Women’s basketball dominated by Duquesne, 86-60


Sophomore guard Larissa Lurken goes up for a shot during Kent State’s 68-49 loss against Youngstown State inside the M.A.C. Center on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.

Ben Orner

Kent State women’s hoops dropped its third straight game Wednesday afternoon after being dominated by Duquesne, 86-60 and falling to 1-6 on the season.

Kent State sophomore forward Krista White scored 20 points, matching her career high she set on Saturday in a loss to Dartmouth, but she didn’t get much help from the rest of the team.

Only two other Kent State players entered double digits, with redshirt junior Melanee Stubbs and sophomore Larissa Lurken putting up 11 and 10, respectively.

Duquesne (4-3) spread its offense around more efficiently, allowing nine of its players to score, as opposed to only six for Kent State. The Dukes also had four players in double digits and racked up 22 assists, compared to Kent State’s mere nine.

The Dukes’ bench was tremendous, with 62 points coming from non-starters.

Turnovers seem to continue to plague Kent State, as Duquesne converted 20 Kent State turnovers into 22 points. The Flashes now have 130 turnovers on the year with a turnovers-per-game mark of 18.6, good for 236th in the country.

Kent State coach Danielle O’Banion said her team “didn’t respond well” to Duquesne’s experienced offense.

“We ran into a Duquesne team that was a very veteran basketball team,” she said. “They were very good at doing what they do, and that’s being a dynamic offensive team.”

Among four senior shooters for Duquesne was Belma Nurkic, who caused a lot of grief for the Flashes, scoring a game-high 21 points while blocking two shots and recording four steals.

Kent State senior point guard Mikell Chinn was unable to play due to injury, which placed a further strain on a struggling Kent State offense. Freshman Naddiyah Cross started in Chinn’s place, logging a career-high 34 minutes, but only scoring four points and committing six turnovers.

O’Banion says losses like this are all part of the process for her inexperienced roster.

“We need to coach and teach our players and make sure they feel confident in the tools they need to be successful,” she said.

The Flashes will be on the road again Sunday at 3:30 p.m. to play Cleveland State. This will be the sixth game the 1-6 Flashes will have played this season at an away or neutral location. Their only win came at home against Belmont.

“We’ll get back in the gym after watching the film and give our players some things to focus on for improvement, and we’ll compete hard on Sunday,” O’Banion said.

Cleveland State is 3-3 with a home game to play against East Carolina on Thursday. The Vikings are currently 2-0 at home and haven’t lost a home game since Jan. 23. Since that loss, Cleveland State has held a firm seven-game home winning streak.

Contact Ben Orner at [email protected].