Flashes’ defense struggling so far in conference play

Josh Johnston

Lindsay says team must show more discipline to get better

The Kent State women’s basketball team held six of its 12 non-conference opponents to 60 points or fewer early this season.

Since Mid-American Conference play has started, the Flashes (13-4, 2-3 MAC) have stalled at times defensively, giving up an average of about 71 points in three conference losses.

“I think we defended in non-conference schedule when we were 11-1,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “We got into the conference schedule and we haven’t defended. I think we’ve played five games and we haven’t defended halfway decently in one of them.

“We don’t play hard enough on the defensive end, and we don’t play with enough discipline on the defensive end. As a result, we give up some easy shots.”

In Kent State’s 64-62 loss to Akron on Wednesday, the Zips, who rank last in the MAC in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage, shot better than 40 percent from the field for only the fourth time in 18 games.

The Flashes also allowed Akron to collect 42 rebounds, including 18 offensive boards. The Zips weren’t the first MAC team to outrebound Kent State either. Last Saturday, Ohio forward sophomore Kamille Buckner dominated the glass at the M.A.C. Center, grabbing a season-high 17 rebounds.

In five MAC games so far, the Flashes hold a negative-5 rebound margin and have been outrebounded by 24 in their last two games. Lindsay shared his discontent with his team’s rebounding after Wednesday night’s game.

“I don’t know what Akron’s rebound margin is as a team, but I know it’s not plus-15,” he said. “Our second-highest rebounder (against Akron) was our point guard.”

When Kent State faces Western Michigan at 7 p.m. tomorrow at home the Flashes will look to stifle the Broncos’ offense, which has averaged nearly 72 points a game against MAC teams.

“Everybody just needs to get on the same page defensively,” sophomore guard Jamilah Humes said. “Our offensive always comes, just defense wins games. So if we don’t have that, we have nothing. Really that’s what we need to go after.”

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