Women’s basketball closes out season at home against Bowling Green

Meghan Blaha

The Kent State women’s basketball team will close out their season Wednesday, welcoming conference power Bowling Green to the M.A.C. Center.

Currently riding a seven-game losing streak, the Flashes have struggled to make shots on the offensive end, only shooting 34 percent from the field. As teams begin to prepare for tournament play, Kent State will need to improve if they seek a postseason run.

The Flashes’ slow start against Buffalo Sunday squashed any chance of a second-half comeback, as the team only had nine points going into halftime.

“We need to get back to starting the game better,” head coach Danielle O’Banion said. “I thought we were very quiet to start the game, and I thought that was a trend that had gotten better over the last two or three games, so we need to get back to that.”

Junior Ashley Evans has become a strong contributor on the court by continuing to try to get the ball to the basket and breaking the zone coverage, which most teams use against the Flashes. She is only averaging slightly more than five points per game, but has been a spark for Kent State. She believes the team will be able to regroup after the disappointing trip to Buffalo.

“We just lost a little focus, as far as communication wise, and then we got down on ourselves a couple times,” Evans said. “I think in practice we actually came together. We communicated well together, and I think we will definitely be good in the BG game.”

Bowling Green is sitting second in the Mid-American Conference East division standings and has been a defensive powerhouse this season, using the aggressive defense to make up for their average field goal percentage.

The leading scorer for the Falcons is senior guard Chrissy Steffen, who is averaging 11.7 points per game as Bowling Green’s biggest threat from outside. She is also dangerous from the foul line, shooting 84 percent to lead the MAC.

“We are focusing on personnel; that’s what we’ve been doing over the last couple of games,” Evans said. “Also, focusing on us and our communication and things to keep us together as a team and a unit.”

In the paint, it will be a battle of the boards with both teams attacking on both ends of the floor. The Flashes have been able to keep the rebounding deferential in range but are still getting beat.

Senior guard Tamzin Barroilhet is currently seventh in conference, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game.

A win for the Flashes would break the tie with Ohio, with only one win in conference play. Though it will not have a direct effect on overall standings, Evans believes the momentum gained will be the most important thing.

“Bowling Green is a pretty big game,” Evans said. “They are pretty high ranked in the conference. If we get this win, it will be a big momentum builder and confidence builder for us going into the tournament.”

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Contact Meghan Blaha at [email protected].