Women’s basketball lose nail-biter against Saint Francis

Kathryn Rajnicek Sports Reporters

Kent State’s women’s basketball team (0-2) lost a close game on the road today against Saint Francis University (1-4) by a final score of 67-64.

“I really think it was the third quarter and we had some defensive lapses down the stretch in the fourth quarter too,” coach Todd Starkey said. “But at the end of the day, we probably got what we deserved.”

The Flashes had a 36-32 lead at halftime, but were outscored 21-12 in the third quarter and found themselves down 53-48 going into the fourth.

“In crucial possessions, we just haven’t had any experience in a long time and we didn’t come up the way we needed to,” Starkey said.

Kent went on an 8-0 run to start the final quarter, but Saint Francis rallied back to win the game. Redshirt junior Linsey Marchese missed a three-point shot for the Flashes at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

“We got out rebounded by a team that we shouldn’t have and we have to get some of that game edge back,” Starkey said. 

The Flashes were led by junior forward Lindsey Thall with 17 points and seven rebounds, sophomore forward Nila Blackford with 13 points and five rebounds and junior guard Mariah Modkins with nine points and four rebounds.

“I thought Mariah Modkins played a really tough game and she showed a lot of toughness and leadership once we were struggling a little bit and she tried to rally us,” Starkey said. “I thought Lindsey Thall had some really good moments throughout the game and she was probably our best rebounder today as well.” 

Kent was outrebounded 43-30 and shot 38.3% on 23 of 60 attempts from the field. Saint Francis shot better, making 40.4% of its shots from the field.

“They were just a little bit tougher than we were and you could tell they’ve been in those game time battles already,” Starkey said. “We were kind of slow to react to some stuff and I think we’re still getting our legs under us.”

The Red Flash were led by senior guard/forward Haley Thomas with 15 points and nine rebounds, redshirt junior guard Lili Benzel with 13 points and senior guard Jenna Mastellone and freshman guard Diajha Allen each with nine points. 

“We failed ourselves in some key possessions in the toughness and focus department,” Starkey said. “We have to get those things fixed before we do anything else.”

The Flashes were outperformed off the bench and from the free throw line. KSU’s bench was outscored 29-13 and the Flashes shot 68.8% on 11 of 16 attempts from the free throw line compared to Saint Francis 81.8% on 18 of 22 attempts. 

“There were definitely some defensive lapses and I think there were some times we struggled offensively to execute,” Starkey said.“When we executed we got some good looks and had some bits of nice things.”

Kent State did win the turnover battle, converting 15 points on 16 Saint Francis turnovers while the Red Flash only scored five points on 13 Kent turnovers. 

“I think we definitely come away from this feeling like we let one slip away from us,” Starkey said. “We had our opportunities to win and couldn’t capitalize.”

The Flashes will have to go into conference play winless, as the team’s home and Mid-American Conference opener against MAC East Division co-champions Ohio University (2-0) is Friday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center. 

“I think we’re definitely an early work in progress,” Starkey said. “Traditionally, our teams have gotten better as the season’s progressed and I expect that to happen because we’ve got a talented bunch.”

Kathryn Rajnicek is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected]


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.