Home opener brings hope to struggling KSU squad

Tyler McIntosh

If nothing else, the Kent State women’s basketball team will be well-traveled before it starts Mid-American Conference play in January.

Only two of the Flashes’ first 11 games will be played at the M.A.C. Center. Kent State (1-3) has already traveled to play in West Virginia and Arizona. Plus, four games in Texas and one more in Vermont are still on the schedule before conference play starts.

That’s why tomorrow’s home opener against Washington (3-2) could prove to be a nice change of pace for Kent State. In the last four years, Kent State is 4-0 in its home-openers.

The original home opener, scheduled for Nov. 11 against South Dakota state, was canceled when the Jack Rabbits’ flight plans fell through.

The Flashes are currently on a two-game losing streak, most recently losing by three-points to Minnesota when Kent State’s second half comeback fell short. In the defeat, senior guards Kristin Peoples and Sarah Burgess led Kent State with 16 and 13 points each.

Peoples and Burgess have shouldered the scoring load this season. Peoples is tops on the team and seventh in the MAC in scoring, averaging 16 points a game, while Burgess adds 13.8 a game. Peoples is also fourth in the MAC in assists and fifth in steals.

However, unlike last season there is a balance. Four other players average between eight and nine points a game. As a team, the Flashes are eighth in the MAC in scoring at 72.5.

Four games into the season, senior center Tiffany LaFleur and sophomore forward Samantha Scull have done a good job handling their expanded roles that have come with an increase in minutes.

Combined the two have to average 14.8 points per game, 12.6 rebounds per game and 1.75 blocks per game. Last season the two averaged 5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.07 bpg.

Washington is led by guard Cameo Hicks, who leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game, and forward Jill Bell. Bell currently averages 11 points and 8 rebounds a game.

Kent State will play Washington at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact sports reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].