Women’s team hopes to continue its hot start at Delaware State

Josh Johnston

Lindsay wants improvement

One game into the 2008-2009 season, and the women’s basketball team is already off to a better start than last season.

The Flashes won their first game of the season by beating Youngstown State 95-58 last Saturday at the M.A.C. Center, a feat they were unable to do last year.

“It was a good start,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “Obviously there’s a lot of things we need to work on and do better, but it was a good start for us.”

Kent State lost its first four games last season, including the

home opener to St. Bonaventure. The Flashes won only four of their 11 home games in the 2007-2008 season.

“It was nice to win at home, comparing to last season (when) we barely won at home,” sophomore guard Stephanie Gibson said. “It was a good overall win. I mean, we thought Youngstown (State) would be a little bit better.”

The Flashes’ 95 points on Saturday was the most scored by the team in four years. Last season, Kent State only surpassed 80 points once. Even though Youngstown State might have been overmatched, Lindsay said he’d be happy to see that many points anytime.

“We haven’t scored 95 points since 2004,” he said, “so you’ve got to be happy with just the fact that we were able to score 95, no matter who it was against.”

Now to keep the momentum going into the Delaware State game, Gibson said Kent State’s defense needs to improve.

“We definitely need to pick up the defense,” she said. “We’re up 7 in the morning every morning trying to work on our (defense), and I think that will be a key. Obviously we can shoot from the outside, and if we keep that consistent throughout the season, we’ll just need to work on our defense.”

The Flashes shot 43 percent from outside the perimeter against the Penguins, making nine of their 3-point attempts. Kent State also played well on defense, forcing 29 turnovers and recording 14 steals, but Lindsay said the team could still do better.

“We need to be a better rebounding team,” he said. “We need to be a better defensive team than we are. We need to cut down on a couple of turnovers. There’s a lot of stuff that I could go through here … I mean, good starting part of the season, but there’s a lot that we can build on here.”

Delaware State split its first two games this season, beating Cheyney and then losing to then No. 3 Maryland. The Lady Hornets, led by junior guard Keyhana Wakefield, who scored 15 points against Maryland, have won 11 of their last 13 home games since last season. Lindsay called them a more athletic team than Youngstown State.

“(We) just need to play hard,” Gibson said. “They’re (a) quick, athletic team, so we’ve just got to keep them out of the paint. They like to penetrate.”

For the game, Lindsay said he doesn’t have any expectations except for the team to keep moving forward.

“The expectation level is we build on what we did Saturday,” he said. “We don’t take a step backwards.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].