Turnovers plague women’s basketball in loss to Ball State

Kevin Battaglia

Kent State caught a case of the turnover bug Saturday afternoon.

In a game that combined to produce 52 turnovers, Kent State (2-15, 0-4 Mid-American Conference) dropped its fourth straight game, 59-44, to Ball State (6-11, 3-1 MAC) in front of 608 at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind.

Ball State gave the Flashes fits from the start of the game. The Cardinals were responsible for 20 first-half turnovers, and managed to take advantage by scoring 31 points off 35 total miscues by Kent State.

Kent State coach Danielle O’Banion credited the turnovers to the amount of physical pressure the Cardinals put on the Flashes.

“They were physical, all five players on the floor, and that had a direct impact on how poorly we took care of the ball,” O’Banion said.

Kent State started the game in a 17-0 deficit before Heather Bachman made a free throw with 10:15 left in the first-half.

Despite the turnovers and the early deficit, the Flashes only trailed Ball State 26-20 at halftime, in large part to Bachman and Rachel Mendelsohn. The two freshmen combined for 14 points, three rebounds and made 5 of 5 from the free-throw line in the first-half. Both finished with a career high in points, with Mendelsohn scoring 17 and and Bachman finishing with 5.

“Heather and Rachel are getting a lot of on the job training,” O’Banion said. “It’s exciting to have those two starting to emerge here in January and in the middle of conference play.”

Senior Tamzin Barroilhet also believes it’s essential for the younger players to contribute.

“Teams are going to scout me, Trisha (Krewson) and Leslie (Schaefer), so it’s important for the younger players to step up so we can have more balance on the floor,” Barroilhet said.

Barroilhet finished the game with two points, three assists, two blocks and a career high 11 rebounds.

“Ball State was doing a really good job of keeping the ball away from me, so I had to find another way to contribute to the team,” Barroilhet said.

Kent State used their strengths of rebounding and getting to the free-throw line to keep the game within reach. The Flashes out-rebounded the Cardinals 35-27 in the game. They also shot a better percentage from the free-throw line, shooting 77.8 percent compared to 50 percent from Ball State.

Ball State‘s big three of Brittany Carter, Nathalie Fontaine and Brandy Woody led the Cardinals to victory. The guards combined to score 37 points, grab 11 rebounds, record 11 assists and 11 steals.

Although the Flashes have been struggling in the standings, the confidence is still there for a team trying to earn their first conference victory.

“I think there’s encouragement, even though we didn’t get the outcome we wanted today,” Barroilhet said. “There are some things we need to correct. I think our will to fight back today will help encourage us to win the next one.”

The Flashes will have a string of home games that start with their next tip-off against Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday in the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Kevin Battaglia at [email protected].