Flashes lose to NIU in many ways

Five reasons Kent State lost 66-49 at Northern Illinois Saturday:

1. KSU had its game plan defensively. NIU just beat it. Statistically, Northern is the worst shooting team in the MAC. The Flashes’ plan was to let the Huskies shoot from the outside. NIU’s percentage — 35 — wasn’t great. But it made a lot of 15- to 17-foot shots, and it made five three-pointers, two more than its average.

2. Despite NIU’s collapsing on KSU post playes, Kent’s guards just didn’t score. Melanee Stubbs, Larissa Lurken and Krista White combined to go 5 for 23. “If we even had the slightest help on our guard perimeter, we’d be a better team,” coach Danny O’Banion said in her radio interview after the game.

3. Kent State had its common problem with turnovers. It had 19, leading to 15 Northern Illinois points. NIU had only six turnovers.

4. After playing a good stretch for about 10 minutes in the first half, the Flashes let the NIU take the game away. NIU went out to an 11-4 lead in the first four minutes. Kent State came back and trailed only 24-23 with four minutes to go in the half, but the Huskies outscored 8-2 in the last three minutes of the first half. Then Northern Illinois outscored KSU 12-2 in the first four minutes of the second half.

5. NIU played very good defense. Besides forcing the turnovers, the Huskies kept Kent State to just seven assists. KSU never could run its offense.

Notes:

  • Cici Shannon had her third straight double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds. But NIU collapsed two or three players on her every time she got the ball and she was clearly frustrated at times. Shannon also had four blocks.
  • Jordan Korinek had 15 points, a career high, and six rebounds.
  • Neither Korinek, Lurken nor White started as O’Banion shook up the line-up after Kent State’s 29-point defeat at Ball State Wednesday.
  • Redshirt freshman McKenna Stephens started her first game but didn’t score. She did have five rebounds in 14 minutes.
  • Freshman point guard Nadia Cross had nine points, a career high. But she had five turnovers and only one assist.
Kent State, now 3-13 and 1-4 in the MAC, is off this week and plays Western Michigan at home Saturday afternoon. NIU is 6-8 overall and 2-2 in the league.
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