Women’s coach says team needs to start
INFOBOX THE GAME KENT STATE (15-4, 4-3 MAC) vs.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (12-9, 4-3 MAC)
Where: Rose Arena, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
When: 7 p.m. today
Women’s basketball coach Bob Lindsay told his players before last Saturday’s game that if any of them gave up an offensive rebound, she’d be subbed out.
Lindsay made a lot of subs in that first half against Eastern Michigan, as Kent State gave up 13 offensive rebounds before the break.
“If we felt that somebody was in and not putting bodies on people, not being very aggressive going to the ball, we were taking them out,” Lindsay said. ” … So early in the game a lot of (the subbing) had to do with (Eastern Michigan) getting offensive rebounds and us giving up offensive rebounds.”
The policy seemed to work better in the second half, as the Flashes surrendered only one offensive board to the Eagles. Sophomore forward Chenel Harris said Lindsay’s rule motivated the team to focus on rebounding.
“I was personally one of the first people out as well because I gave up an offensive rebound,” she said. “You want to go in there and give it your best shot to get that rebound because you want to stay on the court. It’s definitely motivating.”
Rebounding has been an Achilles’ heel to the Flashes lately. Although Kent State managed to grab three more boards than Eastern Michigan last weekend, the Flashes have been outrebounded by 28 over the last four games.
Other teams are starting to pick up on that too, Harris said.
“A lot of teams realize that we’ve given up some negative rebound margins,” she said. “At the beginning (of games), we’re not coming out as hard as we need to because other teams are definitely focusing on that and coming hard to the boards because they think (rebounding) is a weakness of ours.”
INFOBOX BREAKING DOWN THE GAME Matchup to watch: Kent State’s 3-point shooters vs. Central Michigan’s 3-point shooters.
Tonight’s game pits efficiency against sheer numbers as the second-best 3-point percentage team in the country, Kent State, goes up against the MAC leader in 3-point field goals, Central Michigan.
Kent State player to watch: Freshman guard Jena Stutzman (8.6 ppg).
The freshman sharpshooter has been quiet from the wing lately, taking only one shot against Eastern Michigan last Saturday and going 1-of-8 from the 3-point line over the last three games.
Central Michigan player to watch: Senior guard Angel Chan (15.2 points per game).
The most lethal 3-point shooter for the Chippewas, Chan has upped her game recently, averaging 21.4 points over the last five games.
What happened last year: Central Michigan rallied to tie the score 68-68 in the final minutes of the game to force overtime. With only seven players on the roster at the time, Kent State lost its legs over the next five minutes and was outscored 19-2 to lose 87-70. Sophomore center Ellie Shields, a freshman at the time, led the team with 20 points.
Lindsay said one of the problems is that his team is not chasing down rebounds. Sometimes his players are standing and watching instead of going to the ball.
“Rebounding is about 90 percent effort,” he said. “It’s about 10 percent technique. So the technique part of it is putting a body on somebody, and the effort part of it is going to get the ball.”
Grabbing boards has been a focus of Kent State’s practices, Harris said. Tonight against Central Michigan, the Flashes will try to put into play what they’ve been practicing.
“We’ve been working in practice on everyone crashing the boards at all times,” Harris said. ” … We hope that, throughout the game, just us crashing the boards will turn into us getting even more rebounds.”
Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected]