Relentless Flashes drub Broncos

By Don Dreger Record-Courier assistant sports edit Published:

In Thursday's press conference after the Kent State women's basketball team beat Central Michigan in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center, the question was asked if the Golden Flashes were ever going to blow an opponent out in the beginning of the game.

On Saturday, the question was answered with an exclamation point.

The Flashes blistered the nets in the first five minutes of the game and had a 19-5 lead against Western Michigan in the MAC Center and went on to deliver a 98-62 victory. The Flashes are now 11-0 in the Mid-American Conference and 13-6 overall. Western Michigan dropped to 4-15 and 2-9.

Senior Carrie Templin stepped forward and scored 12 of her 13 points in that span and set the tone for the day. It was terminated when sophomore Jessica Wheeler tossed in a jumper to finish the scoring.

"Templin came out of the gate fast," said Kent State coach Bob Lindsay. "I think that is what she wanted to do. I was surprised they came out in a zone and played it the whole game. We were able to look for the 3-pointer and make a few. We had a few just sit on the rim that could have gone in.

"Everything about the game was good. Our assist-turnover ratio (21-21) was good, we forced 37 turnovers and shot well from the free-throw line (29-of-36). Our field-goal percentage was decent, .470 for the game. I can't pick out too many bad things, except for one player fouling out in nine minutes."

First-year Western Michigan coach Ron Stewart said the style of play told the tale early in the game.

"The game was very physical," said Stewart. "It made it tough on us. Kent does a lot of things well that a good basketball team should. They move, penetrate well and shoot well. They are a pressure type of ballclub."

It was so physical that 62 fouls were called, 36 on Kent State. In fact, four players fouled out.

But that is the type of game that Kent State feeds on.

"Our ability to play physical helps us," said senior guard Ashley Bland, who started the game with a 3-pointer. "We practice that way, so it is nothing unusual.

"When they played a zone against us, it opened a lot things for us. Carrie was able to look for her shot and she is a good shooter."

Templin wasn't happy with her play against Central Michigan.

"I decided to play harder," said the preseason pick for player of the year in the MAC. "Things just opened for us."

Lindsay was asked if the pressure was on because the Flashes are undefeated in the conference.

"We didn't expect to go undefeated in league play" said Lindsay. "It is not a goal but an opportunity. We talk about it all the time.

"We have a tough two weeks ahead with Toledo and Eastern Michigan on the road and then Miami here, followed by Bowling Green on the road."

After Kent State banged away to a 19-5 lead, the Flashes kept up the pressure. The fullcourt press took its toll on the Broncos. With Alana Bader, Bland and Dawn Zerman double-teaming, the Broncos fell to pieces. Two foul shots by Bader pushed the lead out to 25-5 at 11:42.

Lindsay kept throwing the Kent State team out on the floor in waves to wear out the Broncos. It was effective as Western Michigan freshman star Shelesa Erving, who scored 34 points against Akron last Thursday, was held to two points in 26 minutes. The press took her out of her halfcourt game, according to Stewart.

By halftime, the Flashes had built a 50-27 lead.

The second half was more of the same. After a slow start, a flurry of points expanded the lead to 30 points at the 10:00 mark.

But the game did drag on as both teams were in the 10-foul bonus situation at 9:57. It was a foul-shooting contest, with Kent State fairing better than Western Michigan, which made only 27-of-45.

Once again, Kent State had balanced scoring. Carrie Nance was high with 15 points, followed by Bader with 14, Bland with 11 and Liz Beggs with 10.

Star Harris was tops for Western Michigan with 15.

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