Yes. Central Michigan is good

I wrote a post hours ago, but somehow it vanished into electronic neverland.

Here’s another quick try.

The 83-62 score was about what you expected.

We knew Central Michigan was good. Even though the Chippewas’ record is 6-6, they have the second highest RPI in the conference (after Akron lost at Western today) and have played the toughest schedule by far.

They’re a good team even without their second leading scorer, Jessica Green, who blew out her knee in the last minute of the Chipps’ loss to Dayton earlier the week. Her replacement, Da’Jourie Turner, scored 15. All five CMU starters scored in double figures, including Crystal Bradford, the MAC’s returning player of the year. She had 17 and eight rebounds. Bradford wore Green’s No. 3 uniform to honor her fellow senior.

The news on Kent State’s side was redshirt freshman McKenna Stephens. A transfer from Michigan State (where she was on a softball scholarship), Stephens just became eligible this semester. She scored 17 points on eight of 14 shooting, including a three-pointer. She had five rebounds and three assists in 27 laminates.

Most of her shots were mid-range jumpers against Central’s zone defense. Coach Danny O’Banion was clearly pleased in her post-game radio interview, saying Stephens gives Kent a new weapon against the zone defenses it faces in almost every game. The coach said Stephens had worked lard on a quick release.

Other notes:

  • Kent State had 10 turnovers, a season low. Central Michigan had 18.
  • But Central Michigan outscored KSU 34-18 in the paint and 16-11 on second-chance points.
  • Larissa Lurken scored 13 points but it took her 21 shots to do it. She was 3 of 13 from three-point range.  Kent State shot 28 percent (6 of 21) behind the line. Overall, Kent State shot 41 percent for the game.
  • Freshmen and sophomores played 82 percent of Kent State’s minutes.
  • Cici Shannon was four of five from the field but zero for seven from the foul line. Hers were the only foul shots the Flashes had.
  • Krista White had a career-high six steals. Going into the game, she was third in the MAC in steals.
  • Mikell Chinn, who has been out with a concussion since Thanksgiving, was in uniform but didn’t play.

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