Woman’s basketball: Improved, but searching for consistency



Freshman guard Jamie Hutcheson looks to blockagainst Akron on Jan. 14. The flashes fell to the Zips 68-82. Photo by Brian Smith.

Matt Lofgren


When they entered Mid-American Conference play, the Kent State women’s basketball team had won just one game. But since the start of conference play, the Flashes have turned up the intensity to find themselves in the middle of the pack.

After splitting a pair of road games at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois last week, the team found some reassurance on the offensive side on the floor. Closing out a win last week at Western Michigan, coach Bob Lindsay saw a side to his team he had been expecting to see.

“We had a really good win at Western Michigan on the road. A good come-from-behind win, and at Northern Illinois, we played really well in places,” Lindsay said. “We only had 11 turnovers (against Northern Illinois). We just weren’t good on the boards.”

Seeing the team eight games into MAC play, Lindsay notices a lot of areas he likes and a lot of areas he wants to improve.

“I think consistency is a pretty big part of being a good team, and we’ve got to develop consistency,” Lindsay said. “We’ve got over the hump of figuring out how to win games, and the rest of it is being constant from game to game. That really is our biggest challenge.”

Although the Flashes’ scoring average has increased as the season has progressed, there still have been those low scoring affairs when the team struggles to get shots. With scoring comes wins, and when the Flashes score 60 or more points, they are 5-3, while when they do a pretty good job making sure they come out on top.

Back in November and December, the Flashes found it difficult to score at any rate and averaged 52.7 points per game. Since the start of MAC play, the team is now averaging 64.5 points per game and has scored more than 80 once.

The Flashes return home on Wednesday to take on Ball State (7-14, 2-6 MAC West), a squad who is looking to rebound from a tough loss at Miami. The Cardinals are 1-8 on the road this season, making them a good team for the Flashes to see at home.

“They’ve been like a lot of other teams in the league. They’ve played really well at home; they’ve had some struggles on the road,” Lindsay said. “They’re a young team, and they shoot the ball from the three point line really well. We have to guard them out there. It’s just a matter of executing against them and playing good defensively against them, and we have a chance to win.”

Wednesday’s game will mark the third game in the MAC West schedule, leaving only two more opponents to face before returning to playing MAC East opponents for the second time around.

Although Lindsay isn’t letting them look past opponents, he knows that with his improved team, a second look at some of its opponents will benefit the Flashes.

“Like anything else, our defense has got to be consistent from game to game,” Lindsay said. “We’ve got to be able to stop teams. Got to be able to get stops with some consistency. In the eight games we’ve had in the league, we are number one in field goal percentage and number one in three point shots made. So if you look at that compared to our first eight games of the season, there’s a major league improvement.”

From beyond the arc this season, the team is shooting 31.7 percent with a big improvement of late. Junior Diamon Beckford has been leading the Flashes and the MAC in 3-pointer percentage at 44 percent.   

Tipoff between the Flashes and Cardinals is slated for 7 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] or @MLofgrenDKS