KSU battles back but falls at Toledo, 73-67

Kent State fought back from a 15-point deficit at Toledo Wednesday but lost to the Rockets, 73-67.

KSU drops to 3-9 on the season, 0-2 in the MAC. Toledo is 6-7 and 1-1.

Except for the second quarter, the Flashes played some good basketball. They led 19-15 after 1o minutes.

But Toledo blitzed KSU 28-14 in the second quarter. As teams have done all season, the Rockets adjusted to Kent’s match-up zone and went inside. They made 9 of 14 shots and scored 12 points in the paint in the quarter.

On defense, Toledo switched to a zone in the second quarter and held the Flashes to 6 of 21 shooting in the quarter. It also hurt that point guard Naddiyah Cross and leading scorer Jordan Korinek barely played in the quarter because of foul trouble. 

Korinek had seven points on 3 of 3 shooting in the first quarter. But in the second half, she got off only two shots (making both). She finished with 11 points on 5 for 5 shooting. But five shots aren’t enough for KSU’s best player.

KSU trailed by between 10 and 15 points through the second half and was behind 67-53 with 3:56 to go.

Then the Flashes played some of their best basketball of the season, scoring nine straight points on a Cross three-pointer, four free throws by Larissa Lurken and two by Alexa Golden. They got to 71-67 with 15 seconds left.

“I’m very, very excited about this team because of how they showed that grit in an adverse situation,” coach Danny O’Banion said in her postgame radio interview. “I’m pumped to get in the locker room to see them. I know they’re disappointed but excited to get back on the court Saturday.”

KSU plays its first home conference game at 2 p.m. Saturday against Buffalo.

Lurken led KSU with 13 points. Tyra James had her second good game in a row with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and no turnovers. Chelsi Watson had nine points off the bench. Nine different Flashes scored.

Notes:

  • Eleven of Lurken’s 13 points came in the second half. “Larissa is in a difference place, a good place,” O’Banion said. “She’s transitioning into a senior leader even though she’s only a junior. (KSU has no seniors.) She’s taking the team on her back despite being pushed and held out there.”
  • Thanks to 20 offensive rebounds and 20 points off of Toledo turnovers, KSU had 11 more shots than the Rockets (62-51).
  • But the Flashes made only 24 baskets (38.7 percent) while Toledo shot 45.1 percent. Toledo made 6 of 17 three-point shots, KSU 8 of 26. Eight equaled a season high for the Flashes.
  • Toledo made more foul shots (21 of 33) than Kent State took (11 of 18). For the first seven games of the season, the Flashes drew many more fouls than their opponents. That hasn’t been true in their last four games (all losses).
  • Though KSU scored more points off turnovers, the Flashes had 16 to Toledo’s 14. They had six steals, four below their season average.
  • The Flashes outrebounded Toledo 41-36. The 20 offensive rebounds were Kent’s most this season by four and led to 10 second-chance points.
  • 5-foot-6 guard Cross led KSU in rebounds with seven. McKenna Stephens and James each had six and Korinek five. Stephens and Golden each had four offensive rebounds.

Box score

In the MAC

After two games, Ohio is the only undefeated team in conference play. Tuesday scores:

  • Ohio (10-3, 2-0 MAC) 73, Ball State (9-4, 1-1) 48 at Ohio.
  • Akron (7-6, 1-1) 68, Eastern Michigan (10-3, 1-1) 65, in overtime, at Eastern.
  • Buffalo (9-4, 1-1) 67, Central Michigan (7-6, 1-1) 61 at Buffalo.
  • Western Michigan (9-5, 1-1) 74, Bowling Green (5-6, 1-1) 45 at Western.
  • Miami (7-6, 1-1) 66, Northern Illinois (8-5, 1-1) 60, at Miami.

MAC standings.

 

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