Women’s basketball will need to do more against New Mexico State

Josh Johnston

The Kent State women’s basketball team did just enough to get by Delaware State on Wednesday night.

The Flashes (2-0) made only two more field goals than the Lady Hornets in the 66-56 win in Dover, Del. Kent State coach Bob Lindsay gave credit to the Flashes’ offense for the victory.

“Overall, we made some big offensive plays to bust it open,” he said. “The best part of this game is we made big plays when we had to. That’s the most positive thing I noticed.”

With Delaware State hitting one more 3-pointer than the Flashes, free throw shooting made the difference. Kent State scored 18 points off of free throws to the Lady Hornets’ 11.

The Game: KENT STATE (2-0) vs. NEW MEXICO STATE (1-1)

Where: The M.A.C. Center

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Radio: WHLO-AM 640 with Ty Linder

Sophomore guard Jamilah Humes converted nine of her 10 free throws to add to her team- and career-high 25 points. Combined with 18 points by senior center Anna Kowalska, the duo scored nearly two-thirds of Kent State’s points. Lindsay said the narrow distribution of points was a concern.

“I didn’t like our scoring balance (Wednesday),” he said. “We had 18 out of Kowalska, 25 out of Humes and we didn’t get much out of everybody else. We’re capable of being a little bit better than that.”

Kent State will have to correct problems like that before its game against New Mexico State at 2 p.m. Sunday at the M.A.C. Center. The Aggies finished 23-9 last season, the fifth best turnaround in the country, and they were the runners-up in the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

“They were very good last year,” Lindsay said. “They won 21, 22 (regular season) games last year. They’re tough. They’re going to be a real close game for us.”

The Aggies are led by sophomore guard Madison Spence, the team’s leading returning scorer from last season and New Mexico State coach Darin Spence’s daughter.

Spence averaged 10 points a game and started every regular season game last year. Her father, in his sixth year at New Mexico State, had 385 career wins in 17 seasons coming into the 2008-2009 season.

The Flashes’ focus for Sunday’s game will be defense, Humes said, who has 38 points in two games.

“We’re definitely going to have to work defensively and box out,” she said. “Unfortunately, we let (Delaware State) get 21 offensive rebounds, and that was not a part of the game plan. So one of the things we’re going to have to work on coming into the New Mexico State game is to box out on the defensive end.”

After two games, Kowalska said she hopes the team can continue the strong defensive performances.

“I hope we’re going to win and keep also our goal to keep teams under 60 points,” she said. “We’re playing at home, so I think we have the advantage. I hope we’re going to play really hard and talk on defense, and we might win the game.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].