There’s really only one statistic you need to know about Kent State’s 70-53 loss to Eastern Michigan Wednesday:
KSU first half turnovers: 13. EMU points off those turnovers: 19.
There are other story lines: Eastern shot three pointers much better than it usually does. Jordan Korinek got hurt in the first half. Kent State made a couple of decent runs in the second half.
But it was the thing most likely to beat Kent State that did. The Eagles lead the MAC in forcing turnovers and are second in turnover margin. Kent State is second to last in both.
And Kent State must have lost 10 games this season by losing the turnover battle.
Wednesday KSU scored just seven points off of Eastern’s eight turnovers.
“It was very frustrating to watch because we did not do what we practiced,” coach Danny O’Banion said in her post-game radio interview.
The second half, as she said, was a different game. KSU made only eight turnovers, which led to only four Eastern Michigan points.
And the Eagles’ shooting, which at 46 percent was 9 percentage points above their average in the first half, was just 26 percent in the second.
But by halftime, Eastern was 15 points ahead. Kent State cut it to nine with three quick baskets in the second half, then cut it to seven with nine minutes to go. But the Eagles pulled away, greatly helped by making 13 of 15 foul shots.
Maybe the biggest long-term worry from the game is the health of freshman forward Jordan Korinek, who had averaged 13.3 points a game over the last six games. Korinek played 19 minutes in the first half, though she scored only two points and had two rebounds. But she wasn’t on the bench at all in the second half. In her interview, O’Banion said only that Korinek was “being evaluated.” It sounds a little like a possible concussion, which is never good. There was no obvious injury in the action.
- Eastern Michigan had averaged only 4.7 three-point baskets a game. It made seven in the first half, two in the second half. It was clearly a main part of its game plan.
- KSU leading scorer Larissa Lurken continued to emerge from a slump with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting, her best percentage since Christmas. She also had seven rebounds.
- Cici Shannon had 15 rebounds. She’s averaged 13 over the last seven games. She also had nine points but was 4 of 10, missing a lot of close-in shots in a crowd. Shannon blocked four shots after not blocking any for the last two games.
- Melanee Stubbs had 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting.
- Eastern Michigan had 18 offensive rebounds and 18 second-chance points.
- Between the rebounds and the turnovers, the Eagles had 14 more shots than Kent State.
The Flashes, now 3-17 and 1-8 in the MAC, travel to MAC-leading Ohio University Saturday. OU, which had the same league record as Kent State last year, is 17-3, 8-1 in the MAC. It had a bye Wednesday. Eastern Michigan is 11-9, 4-5 in the MAC.
- Akron (17-4, 7-3 MAC) 69, Western Michigan (14,7, 7-3) 66, at Akron.
- Buffalo (12-8, 5-4) 68, Toledo (18-8, 5-4) 61, at Buffalo.
- Northern Illinois (9-10, 5-4) 60, Miami (3-18, 0-10) 49, at Northern Illinois.
- Central Michigan (11-9, 5-3) 57, Bowling Green (9-12, 2-8) 54, at Bowling Green.
Other MAC scores Wednesday: