Larissa Lurken had a very good game in KSU’s 68-60 loss to Bradley Tuesday.
Unfortunately, no one else had even an average game.
Lurken scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Primarily a three-point shooter in her first two seasons at KSU, Lurken scored scored most of her points on drives to the basket. She’s done that all season.
“She played like our most experienced player (she’s the only junior with experience on a team with no seniors),” coach Danny O’Banion said. “She found ways to score when everyone else was struggling.”
Jordan Korinek, who had scored 93 points in KSU’s previous four games. Korinek had just six points and four rebounds. She got off only eight shots.
“In order for us to be successful, Jordan has to get touches and get points,” O’Banion said. But KSU had trouble getting her the ball, and Bradley swarmed her when she touched it. Korinek did block two shots and had two steals.
Naddiyah Cross, KSU’s point guard, didn’t get much of a chance to pass the ball in the first half. She picked up three fouls and play only four minutes.
“I think Naddiyah saw how valuable she is to us whether she starts or not,” O’Banion said. “Those three first-half fouls changed the complexion of the game.”
Cross came off the bench, as she did in Saturday’s 21-point victory over North Dakota State. But in that game she played 30 minutes and had eight assists and three steals. Tuesday she played 16 minutes with three assists and no steals. She did have 10 points.
Tyra James played the point most of the time when Cross was out. James is a 5-11 redshirt freshman. She is a very good athlete but a natural wing. She made just 3 of 12 shots, with seven rebounds and three assists.
“Tyra has just played eight games,” O’Banion said, “and we’re asking her to do things juniors do.”
KSU’s other two starters — freshman guard Alexa Golden and sophomore forward McKenna Stephens — had only four points between them. Stephens had four steals. Golden had two, but she also had seven turnovers, many on attempts to feed Korinek.
Bradley’s defense had a lot to do with Kent’s struggles. Besides keeping the ball from Korinek, the Braves forced 24 turnovers, the most for KSU this season, and scored 20 points off of them. KSU, which had been second in the MAC in turnover margin, forced 15, scoring 11 points.
Bradley’s Tamya Sims guarded Korinek one-on-one most of the night. She blocked six shots (not all of them Korinek’s). Going into the game, she had blocked only eight all season.
- Kent State is 3-5 on the season. Bradley is 4-4. It was the second of only three non-conference road games. The Flashes lost their first to IPFW.
- A three-point barrage by Bradley late in the second quarter broke the game open. The teams had played evenly, with 10 lead changes and four ties in the first 14 minutes of the game. But after Lurken hit a three-point shot to give KSU a 19-17 lead, Bradley hit four three-pointers to give the Braves a 31-24 halftime lead.
- The Braves made only one three-point basket in the second half. Kent made two.
- Kent State trailed by as much as 15 in the fourth quarter but rallied to within six with 1:18 to play. But Bradley made six foul shots in a row to keep the lead.
- KSU had its best rebounding game of the season by far, with 44 to Bradley’s 30. Previous best was 40-27 against Division II Malone. KSU hadn’t outrebounded another opponent and had a negative 5.5 margin going into the game.
- Though the Flashes had 16 offensive rebounds, they got only 11 second-chance points.
- KSU made 37 percent of its 57 shots (4 of 13 on three-pointers). Bradley shot 43 percent (29 percent on 21 three-pointers).
The Flashes travel to Youngstown State for a noon game on Saturday. The Penguins are 7-1, losing their first game to Penn State 68-51 Tuesday.