Flashes fail to overcome early struggles, fall to Duquesne

Tim Dorst

The Kent State women’s basketball team turned the ball over 26 times and appeared outmatched against the Duquesne Dukes, losing 94-63 Thursday night at the M.A.C. Center.

After a dramatic win against Eastern Kentucky in overtime last Sunday, the Flashes (1-1) looked to continue the momentum at home and carry it over into the game against the Dukes (2-1). But the team’s offense never got off the ground, halted by errors and an overwhelming differential in rebounds.

The Dukes converted the Flashes’ 26 mistakes into 29 points, while besting Kent State 19-8 on offensive rebounds. Duquesne also shot 48 percent from the field for the game and made 12-of-23 from behind the 3-point arc.

“(Rebounding) was a major focus, and that was an area that Duquesne dominated in the first half,” head coach Danielle O’Banion said. “That was probably one of the bigger disappointments.”

Duquesne got a major boost from guard Raegan Moore, who lit up the Flashes’ defense with nine 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 35 points. Moore shots 11-of-20 overall and grabbed six rebounds.

Guard April Robinson tallied a double-double for a Dukes with 11 points and 11 assists.

The Flashes began the game on a 6-0 run and lead 12-10 around the 12-minute mark of the first half before Duquesne started to take charge. The Dukes forced the Flashes into 14 first-half turnovers and gradually built their lead off of solid 3-point shooting and a defense that kept the Flashes off-balance.

A 14-0 run pushed the Duke’s lead to 20 points, and the team went into the locker room at halftime leading 47-25.

The Flashes would not lead for the rest of the game, as Duquesne’s advantage continued to grow throughout the second half.

Senior guard Amber Dunlap led Kent State in scoring with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting and nabbed a pair of steals. Senior guard Ashley Evans scored 10 points, and redshirt junior center CiCi Shannon added eight points with six boards and three blocks.

Sophomore guard Rachel Mendelsohn, who scored a career-high 21 points against Eastern Kentucky, could not find the same rhythm with her shot against the Dukes. Mendelsohn was held to just two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 23 minutes off the bench.

After recording a double-double in her first official game with Kent State, junior forward Montia Johnson scored eight points against the Dukes, but was held to just one rebound.

The Flashes will now prepare for their first road trip of the season, as the team will take on the Cincinnati Bearcats. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].