Kent State women’s basketball opens at home against Youngstown State

Josh Johnston

Flashes excited to get season underway

The Kent State women’s basketball team failed to record a winning season last year for the first time in 17 years. The Flashes will look to begin a new streak this season starting tomorrow.

Kent State will host Youngstown State at the M.A.C. Center tomorrow at 2 p.m. for both teams’ first games of the 2008-09 season.

“We’re all excited,” junior guard Rachel Bennett said. “You always have the first game jitters, and you’re always ready to go out and play someone else except your own team. You’re sitting here practicing three hours a day against the same people. You want to go out and you just want to pound other people.”

While the players seem excited for the start of the season, Kent State coach Bob Lindsey said last week that he was not going to make any predictions about the first game.

The Game:


(18-5, 7-2 MAC) (5-16, 2-7 MAC)

Where: The M.A.C. Center

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

“Are we still learning? We are,” he said. “Are we getting a little better every day? I think so. But we’ve got a long way to go before our first game. I’m not clairvoyant, I don’t know what they’re going to be like (tomorrow). If we have everybody healthy and we keep progressing, we’ll probably be as ready as anybody else is at that point.”

Coming into the season with a full roster of 12 players, including eight returning players, the Flashes already have an advantage over last year, when injuries, walkouts and suspensions limited the team’s roster.

“We have people competing with each other every single day, making each other better,” Bennett said. “We didn’t have that last year because we didn’t really have a full roster to go against each other. We knew we were going out there to play because we had nobody else.”

Bennett, who was sixth in the Mid-American Conference last season in minutes per game with 35.6, also said getting a break from playing will be helpful. Last season, three Flashes were in the top 10 in the MAC for minutes played per game.

“You play better with fresher legs,” she said. “When you have talent across your bench, that’s a great thing because you can put in somebody else with equal or more talent and still be successful.”

History is on Kent State’s side tomorrow. The Flashes own a 24-12 all-time record against Youngstown State. Also, before last season’s loss to St. Bonaventure, Kent State had won its previous five home openers.

“Starting out on your home court, defending your home, that’s awesome,” Bennett said. “Just to have the home atmosphere to start out the season is a great thing.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].