Women’s basketball team dominates Cardinals

Thomas Gallick

After slow start, the Flashes take over second half in win over Ball State

reshman forward Ellie Shields goes to the basket in Saturday’s home game versus Ball State. Shields scored 17 points in the game. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The Kent State women’s basketball team pulled off a complete turnaround in the second half of Saturday’s game against Ball State to win 69-54 at the M.A.C. Center.

The team shot just 7-of-28 in the first half, with freshman forward Ellie Shields going 1-of-11 from the floor. The Flashes held the Cardinals to 32 percent shooting in the first and found themselves down by only two points going into the half, with a score of 23-21.

Coach Bob Lindsay said with the way the team played in the first half, he was happy to go into the locker room only down two points.

“With two starters in foul trouble, we were fortunate to be down two at the half,” Lindsay said. “I told our team before the game we’ve got to hang in there long enough to give ourselves a chance to win, and I think we did.”

The second half was a completely different story for the Flashes, with the team shooting 17-of-26 from the floor and 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line.

Sophomore guard Rachel Bennett led the team in scoring with 21 points with 15 coming in the second half. Shields and freshman forward Chenel Harris added 17 points each, with Shields going 5-for-5 in the second and Harris picking up her second double-double in three games.

“In the first half we had three players with foul trouble . so basically we had to not foul and kind of play it safe,” Harris said. “I think we kind of let up at that point, but we came out after half and we were like ‘we just need to close it out.'”

Bennett, who recorded a career-high eight field goals and fell three points short of a new career high in scoring, said Lindsay told her at the half to take more shots.

“I just looked for my shot,” Bennett said. “I had an aggressive mental approach to it. Also, my coach looked at me and told me it was unacceptable that I take less than 14 shots.”

Ball State shot poorly all day, going 19-for-59 on the day from the floor, and 4-for-18 from behind the arc. Freshman forward Emily Maggert led the Cardinals in scoring with 14 points on the day.

Maggert’s layup to open the second half gave the Cardinals their largest lead of the day at 4 points. Kent State responded with consecutive 3-pointers by freshman guard Stephanie Gibson and Bennett to take a lead the team never relinquished, although Ball State would tie the game twice in the second half.

Kent State went on to lead by as many as 19 points in the second half. All of the Flashes who scored in double figures scored more than 10 in the second half.

Bennett said the team learned its lesson after giving up leads late against Central Michigan and Northern Illinois and falling in overtime in both games.

“We always get five-point leads or three-point leads in the second half and we can’t keep them,” Bennett said. “Today our primary goal was just to keep it, and defense was our concentration because we had to get stops to keep the lead.”

Kent State’s defense was strong throughout the game, leading to 18 Ball State turnovers and 21 points off of turnovers for the Flashes.

The Flashes return to action Wednesday when they travel to Bowling Green to take a Falcons team tied with Miami for the lead in the MAC East with a conference record of 8-3.

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected]

Game Notes

Second-half heroes

Saturday marked the fifth consecutive game the Flashes have outscored their opponent in the second half. Kent State is 2-3 during the streak with two overtime losses.

Harkins drops the dagger in the second

Ball State held the Flashes within four points in the second half until junior guard Asheley Harkins hit a 3-pointer at 12:05. Harkin’s shot sparked a 12-0 run for the Flashes.

Flashes clock Cardinals with tough “D”

The Flashes’ defense put pressure on the Cardinals all day. Kent State forced 18 turnovers and three shot clock violations. Ball State shot 32 percent for the game.

Give me a break!

Saturday was the first game since Jan. 18, 2007, against Akron that at least one team member did not play a full game. Harkins and sophomore guard Rachel Bennett both had a minute of rest and led the team with 39 minutes.