Women’s basketball looks to continue perfect start

Lance Lysowski

After comeback win, Flashes travel to take on Youngstown State

The Kent State women’s basketball team’s late-game heroics led the team to a season-opening victory at Robert Morris. The Flashes will try to build off the win when they travel to Youngstown State tonight.

Junior center Ellie Shields said the comeback was an example of the team’s fortitude.


KENT STATE (1-0) at


Where: Beeghly Center, Youngstown

When: 5:15 p.m. today

Radio: 640-WHLO

“It definitely was a confidence booster because it showed we can overcome obstacles and a deficit,” Shields said. “In the last four minutes of the game, we had a major comeback, and that builds up confidence in each other.”

Tonight’s game will be the second of four consecutive road contests since the Flashes (1-0) began their season. Kent State will tip off against Youngstown State at 5:15 p.m. in the first matchup of the schools’ doubleheader, as the men’s teams are set to square off at 7:35 p.m.

A victory would put Kent State coach Bob Lindsay one win away from being the Mid-American Conference’s all-time winningest coach in men’s or women’s basketball with 373 wins in his 20 years at the helm.

In their all-time series against the Penguins (0-2), the Flashes hold a 25-12 advantage dating back to when the teams first met in 1976.

Since 1976, the teams met annually until Youngstown State coach Ed DiGregorio retired in 2003.

It was not until current Penguins coach Cindy Martin took over last season that the teams began playing again, when the Flashes routed the Penguins 95-58.

“It was the first game of the season, and neither team knew what the other was going to do,” Lindsay said about last season’s game. “They had a bunch of new players and a new coach, and they were just trying to get used to playing with each other. They had a new coaching system, so I think that’s part of the reason.”

The Penguins lost both of their games last weekend at the Elon Tip-Off Classic, falling to both Elon and High Point by 20 or more points.

Junior guard Bojana Dimitrov, a junior college transfer who hails from Serbia, paced Youngstown State with 16 points per game.

“I expect that they take a lot of shots like they did in the first two games,” Lindsay said. “We don’t know very much about them since they’ve only played two games, and we haven’t seen them yet. All we can do is look at our stat sheet and try to go on what we saw.”

The Penguins struggled on the boards in their first two contests, being edged by 10 rebounds, but freshman forward Brandi Brown excelled with 10.5 rebounds per game.

The Flashes also struggled rebounding in their first contest, as Robert Morris had a 35-32 advantage in the paint.

“We need to get better positioning on the floor because we tend to have our hands down and be on the wrong side of the basket when the shot goes up,” Shields said.

Game notes

Kent State player to watch:

Junior guard Stephanie Gibson

After being a mainstay in the Flashes’ starting five last season, Gibson came off the bench in the team’s season opener. The junior responded, going 4-of-6 from the 3-point line, accounting for all 12 of her points while playing 35 minutes.

Youngstown State player to watch:

Freshman forward Brandi Brown

The 5-foot-11 Brown recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s 73-50 loss against High Point. The Pomona, Calif., native averages 10.5 rebounds per game.

Last time:

The Flashes beat the Penguins 95-58 at the M.A.C. Center. Kent State shot 54.7 percent from the field, compared to Youngstown State’s 33.3 percent. Five Flashes recorded double-digit points, and the team controlled the game inside with 44 points in the paint.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].