’s basically what we have been doing.”
Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at