Late turnovers cause Kent State loss to Miami 65-62

Matt Lofgren

Turnovers have plagued the Flashes all year long, but in none of these games have turnovers cost the team as much as it did Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.

After squandering a lead late in regulation, it took an extra period to find a winner in the second meeting between the Kent State women’s basketball team and Miami. Down 63-62 with 1:01 in overtime, freshman guard Jamie Hutcheson turned the ball over and Miami quickly capitalized with a bucket.

On the next trip down the floor trailing 65-62, the Flashes relived their last possession, only this time with junior guard Tamzin Barroilhet turning it over to seal the team’s loss to Miami with a final score of 69-65.

“(A) disappointing loss, we really have nobody to blame but ourselves,” coach Bob Lindsay said. “Offensively we were victims of poor execution, sloppy ball handling and obviously a couple defensive mistakes here and there.”

Wednesday’s game was the first overtime game of the season for the Flashes, so it was hard for Lindsay to boil it down to one problem during the extra time. One thing was apparent, though. The team didn’t step up to the challenge.

“I think tough teams find a way to win games; I think tough players find a way to make plays, no matter how many minutes they are playing,” Lindsay said. “We made poor decisions in the end and missed a lot of easy shots and only one of those shots made a difference.”

Turning the ball over a total five times in the five minute overtime period, the Flashes were left with the lingering problem of ball control. Between them, starting guards Hutcheson and Barroilhet were responsible for 14 of the Flashes 25 turnovers.

“If you turn the ball over game in and game out with the same kind of poor decisions, wouldn’t it be fair to assume that you would learn a lesson from those poor decisions and take care of the ball?” Lindsay said. “I would say we apparently have not learned that lesson.”

Miami’s defense was tough on the perimeter all game long, which normally against the Princeton offense is an advantage for back door cuts, but the Flashes struggled to crack the pressure.

“Your guard play is such an important part of the game, and I thought our guard play today was very average to below average,” Lindsay said. “When people are pressuring you on the perimeter, you’ve got to be able to penetrate. You’ve got to be able to identify how you’re being played, maybe be able to back cut a little bit more than we did tonight. Our execution against that pressure has got to improve.”

Lindsay was without one of his most consistent scorers, junior forward Diamon Beckford, who was out with an undisclosed injury. Senior Leslie Schaefer made her first career start and put in some solid time with eight points and 10 rebounds.

“She was eight and 10 and I can’t really ask her to be very much better than that,” Lindsay said. “She came on in the second half and played better, but Leslie wasn’t the problem.”

Freshman Dena Droste came in as the spark plug the Flashes needed early on, hitting three 3-pointers in the game. Finishing with 10 points, four assists and only one turnover, it’s players like Droste that coach Lindsay says he can count on.

“Dena obviously had knee problems the entire season and now is starting to come around a little bit more,” Lindsay said. “She’s been working really hard on it and gotten by a lot of the problems that she has had. She’s a really good shooter, and I think we saw a little bit of that today. I’m pleased with the contribution she gave us.”  

The Flashes will hit the road this Saturday to take on the Bobcats of Ohio for a second meeting after inching by them in January for a win.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] and @MLofgrenDKS.