Record-Courier staff report
The Kent State women's basketball team opened Mid-American Conference play on Saturday and were handed an 88-70 defeat by the visiting Eastern Michigan Eagles.
Eastern Michigan (11-1, 1-0 MAC) opened up a lead as big as 22 points in the first half, which KSU cut to 16 by halftime, then shrunk it to as few as 11 at one point in the second half.
The Flashes (3-9, 0-1 MAC), however, failed to drop their deficit into single-digits, despite a career-best 17 points from freshman Krista White. White shot 6-of-9 from the field for her point production.
Kent State also received double-doubles from CiCi Shannon (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Montia Johnson (11 points, 12 rebounds).
"I feel positive about our second-half performance," said Kent State's second-year head coach Danielle O'Banion. "I thought there were some good things we could take away from that second half. It could have been a very competitive game if we would have avoided turning the ball over 13 times in the first half."
Protecting the ball was a recurring issue for Kent State, which totaled 27 turnovers.
Another KSU freshman, Larissa Lurken, followed White in scoring with 15 points, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
"Earlier this week I was talking about how Krista and Larissa have really found their voices," said O'Banion. "So it's not surprising to see Krista have a game like she had."
"At the same time, she can't have five turnovers if she is going to play 31 minutes like this," O'Banion said.
"But that's one of the many great game-teaching points we can take from this one."