Late turnovers help extend Flashes’ losing streak


Kent State freshman guard Erin Thames takes a shot against the Miami (OH) defense Saturday Feb. 17, 2018. Thames scored four points in the Flashes’ 65-59 loss.

Ian Kreider

Kent State coach Todd Starkey held the ball over his head on the sideline, frustrated by his team’s turnover with 4:38 left in the game.

Kent State (11-15, 4-10 Mid-American Conference) had cut the Miami (OH) (16-9, 8-6 MAC) lead to 57-51, but when the Flashes brought the ball up the floor, it ended up in Starkey’s hands a few seconds later.

The next possession ended with Redhawks sophomore forward Savannah Kluesner scoring down low to push the lead back up to 59-51. The sequence of plays shifted the momentum in Miami (OH)’s favor, and they went on to win, 65-59.

“There were two things that lost the game for us: turnovers on crucial possessions down the stretch, and we went 1-for-13 from three and they went 9-for-17,” Starkey said. “It’s hard to beat a team when they are burying threes at that clip. We played with better effort but not the type of focus we need to beat a team like this, and nobody is going to feel sorry for us.”

Kent State’s struggles started early as senior forward and leading scorer Jordan Korinek picked up two quick fouls in the first half, which shortened her playing time and production. She scored only two points on 1-for-3 shooting in the first half, and the Flashes trailed, 31-24, at the break.

Korinek battled back in the second half and finished with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

Sophomore guard Megan Carter and graduate student forward McKenna Stephens combined to score 26 points on 11-for-27 shooting from the field. Carter struggled with turnovers all game, finishing with six giveaways and only one assist. This was her sixth game of the season with at least three turnovers. The Flashes are 1-5 in such games.

“The things that have been holding us back are not things that have just crept up on us; they are things we have been addressing all year,” Starkey said. “We have been coaching taking care of the basketball, and we have been coaching defensive focus. At some point, they have to do it. They have to make the plays. They have to make the reads.”

Five Redhawks finished in double-digits, and those players combined to shoot 22-for-44 from the floor and 8-for-16 on threes.

With Saturday’s loss, Kent State extends its losing streak to four games. During the streak, they have averaged just 57 points per game, while also dropping three games at home.

“It has been a frustrating stretch for us,” Starkey said. “I’m not used to losing like this. We will see what we have left in the tank. We have had some ups and downs this year, but we will have to battle back. We have four games left, and all four of those teams want to beat us. They are playing for something significant, but we have to have the same mentality.”

The Flashes play their next game against Ohio (14-11, 8-6 MAC) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ohio University Convocation Center. The Bobcats defeated Kent State. 78-65, on Feb. 10 behind 20 points from Amani Burke.


Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].