Coach Danny O’Banion said it like this in her radio interview after the Flashes’ 58-55 loss to New Orleans Tuesday:
“It’s not the first time we’ll see a press and not the first time we’ll see a zone defense.”
Pressure defenses and zones bring out the worst in Kent State, a team that has turnover with turnovers and shooting, especially outside shooting.
On Tuesday, New Orleans (2-7) pressed Kent State almost the entire game. The Flashes led 45-44 with 7:26 to go, but made seven turnovers in those last seven minutes. And over the course of the game, Kent State made five of 17 three-point shots, one of six in the second half.
In the second half, Larissa Lurken, the Flashes’ leading scorer, made one of five shots. Krista White, Kent State’s second leading scorer, made one of eight. For the game, Lurken led the Flashes with 14. Melanee Stubbs had 10.
Lurken is Kent State’s best three-point shooter and was closely guarded all half. Kent’s second three-point shooter, Madison Ridout, was one of four in the first have and didn’t take a shot in the second.
“We need to look for Madison to develop so we have two three-point shooters out there,” O’Banion said. “Her progression is a lot like Larissa’s last year. She snuck up on some teams, then they started to guard her. Madison is getting used to the speed of the college game and getting her shot off faster.”
Also worth noting from the game:
- McKenna Stephens, who become eligible this month after sitting out a transfer year, had seven rebounds in 14 minutes.
- Cici Shannon also had seven rebounds and was four for four in 16 minutes.
- Senior point guard Mikell Chinn missed her fifth straight game with a concussion. Freshman Naddiyah Cross played 32 minutes at point. She had a three pointer, two assists, three turnovers and a steal. White played point when she went out for a rest.
- Kent State committed 21 fouls, New Orleans only 11. Kent State was four of eight from the line, New Orleans nine of 17. For the season, Kent opponents have scored 81 more points on foul shots than Kent State.
- Kent out rebounded New Orleans 42-27.
- Kent State’s non-conference record of 2-7 is worst in the MAC. Last year KSU was 3-8 outside the conference.
Kent State opens MAC play at 2 p.m. Saturday against Central Michigan. The Chippewas are 5-5 but have played a very tough non conference schedule. They were pre-season favorites to win the MAC West and the league tournament.