Women’s basketball season ends with a loss to Bowling Green

Thomas Gallick

Kent State junior guard Ashleley Harkins goes up for a shot in the first half of yesterdays game against Bowling Green at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. BRIAN MARKS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State women’s basketball team’s season is over after losing in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals last night 85-57 to Bowling Green at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Coach Bob Lindsay said the team played poorly except at the beginning of the second half.

“It’s tough for me to say we were competitive in this game tonight except for the first couple of minutes of the second half,” Lindsay said. “I thought we were just outplayed pretty much the whole game and Bowling Green was just the better team tonight.”

The Flashes shot abysmally from the floor in the first half, and never came within 10 points of the Falcons despite opening the second half on a 16-4 run. Unlike their performance in the first round against Northern Illinois, when the Flashes scored a season high 41 first half points, the team only scored 20 points in the first on 8-of-28 shooting.

The Falcons led the game 44-20 at the end of the first half with more than half of their points coming in the paint.

Bowling Green coach Curt Miller said despite being dominated by his team tonight, the Flashes have a good young nucleus and should be contenders in the MAC East next year.

“To Kent’s credit, they never quit,” Miller said. “I think he (Lindsay) is the best coach in the league and they have all underclassmen, so that program’s only going to get better and better and be a force next year.”

Kent State came out firing in the second half, nailing seven of its first eight shots from the floor to cut Bowling Green’s lead to 12, but the Falcons never looked rattled and went on to lead by as many as 30.

The Flashes also faltered on ball control, giving up 21 turnovers compared to Bowling Green’s 15.

Freshman forward Ellie Shields led the Flashes in scoring with 19 points. Shields said the game showed the team how much hard work is needed to compete for a MAC title next year.

“We won yesterday so that shows (us) what it feels like to win a game in the MAC Tournament, and today definitely showed what is was like to lose a game, which is a horrible feeling,” Shields said. “It just showed our team that we need to work a lot harder to compete with a team like Bowling Green.”

Freshman forward Chenel Harris and junior center Anna Kowalska also scored in double figures with 13 and 10 points.

The loss snaps Kent State’s 18-year streak of 10 or more wins in a season. With the win the Falcons increase their current win streak against the Flashes to nine.

The Flashes finish the year 9-21 overall, the team’s first losing season since Lindsay’s first year as coach in the 1989-1990 campaign.

Lindsay said the future is definitely bright for the Flashes next year, with all eight players on the roster returning.

“We’ve had a lot of good teams in our program and we’ve gone to the championship game in this tournament a number of times,” Lindsay said. “This team wasn’t capable of doing that, but I think this team is capable of doing that in the future, but they need some help.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].