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Published: Sunday, 2/20/2005

UT women struggle in many categories


A basketball team that doesn't shoot particularly well is behind the 8-ball from the start.

When that problem is compounded by surrendering 26 points after turnovers and being soundly handled on the boards, you have the University of Toledo's women in a 60-51 loss yesterday to Kent State at Savage Hall.

The Rockets shot 37 per cent from the floor, right about at their season average.

But the other numbers were too much to overcome as UT fell to 12-12 overall and 8-5 in Mid-American Conference play.

"The shooting is nothing new," said UT coach Mark Ehlen, whose team dipped to 5-6 at home this season with three of the losses coming in league play.

"We just haven't had much consistency shooting the ball.

"Frankly, Kent hasn't been a real high-scoring team either, but they made the most of our turnovers. We couldn't afford that many mistakes. We were very careless with the basketball for most of the game."

The Rockets turned the ball over 23 times, 11 of those coming on Kent steals. Melissa DeGrate, who led all scorers with 27 points, had five steals for the Flashes (16-8, 9-4) and also chipped in with seven rebounds as Kent took a 39-31 edge on the boards.

"We hold [Lindsay] Shearer, their leading scorer, to four points and DeGrate gets loose for 27," Ehlen said, shaking his head.

Karin Hoogendam scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead UT.

Kent's half-court pressure obviously bothered the Rockets, who shot 16-of-43 from the floor, including a chilly 4-of-15 from 3-point range. Top scorer Danielle Bishop was 2-of-11 and 1-of-5, respectively.

The Rockets made just seven field goals in the first half, after which they trailed 33-22, and were behind by as many as 16 points in the second half.

UT trimmed its deficit to five points with 0:32 to play, but could come no closer.

"I thought we gave a sound defensive effort for the most part," Ehlen said.

"But there were so many possessions when we'd do everything right for 25 seconds and then give up a layup or foul somebody with one second left on the [shot] clock.

"A team that's struggling to score has to finish the defensive effort and we didn't do that."

With three games - including back-to-back road tests at Ball State and Bowling Green this week - remaining in the regular season, Ehlen said he has very little interest in the standings.

"We can't worry about that," he said. "We have to worry about us. I just want this team to play better."

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