Flashes need to get physical in Buffalo

Thomas Gallick

Women face final tune-up before MAC Tournament

The Kent State women’s basketball team has never lost in Buffalo and looks to improve to 9-0 all time at Alumni Arena tonight.

The Flashes, 19-1 all time against Buffalo, lost their first meeting with the Bulls earlier in the season at the M.A.C. Center 78-71. The game became physical early on, and the two teams combined for 42 fouls by the end of the game.

Coach Bob Lindsay said one of the Flashes’ flaws this season has been reacting poorly to physical teams.



(8-19, 5-10 MAC) (14-14, 7-8 MAC)

Where: Alumni Arena, Buffalo

When: 7 p.m. tonight

Radio: WHLO 640 AM (Tom Linder)

“Any team that plays physically against us has given us problems,” Lindsay said. “We were a little bit better on Saturday against that kind of play (against Ohio) and I’m hoping that we play more like we did Saturday rather than what we did against Buffalo the first time.”

The Bobcats edged Kent State Saturday 69-68, despite the Flashes’ dominance on the offensive boards. Kent State pulled down 21 offensive rebounds against Ohio and scored 21 second-chance points.

Lindsay said the team’s last-second loss to the Bobcats should have no effect on the team’s performance against Buffalo.

Another area Lindsay said the team needs to improve on is the performance of the team’s post players, junior center Anna Kowalska and freshman forward Ellie Shields. The duo combined for 17 points against the Bobcats, the total of Ohio’s leading scorer, senior guard Laura Kohn.

“I think they both need to play harder than what they’re playing,” Lindsay said. “They haven’t been very active offensively and haven’t been very active on the boards. In order for them to be more productive that’s what they have to do.”

Sophomore guard Rachel Bennett, who helped lead Kent State’s second half rally against Ohio, said better play from the guards will lead to more scoring opportunities for the forwards.

“(We need to) get them (Shields and Kowalska) the ball when they’re open,” Bennett said. “Right when they’re open, not three or four seconds later because they get tired pretty easily because they have to fight down there.”

The contest with the Bulls is Kent State’s last regular season game, but the team will continue play in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which begins Sunday, March 9.

Kent State will finish the season 6-10 or 5-11 in the MAC depending on tonight’s result, but seven of the team’s 10 conference losses have been by less than 10 points.

Freshman forward Chenel Harris said the team’s experience in close games will benefit the Flashes in the MAC Tournament.

“I think right now, going into the tournament, we’ve had a lot of close games and we’re going to face teams that we’ve played before,” Harris said. “It’s up to us to really just get over that hump. We’re right in there and on any given day we can come out and beat anybody.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].