Women’s basketball travels to California for weekend tournament

Women’s basketball coach Danielle O’Banion during a game on November 6, 2013.

Ben Orner

The Kent State women’s basketball team will head to the west coast after a rocky start to the 2014-15 season.

After a home matinee on Tuesday against Belmont, the Flashes will participate in the Cal Poly Holiday Beach Classic hosted by the California Polytechnic Institute on Friday and Saturday.

Kent State will take on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders on Friday at 6 p.m. EST and the Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday at 6 p.m. EST.

Rough start to the season

Hopefully for Kent State fans the warm southern California sun will heat up the Flashes’ offense, which has been stagnant so far this season.

Kent State is 0-3 to begin the season, losing by an average of just over 14 points per game. The Flashes dropped a close game late against North Dakota State to start the season and then followed that up by being blown out by Youngstown State and Northwestern.

Turnovers have been the biggest issue, as Kent State has given up 59 turnovers while only forcing 40 from their opponents. The Flashes also haven’t been able to rely on big-play offense, only making nine 3-pointers.

Something Kent State does very well, though, is spreading the offense. Larissa Lurken leads the team in scoring with 10.3 points per game. CiCi Shannon is close behind with 10 points per game, and Krista White averages nine points per game.

Scouting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Kent State’s first opponent in the tournament, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, is 0-2 to start the season with two close losses against UNLV and Houston. The Islanders are scheduled to play Rice University Monday night and will then square off against Kent State on Friday.

Junior guard Shay Weaver leads the Islanders in scoring with 17.5 points per game in two games.

Last season, the Islanders finished just two games behind first place in the Southland standings with an 18-12 overall record.

Scouting Dartmouth

Dartmouth is 2-0 after an overtime win against the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a blowout against Holy Cross, both games being at home. The Big Green’s first test will be against Kent State, one of the few mid-major schools on its schedule.

Dartmouth’s offense is commanded by Hungarian sophomore Fanni Szabo and junior Lakin Roland, averaging 26 and 16.5 points, respectively.

Last season, Dartmouth finished last in the Ivy League with a 5-23 overall record.

Contact Ben Orner at [email protected].