Women’s basketball will need near perfect showing to upset the Rockets


Freshman Ashley Evans keeps the keeps a loose ball from Western Michigan guard A.J. Johnson in the MAC Center on Feb. 7. The Lady Flashes fell to the Broncos 40-58. Photo by Brian Smith.

Meghan Blaha

Kent State will take on another conference foe Saturday, as they travel to Toledo with hopes of taking down the conference leader, and snapping the Rockets nine game win streak.

The Flashes (3-20, 1-9 MAC) are coming off of a loss to Northern Illinois on Sunday, and are continuing to fight to play a complete game.

“We have to challenge about how we start basketball games,” head coach Danielle O’Banion said following Sunday’s game. An early first half run by the opposing team often leaves the Flashes playing catch up.

With Toledo (21-2, 9-1 MAC) riding a nine-game winning streak, there will be no time for Kent to play catch up. The Rockets have the third best scoring average in the Mid American Conference, averaging 65 points a game and beating teams by an average of 12.9 points.

Naama Shafir will be the primary threat averaging 12 points in conference match-ups. Shafir, a point guard, is also second in the conference in the assist’s category and keeps her turnovers to a minimum.

Toledo’s effective offensive will cause problems for Kent State who have not been able to keep possession of the ball. The Flashes hand over the ball an average of 22 times a game, which prevents them from transitioning into a flowing offence.

“Toledo is a very good team, and we have to come every day and practice and work on details and what we need to do,” said senior Tamzin Barroilhet.

Barroilhet is the leading scorer for the Flashes and finished with 15 points against Northern Illinois. Senior Diamond Beckford also saw her first minutes in a number of games after suffering a concussion on December 30th. She made a large contribution to the team with 10 points.

O’Banion said she believes that in order to find success, the bench players will have to step up and contribute on the offensive end of the floor.

“We need to get some help from the bench so we can maintain if not increase our intensity during those times of the game,” O’Banion said.

Sophomore Melanee Stubbs came in late in the game a provided a spark late in the game and contributed four points late in the game.

“I think its great to know we can rely on people coming off the bench,” O’Banion said, “and we need more of that as we end the season strong.”

Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

Contact Meghan Blaha at [email protected].