Hot start leads to victory over Eastern Michigan

Kyle Kuchta, Reporter

The Kent State women’s basketball team went wire-to-wire in a 79-66 win against Eastern Michigan.

Kent State led for 39:25 of the game and did not trail the entire game.

KSU improved to 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the conference, while Eastern Michigan now falls to 9-7 overall and moves to 1-4 in the conference.

“Overall good team defense, and offensively I liked our flow a little bit better today,” coach Todd Starkey said. “We still have room for improvement which is a good sign that we are finding ways to win games when we are not playing quite our best so we’ll continue to move forward and try to continue to improve game by game.”

Kent State had four double-digit scores in the game and two players with nine points.

Freshman guard Corynne Hauser led the team with 17 points, going 5-10 from the field. She also led the team in assists with six. This was the third time this season the freshman led the team in both points and assists.

“I was coming out just trying to be aggressive, we wanted to play quick like how we have been the past few games,” Hauser said. “I was taking what the defense gave me, they were slacking off a little bit so I was able to get open.”

“Corynne started us off and got us into a great rhythm offensively. They had to make some adjustments and pay more attention to her,” Starkey said. “She had 17 but we had three other players in double figures, two other players with nine points. So, I really liked our balance in scoring.”

Hot Start

Kent State had a hot start, leading the Eagles 24-13 at the end of the first quarter.

Kent State shot one of their best from the field in a quarter, shooting 71 percent from the field and 66 percent from behind the arc.

The Flashes were not as successful, scoring just 14 points in the second quarter. KSU remained in the lead with a 38-29 halftime lead.

KSU shot 33.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from three point range in the second quarter.

Finishing Strong

The Flashes had a strong first half and an even better second half putting up 41 points.

The Eagles did not score more than 20 points in any quarter of the game.

“I was pleased with the way we defended Skanes though, it’s their best player and we held her under her averages,” Starkey said. “Lachelle Austin who is one of their leading scorers went 4-17 so we made her life pretty tough, she had to take a lot of tough shots.”

Redshirt Junior forward Ce’Nara Skanes averages 12.1 points a game and Kent State held her to just seven points in tonight’s game.

Flashes shot 51.9 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from three.

Eastern Michigan shot 48.3 percent from the field and only 18.8 percent from three.

It was a physical game as there were 74 total points in the paint. The Eagles outscored the Flashes in the paint with 48 points compared to KSU’s 26.

Senior guard Clare Kelly finished second in scoring with 14 points. Senior guard Katie Shumate added 11 points with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Back on the road

Kent State heads to Bowling Green, which is 14-2 overall and tied for second in the MAC at 3-1.

The Falcons are 6-0 at home and have five players who have scored over 150 points this season. Kent State has just two.

“We just have to be at our level of confidence, we’re getting ready to go play one of the hottest teams in the league,” Starkey said. “We just have to make sure that we’re playing well and that we don’t beat ourselves.”

Tipoff is Saturday 1 p.m. at Bowling Green.

Kyle Kuchta is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].