Lindsay says team doesn’t ‘play hard enough to win’

Doug Gulasy

Women’s basketball coach Bob Lindsay made one thing very clear after his team’s loss to Vermont on Saturday: His team did not and does not have enough of a work ethic to win.

The Flashes never led in the game and lost 63-53 to the Catamounts.

“I don’t think we play hard enough to win,” Lindsay said. “I don’t think we execute well enough to win, and right now, I don’t think we’re mentally tough enough to win.”

Even with the problems, the Flashes still had a chance to win the game in the closing minutes. They went on an 8-0 run as junior Alisa Brinkman hit a jump shot and sophomore Rachel Bennett and freshman Stephanie Gibson made 3-pointers. The run cut the Vermont lead to 52-49 with five minutes left in the game.

A 3-pointer by Courtnay Pilypaitis with 3:18 left put the Catamounts up by six once more, and the Flashes could not recover.

“We couldn’t make any plays in the last four minutes to get the win,” Lindsay said. “That to me is the sign of a team that’s not mentally tough enough to push themselves through a pain threshold or a fatigue threshold, or whatever it may be, to make plays to win.

“Those are plays that for a long time now, Kent State basketball teams have made here, and this basketball team does not make them at this point in the season.”

Vermont (5-2) used a four-guard offense to take a 39-24 lead into halftime. The Catamounts got the rebounds from missed Kent State shots and sped up the floor for easy baskets at the other end.

“Any offense is hard to guard if you’re not willing to get out and play hard enough to defend it,” Lindsay said.

Still, the Flashes kept up with Vermont for much of the half. The teams were tied at 17 with under five minutes to go, but the Catamounts went on a 22-7 run to close the half.

“We need to work harder as a whole team,” said junior forward Anna Kowalska, who scored a game-high 21 points. “I think that’s the number one key, and being more mentally strong. (We need to) work hard the whole game, not just for five (or) four minutes.”

Lindsay said only one Kent State player who played in last season’s 91-73 loss to Vermont played Saturday: junior forward Samantha Scull.

“We’re six games into the season, and we’re trying to overcome some losses of players,” Lindsay said. “We’re trying to figure out who we are as a team, (and) we’re trying to figure out who our ‘go to’ players are. And we’re trying to elevate our game to a point where we play hard enough and we execute well enough to win.”

He said he is not judging team success by wins and losses but by improvement in work ethic, listening and mental toughness, and he doesn’t “grade (the team) very high in any of those areas.”

While Lindsay said the team can’t eliminate all of its mistakes such as turnovers, missed layups and missed assignments on defense at once, he made it clear what has to be corrected first.

“Play hard,” he said. “And it’s easy for me to go in and say we need to play harder. It’s contingent on the upperclassmen and the returning players on this team to set the bar where hard is. My upperclassmen have set the bar very low on what playing hard is. That’s part of the problem. If you understand that, then you’ll understand exactly where we are and where we need to go.”

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].


-Harkins hurting

Junior guard Asheley Harkins missed Saturday’s game with an injury. She watched the game in street clothes and needed crutches. Her injury caused the Flashes’ short bench to be shorter than usual. Kent State was able to use just eight players on Saturday, compared to 11 for Vermont.

-Not bad shooting, just not enough shots

The Flashes shot 45 percent from the field Saturday, better than Vermont’s 40 percent. However, Vermont had 62 shot attempts and the Flashes just 49, meaning they couldn’t take advantage of their good shooting.

-They believe in second (and third) chances

Vermont had 13 offensive rebounds in Saturday’s game, which gave the Catamounts numerous extra chances at points.

-That darn Rosenkrantz

Vermont guard Amy Rosenkrantz gave the Flashes fits, especially in the first half. Rosenkrantz scored 16 points before the break, and for the game she scored 20 on 9-of-15 shooting.

-HELLO, Hello, hello, hello …

A crowd of just 337 people came to watch Saturday afternoon’s action at the M.A.C. Center. That was less than a third of the 1025 people who came to see the Flashes play St. Bonaventure on opening day Nov. 11.

Schiller 12/2/07

RPaasch 12/2/07