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Women's basketball 2017-18
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cschierh Online
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Post: #1
Women's basketball 2017-18
The schedule came out -- sort of one piece at a time -- earlier this month.

The women play only two non-conference games at home but have a very interesting schedule.

They play two games against non-MAC teams at Akron in November (the Zips will play the same teams on opposite nights). Next year the event will be in Kent. One of the teams KSU plays is Florida Gulf Coast, which is coached by Kent alum Karl Smesko. Kent beat his team in the Gulf Coast Showcase tournament last season, one of the signature wins of the year.

Over Thanksgiving, the team will play in Las Vegas in the Play4Kay Classic.

Last year's Thanksgiving tournament was the toughest Kent had every played in, opening with No. 5 Baylor, then Western Kentucky, then Gulf Coast. All of those teams eventually won their conferences.

This year's may be tougher. The Flashes open with Stanford, which made the Final Four last season. Six other teams in the tournament were conference champions, including Ohio State. The seventh is Memphis, where former coach Danny O'Banion is now associate head coach.

Most of the rest of the schedule is return matches with teams KSU played in non-conference games last year, along with a trip to Ann Arbor to play Michigan in December.

The Flashes open at Northern Kentucky Saturday, Nov. 11. Their home opener is against Detroit Mercy on Thursday, Nov 30.

Full details are in three separate posts on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com. (As I said, the schedule came out in pieces over a week.)
09-17-2017 10:05 PM
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cschierh Online
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
McKenna Stephens, the KSU starting forward who graduated in May, will return to the team for a redshirt senior season.

Stephens had been uncertain last spring about returning and was honored at Senior Day in March. But she has enrolled as a graduate student in criminology this fall. She has a year of eligibility left because she sat out a season after transferring from Michigan State her freshman year.

Stephens, a 6-foot forward, started all but one of Kent State's games last season and was the team's third-leading scorer. She improved steadily through the season and averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds in conference play. Stephens led the MAC in three-point shooting (20 of 45 for 44 percent) in league games.

Her return means KSU has four starters back from the team that was 19-13 and won the MAC East last senior.

The starter not back, of course, is Larissa Lurken, MAC player of the year last season.

Full practice starts Oct. 2. First game is at Northern Kentucky Nov. 11.

More on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
09-19-2017 11:43 AM
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cschierh Online
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Practice is under way for the Flashes, who have four starters from last season returning along with one starter from two years ago.

Back from the team that went 19-13 and won the MAC East last season are second-team all-MAC forward Jordan Korinek, graduate student McKenna Stephens, junior Alexa Golden and senior Naddiyah Cross.

Back from two years ago is guard Tyra James, who was third on the team in scoring then at 9.5 points a game.

Missing for the first semester will be sophomore guard Megan Carter, academically ineligible after getting overwhelmed by labs in her pre-med major last spring. She's now a public health major. Carter can practice but not play this fall.

Coach Todd Starkey rates the team somewhat ahead of where he expected a month ago and far ahead of where it was last season, when he was a new coach inheriting a team that was 6-23 the previous year.

Lots and lots more on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
10-12-2017 08:18 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The KSU women's team opens on Saturday at Northern Kentucky.

The Flashes, who unexpectedly won the MAC East last season, are picked second in the division this season. Senior forward Jordan Korinek, already a 1,000-point scorer, was named to the preseason all-MAC East team.

Buffalo, which lost only one player to graduation, was picked first in the East. Central Michigan, the team with the top record in the conference last season, was picked first in the West and as winner of the MAC tournament in the coaches' preseason poll.

Details are on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com, along with the start of a weeklong series of previews of the team. It begins with a look at three key returning starters: Korinek, fifth-year senior/graduate student McKenna Stephens and junior guard Alexa Golden.
11-05-2017 11:05 PM
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cschierh Online
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
This is a terrific story on Merissa Barber-Smith's hard journey to the Kent State women's basketball team:

https://t.co/LjJeQA1ebv.

(It's also on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.)
11-06-2017 08:27 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Today's preview of the women's season looks at the roles of redshirt sophomore Tyra James, junior Merissa Barber-Smith and freshman Monique Smith. Only Barber-Smith was on the court for the Flashes last season, and her role was fairly limited. This year they're among the keys to the season.

Second of a series of previews in on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-07-2017 12:15 AM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The last of three posts on key players on the women's team for the new season is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.

It starts with Megan Carter, the redshirt sophomore guard who's not eligible until second semester. But coach Todd Starkey calls her a key factor on the team this season.

Also in the blog: Sophomore guard Ali Poole, one of the team's best outside shooters, and point guard Naddiyah Cross, who has started 63 games over three seasons despite averaging few than 4 points a game.

The team's 2018 recruiting class will be announced Wednesday. Barring surprising defections, it will include all-state players from Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia. The blog will have a major conversation with Starkey on recruiting later in the week.
11-08-2017 02:42 AM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women announced their recruiting class today. To me, it looks as if it could be the best in school history. On it:

ASIAH DINGLE, a 5-5 point guard who was the top junior on all-state teams in Massachusetts last season. She averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals da game open a state championship team.

HANNAH YOUNG, a 5-10 guard who was Division 3A player of the year in Virginia. She averaged 19.2 points and 7.9 rebounds, and led her team in blocks and steals. She has scored 1,400 points going into her senior year.

LINDSEY THALL, a 6-2 post player from Strongsville. She was honorable mention all-Ohio last season and is listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN. Thall averaged 15 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.

ANNIE PAVLANSKY, a 5-11 shooting guard from Cortland. She averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds before an ankle injury ended her 2016-17 season. Pavlansky was second-team all-state as a sophomore.

MARIAH MODKINS, a 5-1 point guard from Solon. She averaged 5.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals a game on a team that went 24-3.

Coach Todd Starkey and recruiting coordinator Fran Recchia talk in detail on how they put the class together on the blog at http://wbbflashes. Besides a look at some very good players, the interview has a lot of insight into what recruiting is like in 2017.
11-08-2017 09:29 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women open the season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Northern Kentucky. The game is on ESPN3.

NKU was 9-22 last season but has only four players back from that team and just one senior. Three freshmen, including Grayson Rose of Garfield High in Garrettsville, were among seven players who scored in double figures last Saturday in an 94-55 exhibition game victory against NAIA Division II Asbury.

Kent State has four starters back from its MAC East champion team. The one who graduated, of course, is Larissa Lurken, who averaged 23.6 points a game last year and won MAC player of the year honors. Replacing her scoring is task No. 1 for the Flashes. Key person this season is Jordan Korinek, the 6-2 forward who was on the MAC East preseason team for the second year in a row. She averaged 15 points a game last season,18 in the second half, and is the only active 1,000-point scorer in the MAC. But who scores from the perimeter? Top candidates are two 5-11 sophomore guards -- Tyra James, who missed last season with a knee injury but was third on the team in scoring two years ago, and Ali Poole, who as a freshman showed the possibility of being Lurken's heir as a three-point shooter. She made 5 of 5 three-pointers and scored 17 points at Wright State.

The game is the first of a road-heavy non-conference schedule for the Flashes. Kent has only two home games before MAC play. It plays five away games and five games at neutral sites, including two at the Akron Classic next weekend. Last season KSU was 7-7 on the road and 6-6 in the preseason. Overall the Flashes were 19-13.

KSU'x next game is at 5:15 Tuesday at Youngstown State.

Lots more on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com. It's been a big week for the blog. You also can find miniprofiles of key players, a report on Kent's outstanding recruiting class, and a terrific feature from the Kent Stater on 6-4 junior Merissa Barber-Smith, who had a tough road from Chicago to Madison to Kent State.
(This post was last modified: 11-10-2017 08:38 AM by cschierh.)
11-10-2017 08:37 AM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women beat Northern Kentucky 59-54 on the road in their opener, coming from 10 points down in the middle of the third quarter.

They outscored Northern 15-1 over 10 minutes in the middle of the second half.

Except for that and 29 points from senior forward Jordan Korinek, KSU was not impressive. Coach Todd Starkey criticized the team's intensity and effort. Northern outrebounded KSU 21-7 in the first half and 36-21 for the game.

Sophomore guard Ali Poole had 12 points. Forward McKenna Stephens had eight rebounds, and senior guard Naddiyah Cross had six assists and four steals.

Northern Kentucky was 9-22 last season but has a completely different roster with seven freshmen, including three who started. Kent State was 19-13 last year.

Full story is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
(Earlier typo in link has been corrected.)
(This post was last modified: 11-12-2017 12:30 AM by cschierh.)
11-11-2017 05:21 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women will try for a second straight road victory Tuesday at Youngstown State.

This one should be harder than the Flashes' 59-54 victory at Northern Kentucky Saturday, and that one was neither easy nor pretty. KSU did dominate the last quarter and a half to overcome a 10-point deficit.

YSU was 9-21 a year ago and lost to the Flashes in Kent, 75-60. But that team was badly hurt by injuries. By the KSU game, it was missing three starters, none of whom played the rest of the season.

Two of those -- three-point leader Nikki Arbansas and 2016 preseason all-Horizon League selection Sarah Cash -- are back. So are three other players who averaged in double figures last season, and a transfer from Fort Wayne who averaged 10 points there.

YSU lost its open 66-58 Friday at Pittsburgh, a team that went 13-17 last season and graduated its top two scorers.

The games starts at 5:15 and is on ESPN3. It's the first of a double header with the YSU men, who play Franciscan.

Full preview is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-13-2017 11:54 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Kent State fell behind Youngstown State 11-2 after a quarter Tuesday, but dominated the rest of the game to win its second straight, 55-44.

Defense and balanced scoring won the game for the Flashes.

YSU built its game plan around stopping Jordan Korinek, who scored 29 against Northern Kentucky Saturday.

Korinek scored just 10, but Alexa Golden had a career-high 17 points and McKenna Stephens had 16.

KSU's defense held the Penguins to 30 percent shooting and 25 percent on three-pointers, and Youngstown is a team that relies heavily on long-range shooting.

The 44 points were the lowest a Kent State team has allowed since 2011.

Full story is on the blog at http://wbbFlashes.com.
11-14-2017 09:32 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women play Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 4 team in this week's Mid-Major Poll, at 5 p.m. Friday at the JAR in the first game of the Akron Classic tournament.

FGCU is 2-0, having beaten Illinois and Florida International by an average of 30 points. Kent State is also 2-0, with wins over Northern Kentucky and Youngstown State on the road. Both those teams are 0-2.

Kent State beat Florida Gulf Coast 77-64 last year in the Gulf Coast Showcase, a Thanksgiving tournament near the school's campus. It was KSU's best win of the non-conference season. FGCU went on to go 26-9 and beat Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Eagles shoot many, many three-pointers -- 30 to 40 a game. Kent State held Youngstown State and NKU to 5 of 26 on three-point shots. They'll have to be just as good Friday against a much better opponent.

KSU plays Southeastern Louisiana at noon Saturday in the second game of the tournament. On Wednesday, the Flashes fly to Las Vegas for the Play4Kay Showcase, where they'll meet Stanford in the first game on Thanksgiving. Six of the eight teams in the tournament won conference titles last season.

Full preview on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-17-2017 12:31 AM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 4 team in this week's Mid-Major Poll, raced to a 55-29 first-half lead and beat the Flashes 80-62.

The Eagles, 26-9 last season, were as good as advertised in the first half, hitting nine three-pointers and 62 percent of their shots. Kent State couldn't handle anything FGCU did on offense.

In the second half, the Flashes outscored Florida Gulf Coast 33-25, playing much better. But they never got within 15 points.

KSU leading scorer Jordan Korinek picked up two fouls in the game's first 90 seconds but still scored 19 points in 20 minutes. Ali Poole had 11 points and McKenna Stephens 10 rebounds.

The game was the first of the Akron Classic. The Flashes will play Southeastern Louisiana (0-4) at noon Saturday at the JAR. Akron beat Southeastern 66-54 Friday. The Zips will play Florida Gulf Coast after the Kent State game Saturday.

Full game story, including quotes from KSU coach Todd Starkey, is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-17-2017 10:52 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women beat Southeastern Louisiana 81-60 to run their record to 3-1.

That's not as impressive as it sounds; the three teams the Flashes have beaten have a combined record of 1-9. Still, it's Kent State's best start since 2010-11, when it began 6-0.

Jordan Korinek had a career-high 31 points on 9 for 13 shooting and 13 of 14 free throws.

The 81 points were KSU's high for the season, as were the margin of victory (21), shooting percentage (44), rebounding advantage (46-22), assists (14), free throws attempted and made (29 of 35) and blocked shots (7).

Game story, with quotes from Korinek, guard Ali Poole (15 points) and coach Todd Starkey, is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-18-2017 06:22 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The Flashes are in Las Vegas for the Play4Kay Showcase, one of the nation's toughest fall tournaments.

They start with No. 14 Stanford at 8:30 Thanksgiving Day. Friday they'll play either Gonzaga (No. 7 in this week's Mid-Major Poll) or Belmont (No. 8 in the same poll).

Saturday's oppponents could be No. 21 DePaul, No. 9 Ohio State, Florida Gulf Coast (No. 2 in the Mid-Major poll) or Memphis, which is 1-3 and whose associate head coach is Danny O'Banion, the former KSU head coach.

Last year KSU had a similarly tough Thanksgiving tournament in Florida and played well, taking Western Kentucky to overtime and beating Florida Gulf Coast. That success was a huge factor in Kent State's remarkably season that saw them go from 6-23 in 2015-16 to 19-13 last season.

Kent State is 3-1 but hasn't beaten a team that has won more than one game so far.

Full preview and coverage is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
(This post was last modified: 11-22-2017 11:40 PM by cschierh.)
11-22-2017 11:39 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
Kent State lost to No. 14 Stanford 79-54 in a game that's hard to summarize.

The Flashes led after about 14 minutes and outscored Stanford in the third quarter.

But the Cardinal blitzed KSU 24-0 over five minutes in the second quarter and 20-5 over the last nine minutes of the game.

Still it was a decent performance against a team that made the Final Four last season.

Senior forward Jordan Korinek made five of eight three-point shots and led the Flashes with 21 points. She had never taken more than three three-pointers in a game in her career.

Overall, the Flashes made 11 of 30 three-point shots. Eleven is more than they have made in any game for at least six years. Thirty is more than they took in any game last season.

KSU plays Gonzaga, last season's West Coast Conference champion, in their second game in the Play4Kay Showcase inn Las Vegas at 6 p.m. Friday (Kent time).

Full game story is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-24-2017 12:55 AM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women lost to Gonzaga, the No. 7 in this week's Mid-Major rankings, 77-57.

As in all three of KSU's losses this season, the Flashes played two good quarters but were overpowered in the rest of the game. The defeats have all come to very good teams -- both Gonzaga are Florida Gulf Coast are in the top 10 of the Mid-Majors rankings, and Stanford is No. 14 in the country.

Turnovers killed the Flashes, especially in the first quarter when Gonzaga had eight steals and scored 18 points off Kent State mistakes. For the game, the Bulldogs scored 31 points off 20 KSU turnovers.

McKenna Stephens had 18 points for Kent State. Jordan Korinek had 14 and Alexa Golden 11.

The Flashes are 3-3 on the season and play Memphis at 3:30 Saturday (Kent time) in their last game in the Play4Kay Showcase in Las Vegas. Memphis is 1-5; its associate head coach is Danny O'Banion, who was head coach at Kent from 2012 to 2016. Her contract wasn't renewed after she went 18-95 over four years.

Full game story is on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-24-2017 11:21 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The women used terrific fourth-quarter defense to beat Memphis 70-55 in their last game of the Play4Kay Showcase in Las Vegas,

The Flashes held Memphis to 2 of 15 shooting and five points and forced six turnovers in the quarter.

Naddiyah Cross, KSU’s 5-foot-5 point guard, had the first double-double of her career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She also had five assists and one turnover, playing every second of the game.

Jordan Korinek had 25 points on 9 for 13 shooting to lead the Flashes.

Kent State is now 4-3 on the season. Memphis is 1-6.

Full story on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com.
11-25-2017 07:39 PM
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RE: Women's basketball 2017-18
The KSU women (4-3) play their first home game of the season tonight against Detroit Mercy. Game is at 7 p.m. at the MACC.

Detroit is 0-5, but has lost to Michigan State (4-1, Clemson (4-2) Miami of Ohio (3-3), Bowling Green (6-1) by four, and North Texas (2-1).

Kent State has lost to three good teams — No. 16 Stanford. Florida Gulf Coast and Gonzaga (both ranked in Mid-Major Top 25). But the Flashes have beaten have a combined 3-18 record.

Kent State opened with two road wins, then played five tournament games on neutral sites.

Last season Detroit Mercy beat KSU 73-52 in Detroit in what was probably Kent State's worst game of the season.

Jordan Korinek leads Kent in scoring at 21.2 points a game, which is second in the MAC.

Despite the graduation of Larissa Lurken, who set an NCAA record for most free throws made in a season last year, Kent State is third in the nation in team free throws made.

Full preview on the blog at http://wbbflashes.com
11-29-2017 11:00 PM
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