Women’s basketball falls short to rival Akron

Sophomore+forward+Jordan+Korinek+shoots+a+layup+in+the+game+against+Northern+Illinois+University+on+Wednesday%2C+Jan.+27%2C+2015.+The+Flashes+won+95-85.

Sophomore forward Jordan Korinek shoots a layup in the game against Northern Illinois University on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2015. The Flashes won 95-85.

Eric Pitcher

Despite initially leading the game, the Kent State women’s basketball team (5-18, 2-11 Mid-American Conference) lost the first game in the Wagon Wheel Showdown to the University of Akron Zips (13-11, 7-6 MAC).

The loss gives the Flashes their 10th straight loss on the road.

It was a tale of two halves in the game. During the first half, which featured a lot of plays spectators have become accustomed to seeing from Kent State’s team, the Flashes scored 47 points. They proceed to outscore the Zips in the paint 18-2 and kept Akron’s leading scorer, junior guard Anita Brown, to just free throws.

A big part of the Flashes’ 11-point lead at the half was due in part to sophomore forward Jordan Korinek, who finished the first half with 11 points. Korinek finished the game with 15 points and nine rebounds, including four offensive rebounds.

 “In the second half (the team) gave (Korinek) a tremendous amount of attention,” coach Danielle O’Banion said, in her postgame interview. “We were desperately trying to get the basketball to Jordan, and she was not open. You saw (the players) turn the basketball over with very, very good intentions.”

The second half, though, was something completely different, with seven turnovers in the third quarter and five in the fifth. The Zips also outscored the Flashes 42-19 in just the second half, after a Kent State lead of 47-36 going into the half.

After going an awful 0-of-8 from the field to begin the game, Akron’s Anita Brown, the second leading scorer in the MAC, was ready to take the game over. Brown went 7-14 in the second half, adding five assists and three steals to her tally. 

But it wasn’t until Akron junior DiAndra Gibson had a fast break layup that gave the Zips their first lead in a whole two quarters. That lead did not last long though, as Alexa Gordon answered with a little jumper from the elbow that gave the Flashes a little one-point lead, but just as they did once before, Akron took the lead and went back to back to back from three-point rang.

Starting with Akron freshman Megan Sefick, who hit a three from the wing, the Zips went down on defense, forced a turnover and once again found Sefick. This time, she swooshed a deep three ball, which pushed the Akron lead up to 5. Sefick put up a total of six points, but they were the biggest six points of her career.

They weren’t done here though as, once again, Gibson buried a wide open three which extended the Zips lead up to 6. From this point on it was all Akron basketball. Akron would go on to make six free throws in the final minute, and put the finishing touches on a 78-66 win.

Junior Larissa Lurken led the Flashes with 16 points. Lurken has been averaging a team high 19 points a game in her last six contests.

Redshirt freshman Tyra James added 12 points of her own, playing 25 minutes, which was her highest since the game against Western Michigan University.

The Flashes get back to action Saturday as they take on Bowling Green State University at home. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. 

Eric Pitcher is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]