Kent State women struggle early on, fall to Toledo

Junior guard Mikell Chinn leads an attack against the Toledo Rockets, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in the M.A.C.C. The womens basketball team fell to their MAC rivals, 55-83.

Graham Smith

Junior guard Mikell Chinn leads an attack against the Toledo Rockets, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in the M.A.C.C. The women’s basketball team fell to their MAC rivals, 55-83.

Taylor Rosen

Despite finishing with three double-digit scorers, Kent State fell behind early and lost to Toledo 83-55 yesterday at the M.A.C. Center.

“We found ourselves scrambling out to shooters instead of making them score against our set half-court defense,” Kent State head coach Danielle O’Banion said.

The Rockets did an excellent job of executing their offense which resulted in numerous open looks for their outside shooters.

“They ran some nice screening scenarios to set up shooters,” O’Banion said, “so our adjustment at halftime was to take better shots and to make sure we were identifying where the shooters were on the court.”

On Sunday afternoon the Rockets shot the ball exceptionally well from the outside, including eight of 16 from behind the three-point line.

Toledo (11-11, 6-5 MAC) was the more poised team, and they took advantage of poor decisions made by the Flashes early on and built a colossal lead.

“I thought Toledo did a really nice job of playing like a championship caliber team,” O’Banion said. “They did a very nice job of taking advantage of some of our poor decisions regarding our shot selection.”

Kent State (4-18, 1-10 MAC) struggled to come up with the basketball and were out-rebounded by Toledo 40-26.

“Rebounding was a major difference, and that was a major point of emphasis for us coming into the game,” O’Banion said. “Toledo was tenacious, and that’s what makes this one hard to swallow tonight, especially at home. Rebounding is about who wants the ball more and Toledo demonstrated a higher desire for the basketball tonight.”

The Flashes also struggled from the free throw line, connecting on only 13 of their 22 attempts from the line.

Senior center CiCi Shannon had one of her better performances of the season and finished with a game-high 19 points on six of nine from the field.

“No doubt CiCi was super, and I thought she did an awesome job of establishing herself,” O’Banion said.  “I really do believe that CiCi has the ability to be one of the best post players in our league. So I’m hopeful this is the beginning of a strong surge for CiCi.”

Senior guard Ashley Evans added 16 points of her own, and Amber Dunlap came off the bench and finished with 12.

The Flashes will have six days off to prepare for their next game when they head to Michigan and play Western Michigan this Saturday at 7 p.m. 

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].