“Not a lot of roses to plant about this one” was the last thing coach Danny O’Banion said in her radio interview after Kent State’s 85-48 loss at Ball State Wednesday.
Indeed, not much went well. It was the largest margin of defeat in KSU’s 3-12 season. The Flashes shot only 34 percent and made 23 turnovers, leading to 28 Ball State points. The 85 points were the second most Kent State has given up this season.(Dusquesne scored 86.)
Ball State played very well. As evidenced by the turnovers, its defensive pressure gave Kent State a lot of problems. KSU usually didn’t get into its offense until 10 second into the shot clock, and had three shot-clock violations in the first half.
It also was the fourth straight strong MAC conference game for the Cardinals, who are one of two undefeated teams in the conference after a 4-7 start. (Central Michigan is the other unbeaten team.) Ball State has forced an average of 23 turnovers in those four games.
The Cardinals made 10 of 20 three-point shots, well above their 34 percent average and six made three-pointers per game. KSU has had trouble guarding long shots; its opponents are shooting 35 percent, the highest in the conference.
Cici Shannon led Kent State with 10 points and 11 rebounds. It was her second straight double-double, but a long way from the 16 points and 20 rebounds she had against Bowling Green Saturday. Shannon also had two blocks and two assists.
Krista White also had 10 points and Jordan Korinek 9.
Mikell Chinn, out since Thanksgiving with a concussion, played 16 minutes and had five assists and a steal with no turnovers. She had been leading the MAC in assists before her injury. She didn’t take a shot — not hugely unusual for her. Janae Peterson, a 6-foot sophomore forward, played for only the third time this season. She made one of four attempted foul shots in three minutes.
- KSU had 17 second-chance points and outrebounded Ball State 38-34.
- The Flashes made only 1 of 13 three pointers.
- Kent State leading scorer Larissa Lurken had her third straight rough game, scoring only three points on 1 of 8 shooting.
- Ball State guards Candyce Ussery and Moriah Monaco combined to 14 for 17 from the field (6 of 8 three-pointers).
Kent State next travels to Northern Illinois for a 2 p.m. Saturday game, then is off for a week until a home game against Western Michigan Saturday, Jan. 24.
Other MAC scores from Wednesday:
- Ohio (12-3, 3-1 MAC) 82, Eastern Michigan (7-7, 0-3) 59, at Eastern Michigan.
- Akron (13-2, 3-1) 102, Toledo (9-6, 2-2) 101, in Toledo.
- Bowling Green (8-7, 1-3) 65, Northern Illinois (5-8, 1-2) 59, at Bowling Green.
- Central Michigan (9-6, 4-0) 60, Miami (3-12, 0-4) 54, at Miami.