Women’s basketball continues road trip against Thundering Herd

Lance Lysowski

Flashes look to stay undefeated, improve perimeter offense

Coming off back-to-back wins on the road, the Kent State women’s basketball team will try to improve their record to 3-0 when they travel to Marshall on Saturday at noon.

With a win Saturday, Kent State coach Bob Lindsay will become the Mid-American Conference’s all-time winningest coach in men’s or women’s basketball. Lindsay said despite the team’s play thus far, they are looking to simply improve game-to-game.


&bull Kent State Player to Watch:

Junior center Ellie Shields (9 PPG, 8.5 RPG). After looking dominant in the paint against Robert Morris, Shields looked even more impressive on the boards against Youngstown with 11 rebounds, but she struggled offensively. The junior went only 2-for-12 shooting but has shown potential with her 14-point performance in the season opener.

&bull Marshall Player to Watch:

Sophomore guard Rashedah Henriques (10 PPG, .500 3-point percentage). The redshirt sophomore has been a catalyst for the Herd off the bench. Henriques is 6-for-12 from behind the arc this season while playing 16.5 minutes a game.

&bull Last time:

Kent State hasn’t faced Marshall since 2005 when the teams saw each other in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena. The Flashes shot their way to a 73-57 win by going 6-for-14 from 3-point territory.

“What we’re trying to do is trying to get better,” Lindsay said. “There were a couple aspects of the game we were a little bit better at and some aspects we really need to clean up.”

The Flashes dominated the boards in Wednesday’s win at Youngstown, grabbing 50 rebounds, but the team’s 3-point shooting continued to struggle. The team has shot 23.7 percent from behind the arc in their first two contests on the season.

Lindsay has had the daunting task of replacing graduated center Anna Kowalska. In the team’s first game, junior center Ellie Shields collected 14 points and six rebounds. Against the Penguins, Shields controlled the post with 11 rebounds but struggled offensively. The junior shot 2-for-12 from the field for four points.

Lindsay said the team is still searching for a player at the five-spot to stand out.

“We had Kowalska last year, and she was automatic,” Lindsay said. “Any time you threw her the ball she scored, and now we’re looking for a player we can throw the ball to.”

The Flashes will travel to Huntington, W.V., for the third game of their four-game road trip. Marshall (0-2), has excelled defensively with 10 steals per game, but are winless on the season after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer held the Thundering Herd’s hopes at bay against Seton Hall.

Senior forward Yoshica Spears said the team’s win at Youngstown will help the team continue its road trip.

“It gives a lot of confidence in our game for our next opponents we have coming up,” Spears said. “It’s a learning experience because we’re still learning different environments. Being on the road is a good step for us as a team early on.”

The Herd’s offense is led by senior guard Alyssa Hammond and junior forward Tynikki Crook. Hammond is averaging 12.5 points and seven rebounds per game, while Crook’s 12 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game add to the Marshall attack.

While the Flashes’ last opponent, Youngstown State, was undermanned with only eight players, the Herd has a steady rotation of 12 players.

With the season still young, Lindsay said searching for a solid rotation of players is still an ongoing process.

“It’s going to take a while to figure out what we have,” Lindsay said. “We need to work on some of the things we aren’t doing very well.”

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].