Women’s basketball continues to struggle in loss to Western Michigan

Kyle Samec

Kent State (3-11, 0-4 Mid-American Conference) turnover troubles plagued the team once again Wednesday night as the Flashes surrendered the ball 21 times in a 73-53 loss to Western Michigan (10-6, 2-2 MAC).

The Flashes commit 18.1 turnovers per game, which equates to a turnover margin that ranks ninth out of the 12 teams in the conference. What’s worse is when those turnovers turn into transition buckets, said Flashes’ coach Danielle O’Banion.

“We didn’t help ourselves in the first half by giving it (the basketball) away 13 times,” said O’Banion. “Western Michigan is a good team, and they scored 17 points off of those (turnovers).”

The Broncos finished with 23 points off turnovers.

The Flashes rallied late to cut it to a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter after trailing by as much as 23 in the second half, but they ended up on the wrong end of a 73-52 final.

The second quarter was the turning point, as the Flashes were outscored by 15. The other three quarters were decided by three or fewer points.

The Broncos are now 18-2 over the last two seasons at University Arena, including 6-0 this season.

Kent State shot poorly from beyond the arc, missing all 14 of its attempts. “Part of those struggles can be attributed to the strong perimeter defense by the (Broncos),” O’Banion said.

“Western Michigan is in the top three or four in field goal percentage defense in the MAC, and they were really committed to challenging any jump shooter on our team,” she said.

Western Michigan ranks No. 1 in the MAC in defending the three-point line—holding opponents to 25.9 percent before tonight’s game. It also ranks second in blocked shots, which can be attributed to three 6-foot-3 and above players on its roster; altogether, there are six players who are six feet or taller on its roster.

The Mustangs’ leading scorer, senior forward Miracle Woods, who averages 12.3 points per game, dominated in the paint all night long going 9-of-9 for 19 points in the first half. She finished with 23 points.

“Nearly every time there was a broken play, she ended up with the basketball,” said O’Banion. “She’s an all-conference caliber player, and she did what an all-conference player does.”

The Flashes play at Eastern Michigan University (11-3, 2-1 MAC) on Saturday—the MAC West division leader.

Contact Kyle Samec at [email protected].