Flashes look to get over Ball State

Tyler McIntosh

The Kent State women’s basketball team can’t help but rue last Sunday’s loss against Mid-American Conference West leader Ball State.

Not only did the Flashes score a season-high 45 points in the first half, they also held the MAC’s second best 3-point shooting team to just 2-of-7 from beyond the arc.

But all that imploded in the second half when the Flashes’ offense disappeared and Ball State proceeded to make 57 percent of its shots.

“We know we let that game get away from us,” senior guard Kerrie James said.

The best way to get over the Ball State loss is to focus on Ohio, their next opponent, she said.

“Just come out the following game, play hard and get a good win,” James said.

The Bobcats, winners of three of their last four games, hold opponents to the lowest field goal percentage, 38.1, in the MAC. Junior Lauren Kohn averages 16 points per game for the Bobcats.

Kent State (12-10, 8-3 MAC) is currently two games ahead of Ohio (13-10, 6-5 MAC) for second place in the MAC East.

The fact that the top two teams from each division receive byes into the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament makes tonight’s game that much more significant for a team that has three players (James, senior forward La’kia Stewart and senior guard Kristin Peoples) playing over 30 minutes per game.

James, who has played 38 and 40 minutes in Kent State’s last two games, said the amount of time she is on the court does not matter.

“There are days when I feel tired, but that is no excuse. I don’t mind the minutes,” James said.

One thing that does matter to James, who scored a career-high 15 points on Sunday, is that she and the rest of the senior class finish strong and leave their mark in Kent State history, she said.

“I definitely think there is a sense of urgency right now,” James said. “We have six seniors and five games left. We want to make a deep run in the MAC tournament and continue in the postseason.”

Earlier this season, Kent State defeated Ohio, 76-63. Stewart and senior center Tiffany LaFleur both recorded double-doubles, and James had a game-high five steals. Kent State has won 24 out of its last 25 games against Ohio.

For the season, Peoples leads the team with 16.5 points per game and four steals, and Stewart’s eight rebounds a game are tops in that category.

Kent State plays 7 p.m. tonight at Ohio.

Contact women’s basketball reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].