Women’s basketball looks for seven lucky ways to win

Thomas Gallick

The Kent State women’s basketball team faces off against Toledo tonight at 7 in the M.A.C. Center, with hopes of picking up its first home conference win.

Kent State enters the game with the loss of junior center and leading scorer Anna Kowalska and Saturday’s 66-59 loss to Western Michigan fresh in its mind. Kowalska missed the game with a stress fracture in her right foot, forcing Kent State to play with just seven players on the roster, a challenge it will face for the next few weeks.

COMING UP Kent State vs. Toledo

(5-13, 2-4 MAC) (10-8, 3-3 MAC)

Where: M.A.C. Center

When: 7 p.m.

Listen: 640 AM WHLO (Tom Linder)

Tune in to TV2 (Channel 2 on campus, 16 off) for live coverage of the game if you cannot make it to the M.A.C. Center tonight.

Freshman forward Chenel Harris, who scored a career high 17 points last game, said she was shocked when she heard about Kowalska’s injury.

“(My first thought was) I can’t believe this is happening,” Harris said. “Wow, another challenge and another obstacle.”

Freshman forward Ellie Shields also posted double figures in Kowalska’s absence, scoring 14 against the Broncos. Shields said she worried initially about what kind of impact the injury would have on the team.

“I was nervous because Anna has been such a big part of our team,” Shields said. “It means others have to step up.”

Coach Bob Lindsay said he appreciated the team’s effort against Western Michigan, but thinks it can improve by coming through on hustle plays.

“I think we’ve consistently had issues with teams getting offensive rebounds and loose balls from us,” Lindsay said. “I think we can be better in a lot of aspects.”

Harris said the Flashes also want to solve a problem with communication on the court against the Rockets.

“We definitely need to work on limiting turnovers and talking,” Harris said. “We need to learn to communicate better with each other on and off the court.”

Harris and Shields will have to match up with Toledo’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Allie Clifton. She averages 16.6 points per game, good for third in the conference.

Toledo brings a winning record of 10-8 and 3-3 in the Mid-American Conference to the M.A.C. Center and has won six of its last nine games. The Rockets return three starters and eight letter winners from last season and have none of Kent State’s issues with depth.

The Flashes do enter the game on a positive streak, as Kent State players have set career scoring highs in the last three games. Kowalska (30 points), Harkins (24 points) and Harris set the marks against Akron, Buffalo and Western Michigan.

Harris and Harkins are averaging 11 points per game, as is sophomore guard Rachel Bennett.

Lindsay gets his third attempt at winning his 350th career game. Lindsay, who is in his 19th year as head coach of the Flashes, won his 300th game in the 2004-2005 season.

The match with the Rockets is the Flashes’ third straight with a Mid-American Conference West opponent, after losses to Buffalo and Western Michigan.

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].