Consistency could start with winning streak

Thomas Gallick

The Kent State women’s basketball team travels to Eastern Michigan Saturday after answering a lot of questions in an 87-61 drubbing of Toledo Wednesday night.

The Game

Kent State (6-13,

3-4 MAC) vs. Eastern Michigan (10-9, 4-3 MAC)

When: 2 p.m.

Where: The Convocation Center

(Ypsilanti, Mich.)

Radio: 640 AM WHLO (Tom Linder)

The team (6-13, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) found out it could win without leading scorer junior center Anna Kowalska, as freshman forward Ellie Shields posted a team season high of 31 points. The Flashes also discovered they could pick up their first MAC home win and coach Bob Lindsay’s 350th win.

The main thing the Flashes are still looking for: consistency. Kent State still has not won two consecutive games this season.

Junior guard Asheley Harkins said the team feels every win is a possible starting point for a streak.

“If you win one, you can win another,” Harkins said. “We’re going to get into practice and prepare for Eastern (Michigan) and see what happens.”

Harkins said the team is getting more confident in its ability to play with seven as it awaits the return of Kowalska.

“It’s tough losing Anna any way,” Harkins said. “I mean I don’t know if we’re ever going to be comfortable, but it’s kind of like, you’ve got to do it. Everybody has to step up their games. I think having another game under our belt without Anna just proves to everybody else that we can win without her.”

Kent State travels to Ypsilanti, Mich., this weekend to take on the Eagles, who won last season’s only meeting between the teams 69-64. The Flashes hold the all-time series advantage 33-15 and have won 23 of the last 28.

Kent State’s defense needs to step up and challenge sophomore guard Alyssa Pittman, Eastern Michigan’s leading scorer, who averages 14.1 points per game.

Shields said the team needs to find a way to keep up its aggressive play if it wants a win Saturday.

“It feels like as the season’s gone on we’ve started playing more and more like a team every game,” Shields said. “I think that gives everybody energy and life when you’re on the court.”

Harkins said she agreed that keeping up energy levels has been an issue all season.

“Our coach tells us that we play with no emotion, no energy,” Harkins said. “(Graduate assistant) Kristin Peoples is like ‘you guys never get excited when something happens.'”

Harkins said she thought the team played with more emotion against Toledo, a trend it needs to continue in the future.

The Eagles come into Saturday’s matchup with a 10-3 record and looking for their fifth MAC win of the season. The Flashes look to repeat the performance of a game where 4-of-5 starters scored in double figures.

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].