Flashes continue to battle, yet fall at Eastern Michigan

Taylor Rosen

Kent State suffered a 65-57 loss at Eastern Michigan on Thursday, despite an efficient effort from junior forward Montia Johnson.

The Flashes shot the ball well, finishing at 50 percent for the game, but they also turned the ball over 24 times and the Eagles capitalized off of the miscues.

“We shot the ball probably better than we have all season long and we were getting super opportunities on offense in the first half,” Kent State Coach Danielle O’Banion said on the Golden Flashes iHeartRadio network. “When you give it away 24 times and that turns into 23 points for the other team it’s really hard to overcome that.”

On Thursday night at the Convocation Center, the Eagles managed to hold the Flashes scoreless for a six-minute stretch during the second half and outscored the Flashes by 13 during that run.

Eastern Michigan (13-8, 3-7 MAC) pulled down 16 offensive rebounds for the game and scored 17 points off of those second-chance opportunities that really plagued the Flashes.

“The second half, I thought the biggest difference was Eastern Michigan came up with some big offensive rebounds when they needed them, and I thought those really hurt us particularly in the second half,” O’Banion said.   

The Flashes (4-17, 1-9 MAC) went into halftime out-rebounding the Eagles 17-11. However, the Eagles ended up finishing the game out-rebounding the Flashes 37-34.

Kent State did manage to outscore the Eagles in the paint 32-26.

Montia Johnson finished with a game-high 14 points, shooting 86 percent from the field. Ashley Evans added 11 points and six rebounds of her own.

Larissa Lurken returned to the court for the Flashes after missing the previous six games with an ankle injury.

“Larissa came in and made an impact right away,” O’Banion said. “I thought the two shots she took today were her shots, so I can’t fault her, but she came in and got a big offensive rebound and put back during a stretch in the first half. I think you can see our collective confidence is elevated now that Larissa is back in uniform; she makes us a better basketball team.”

The Flashes will head home and play Toledo on Sunday in the annual Play 4Kay breast-cancer-awareness game. The game will start at 2 p.m. in the M. A. C. Center.

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].