Flashes go on the road

Tyler McIntosh

Barring any freak weather conditions like those that canceled last Saturday’s game, the Kent State women’s basketball team will finally be able to start its season this weekend in the Fifth Third Classic at Marshall.

Senior guard Kerrie James said the team is ready for what Robert Morris (1-0) will provide today in the first round of the Classic.

“A lot of teams already have at least one game under their belt,” James said “I think it just makes us more excited to finally get out there this weekend and play a game.”

At 47-43, the Flashes have one of the better road records in the Mid-American Conference over the past five seasons. Coach Bob Lindsay said he credits the Flashes’ defense for their past performances on the road.

“I think we are normally decent on the road because we play pretty good defense,” Lindsay said. “We were the number one team in the league on defense the last couple years. “

Defense will be a priority this weekend against the Colonials.

Robert Morris has already defeated Miami 90-89 this season. Miami was picked to finish right behind Kent State in the MAC preseason poll.

The Colonials return three starters to a team that finished 20-9 a year ago. Forward Psyche Butler, who averaged 12 points per game, was a First Team All-NEC selection last season. Guard Natasha Summerville averaged 15.2 ppg last season and went for 20 points against Miami, while center Sugeiry Monsac delivered 24 points and seven rebounds against the RedHawks.

Robert Morris’ ability to score is one thing Lindsay said stood out to him.

“They are an athletic team,” Lindsay said. “They score out of five positions, and they like the transition game. They take a lot of chances on defense. That’s just the way they play.”

A key for Kent State will be James, who Lindsay has called her team’s best defender.

James looks forward to the challenge of going against Robert Morris’ best offensive players

“I wouldn’t call it pressure,” James said. “I just say it is something he expects, so I have to come out each game and do that and prove to him that I can be our team’s best defender.”

Depending on Friday’s outcomes, Kent State will either play Southern University (0-0) or Marshall (1-0) tomorrow. Marshall has won the classic four years in a row. Southern made it to the NCAA tournament last season.

Because of the quick turnaround, Lindsay said there will be very minor scouting for the second game of the tournament.

“You have whatever scouting reports you are going to have on the teams in the tournament and you play from there,” Lindsay said.

Contact sports reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].