Women’s basketball loses battle for the Wagon Wheel after good fight

Quentin Smith

Kent State women’s basketball got off to a hot start early on in Saturday’s game against rival Akron, shooting about 45 percent from the field in the first half, and kept the streak going into the second half, shooting about 54 percent.

But even with the hot shooting and good execution on offense, the Flashes were still plagued by turnovers and gave up too many offensive rebounds.

Kent State (3-16, 1-7 MAC) dropped the contest, 74-67.

The team had a total of 17 turnovers that led to 18 points for Akron. The Flashes also gave up 15 offensive rebounds, which led to 15 second-chance points for their opponents.

In a close ball game, those key things can be the difference in deciding the outcome.

“Ball security is something that we are going to have to clean up moving forward,” coach Danielle O’Banion said. “It wasn’t so much that the second-chance points came from the first shooter, but it was the 50-50 plays. The ball would get popped up, and Akron would come up with it.”

Despite the loss, the Flashes still had an impressive outing.

“I’m excited about the guts that this team is growing,” O’Banion said. “I’m excited that we have some really disappointed players in our locker room right now who are determined to get better and want to get better.”

The Flashes were led by freshman forward Jordan Korinek in scoring with 18 points. Sophomore guard Larissa Lurken and redshirt freshman forward McKenna Stephens both chipped in with 10 points each.

Akron head coach Jodi Kest said she knew coming in that Kent State was going to be a tough team to handle.

“Their team works hard. They always bring a lot of energy,” Kest said. “They can score both inside and out, with (Larissa) Lurken and Jordan (Korinek), and we knew they were going to bring their A-game.”

Korinek said this loss will help motivate the team as they prepare for their next game Wednesday.

“The past two games, we were close but still lost,” Korinek said. “We just need to finish the game and play even harder so that we can make sure we get the job done.”

The team will host Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at 7 p.m in the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Quentin Smith at [email protected].