New and old, but new, faces take off in women’s basketball exhibition

Isabella Schreck, Sports Editor

In her first collegiate game, freshman guard Corynne Hauser earned 11 points, tying for second most for her team, and tied for most assists.

Women’s basketball coach Todd Starkey, coming off a 72-20 exhibition win against Mercyhurst, said she has “the ability to score 20 points a game.”

“She’s got great vision,” Starkey said. “She was a little nervous at the beginning – the pace and tempo of the college game is a little different. But it was good to see her get past that and settle in. She really has the ability to be an effective playmaker.”

Hauser totaled four assists along with sophomore guard Casey Santoro. She tied with graduate student forward Lindsey Thall, who holds the program record for most 3-pointers, in points.

Graduate student forward Annie Pavlansky, who played only 55 minutes last season, led the team with 12 points and perfect shooting.

“I’ve been really trying to be consistent and getting better every single day and not dwelling on the past,” Pavlansky said. “It’s being ready for when my number’s called. I’ve been developing more into the post forward position, getting more finishes around the rim and learning that position more.”

The Flashes beat Division II Mercyhurst in an exhibition game Thursday in the M.A.C. Center.

The Lakers finished 9-19 last year.

Kent State tied for sixth in the Mid-American Conference at 10-10 and 19-12 overall. The team was picked to finish fourth in the MAC coaches’ preseason poll.

Last season:

  • Pavlansky totaled 26 points, going 3-for-8 on 3-pointers and 3-for-4 on free throws. She played 55 minutes in 14 out of the team’s 30 games. 
  • Hauser, a two-time all-stater in Rochester, Penn., averaged 25 points and six rebounds per game. 

Graduate student Abby Ogle, who played 68 minutes and made appearances in six games last season, was fourth on her team with nine points Thursday. She transferred from West Virginia last season and went 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 in free throws at KSU before sitting out with an injury.

“She can be a real spark plug for us,” Starkey said. “That’s something I wish we would have had last year in conference play – somebody like Abby to put in the game and get some energy going. It’s good to see her back.”

Tighter second period leads to dominating fourth

Layups from graduate student guard Hannah Young and sophomore guard Casey Santoro gave the Flashes a 4-0 lead.

With 8:10 left, Mercyhurst scored its first 3-pointer of the period. The team scored two more by the 40-second mark.

KSU then went on a 14-point run. The team led 22-13 by the end of the first period and had five turnovers. The Lakers had three.

Pavlansky led with five points.

“Annie’s been playing really well lately in practice and getting really good results,” Starkey said. “She’s been working hard every day since she’s been here. Annie’s one of those players that has been such a steady force for us for four years going on five. She does everything we ask her to do.”

Mercyhurst only outscored Kent State in the second period. Six players scored two points for the Lakers. The team went 4-for-12 on the field.

Hauser made one shot and one free pointer. Kent State led 33-25 into the locker room.

By the half, Thall had scored the most from KSU with six points, going 1-of-3 both from the field and in 3-pointers. Kent State shot 38% from the field and had 12 turnovers.

“I didn’t like our response to missing shots and our carless turnovers throughout the game,” Starkey said. “Those are the two biggest areas we have to clear up, whether we’re making shots or not should be irrelevant to how focused and how hard we play.”

The Flashes outscored the Lakers 18-12 in the third period. They made 43% of their shots to Mercyhurst’s 31.3%. Both teams made all its free throws.

The Lakers got within six points of KSU at 7:27. Then Kent State ran off nine in a row. The Flashes had a 51-37 lead by the end of the period.

Hauser opened the fourth period with the first 3-pointer of her collegiate career. Thall followed up with her first 3-pointer of the night.

“It just started clicking,” Hauser said. “We were hitting our shots, we were finding an open person, we were playing. We didn’t give up. If we gave up shots, they were tough, contested shots. We were playing how we want to play.”

KSU scored 17 points straight before the Lakers scored one. Bridget Dunn and Jenna Batsch led both teams with four points.

The Lakers totaled only three points in the fourth period, going 1-for-13 from the field and 1-for-2 on free throws. All shots came in the final three minutes of the game.

Hauser was the team’s leading scorer with three points, and the Flashes improved to 42% shooting from the field in the second half.

Mercyhurst forced 21 turnovers and had 20 on the night.

“They played harder than us for a majority of the game,” Starkey said. “We’ll get that fixed. We’ll be better moving forward, but it was nice to be in front of the M.A.C.C. fans and getting this thing going.”

Power 5 opponent poses a threat 

The Flashes open the regular season against Florida State at 7 p.m. Thursday in the M.A.C. Center.

The Seminoles, which went 17-14 overall and 10-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season, won their Thursday exhibition game against Flager 119-27. Freshman guard Ta’Niya Latson totaled 36 points, seven rebounds and went 13-of-18 in shooting. Three other players scored in the double digits.

“We’re going to have to do a lot of things better to beat Florida State,” Starkey said. “We’re capable of it – I’m not saying we’re capable of beating Florida State. We’ll see what we do. Against teams like that you’re going to have to make shots.”

Isabella Schreck is sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].