Flashes drop sluggish affair to Ball State

Gina Butkovich

The Kent State women’s basketball team’s losing streak continued Wednesday, as the Flashes fell to Ball State in what was a hard-fought, defensive battle. This loss continued a tough trend for the Flashes (10-7, 3-3 MAC), who haven’t won a game in Worthen Arena since 1997.

There wasn’t much scoring in the first 10 minutes of the game, and the quarter ended with Ball State (7-11, 2-4 MAC) holding onto a 9-8 advantage. Half of the Flashes’ points came from freshman guard Hannah Young, who led the team in the first quarter with four points.

Junior guard Megan Carter started the second quarter off with her first basket of the game, successfully putting Kent State back on top, 10-8. The game stayed close throughout the second quarter, with neither team taking a lead larger than two points. Despite struggling to score throughout the first half, Kent State managed to hold Ball State to 19 points and ended the half leading, 20-19. 

“I don’t think we really caught the ball ready to shoot,” Kent State assistant coach Fran Recchia said. “They did a good job of taking away our first and second chances, and I thought we were really hesitant instead of shooting it with confidence like we’ve been doing.”  

Carter eventually scored two foul shots, putting Kent State down only five points at 27-22. The Flashes only managed to score one more basket during the third quarter, with freshman guard Asiah Dingle scoring a field goal, and Kent State went into the fourth quarter down, 32-24.

The fourth quarter saw the Flashes continue not to see the basket.

“We couldn’t throw it in the ocean from the end of the pier and there’s the game,” coach Todd Starkey said.

They did manage to take the 33-32 lead with 7:08 left, but Ball State came back within two minutes. Kent State came back one more time to tie it up 39-39 with 2:30 left in the quarter, only to be outshot yet again by Ball State. Kent State played aggressive defense at the end of the game, but it wasn’t enough with the Flashes falling, 48-44.

“I don’t think they quit, we got a really slow start and it kind of snowballed and we could never get past it,” Recchia said. “They didn’t quit though. This group doesn’t really quit.”

Senior guard Alexa Golden and Dingle both matched their career-high for steals this game, with the duo recording six and five takeaways, respectively. Carter led the Flashes offensively with 12 points.

“We defended, we held them under 50 points and they shot a bunch of free throws down the stretch,” Starkey said. “We just couldn’t make points.”

Kent State returns to the road on Saturday to play Miami University (12-4, 3-2 MAC) at Millett Hall. The RedHawks are currently third in the MAC East and will be playing Kent State following an upset win against Central Michigan Wednesday night.

“Miami has one of the best defensive teams in the MAC, and they are going to play hard,” Recchia said. “It’s going to be a tough road win for us. There is no night off in the MAC.”

 Gina Butkovich is a sports reporter. Contact her a [email protected].