Seven lucky number for Lindsay’s 350th win

Thomas Gallick

Freshman guard Stephanie Gibson drives down the court during last night’s game against Toledo. The Flashes won 87-61. CAITLIN PRARAT | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

CHECK OUT photos of the women’s basketball game.

Although coach Bob Lindsay did not record his 350th win until the game officially ended, the Kent State women’s basketball team started the celebration early in a 87-61 blowout win over Toledo.

The Flashes (6-13, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) set season highs for team points, individual points and assists last night at the M.A.C. Center, despite playing with a roster of seven.

Freshman forward Ellie Shields responded in Kent State’s second game without leading scorer junior center Anna Kowalska with a team season high 31 points. The previous record was held by Kowalska who had 30 against Akron.

“It (scoring 31 points) was a surprise,” Shields said. “Coach Lori (Bodnar) and I … really worked on my drop step and just taking it to the rim strong every time, instead of catching the ball and thinking about it, which I usually always do.”

Four of the Flashes’ five starters scored in double figures. Along with Shields, junior guard Asheley Harkins had 21, sophomore guard Rachel Bennett had 16 and freshman forward Chenel Harris had 13. The only starter without double figures, freshman guard Stephanie Gibson, recorded a season high 10 assists.

Shields, who shot 9-of-14 from the floor and 13-of-15 from the foul line, also grabbed a team high 10 rebounds.

“We had to play a lot of minutes and we made some shots,” Lindsay said. “Ellie played very well, but we had a number of others that played well also. (It was a) good scoring game for us and we’re happy we got the win.”

The Flashes started off strong by going on a 16-4 run to start the game. The team shot 53.3 percent in the first half, and finished the half on a 10-0 run.

The team shot even better in the second half, 56 percent, and led by as many as 28 points.

The Rockets continued their struggles against the Flashes, losing their fifth straight meeting. Toledo coach Mark Ehlen said the team collapsed defensively.

“We didn’t guard her. Bob (Lindsay) could have stepped in and scored 30 against our defense with a bad leg. That’s how bad our defense was.”

The game was the fourth time a different player has set a career scoring record for the depleted Flashes. Shields’ new high follows Harris at Western Michigan, Harkins against Buffalo and Kowalska at Akron.

Bennett tied her season high with 16, a mark she also set against Buffalo. Senior forward Tamesha Scotton led the Rockets with 21 points.

With the win, Lindsay becomes the first MAC women’s basketball coach to reach the plateau of 350 wins. He said he owes his career record to all of his assistants and players throughout his 19-year career at Kent State.

“It means I’ve been in the business a long time,” Lindsay said. “I answered this at 300 (wins) and 250 and the rest of them. It’s a credit to everybody. It’s not my 350, it’s everybody’s 350.”

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].