Women’s basketball falls to Bearcats in home-opener


The new women’s basketball head coach Danielle O’Banion encourages the lady Flashes toward the end of their game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Monday, Nov. 19. The Flashes lost with a final score of 59-41. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Erika Brun

Kent State’s women’s basketball team fell to the Cincinnati Bearcats in their home-opener Monday night, 59-41.

“It’s frustrating but the thing I’m proud of our team about tonight is the fact that they kept playing,” head coach Danielle O’Banion said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we outscored Cincinnati on the paint, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was 20 to 14 in the paint.”

The Flashes ended the first half 29-26, three points behind the Bearcats after a slow start falling behind double digits earlier in the half.

“Sometimes we need to catch our second wind, I think we’re a team that once we get a little winded we play a little better,” senior Diamon Beckford said. “Most times its kind of the opposite way around be fresh at the beginning but I think that we’re a team that we play with our backs against the wall and we still come out.”

Cincinnati outscored Kent State 11-2 in the first six minutes of the second half, when sophomore Jamie Hutcheson had an individual 5-0 run including a three-pointer, cutting the lead to 40-35 with 11:27 to play. Hutcheson had five points and five rebounds.

Kent State was shooting 19 percent in the field in the second half, while Cincinnati had a 43 percent. Kent outscored the Bearcats coming off the bench 18-12 but fell behind in second chance scoring 6-4 and off turnovers 17-12.

“Shooting 19 percent in the second half, nobody would have wished that on anybody but we continued to work on defense,” O’Banion said.

Senior Diamon Beckford led the team in points with eight. Following Beckford, senior Leslie Schaefer, sophomore Melanee Stubbs, and freshman Rachel Mendelsohn had five points each. Schaefer led in rebounds with seven.

Cincinnati was led by four players in double figures, including center Dayeesha Hollins with 15, center Lesha Dunn with 12 and guard Chelsea Jamison and forward Tiffany Turner tied for 10. Guard Kayla Cook led in rebounds with eight. Dunn and Hollins also had seven rebounds.

The women’s basketball team was focused on building on the goals set for each game. One was to keep Cincinnati under 62 points, which was accomplished among others such as keeping Cincinnati’s offensive rebounds to fewer than twelve. Cincinnati managed nine offensive rebounds.

Kent State accomplished just one in their opener against the University of Massachusetts, then five at Eastern Kentucky.

“We talked a lot with our team about winning behavior and losing behavior,” O’Banion said. “Winning behavior you stay fast, you stay steadfast to the game plan even in the mist of those runs. Losing behavior, not that we’re losers, but losing behavior you start to doubt maybe start to deviate from the plan and that’s part of our growth process.”

The Golden Flashes will travel to Atlanta to participate in the Georgia State Thanksgiving Tournament this weekend. Kent State will play Florida A&M on Friday for the first game.

Contact Erika Brun at [email protected].