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Kent State’s Lurken, Starkey Receive MAC’s Biggest Postseason Awards
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced its women’s basketball postseason awards on March 7, with Kent State University senior guard Larissa Lurken being named Player of the Year and head coach Todd Starkey being named Coach of the Year.
Jordan Korinek also was honored as she was named to the All-MAC Second Team.
Lurken is the first Kent State Golden Flash to receive the MAC’s highest honor since Lindsay Shearer was given the title in 2006. Starkey is Kent State’s first Coach of the Year recipient since Bob Lindsay received the vote in 1998.
Lurken has set herself apart as one of the nation’s best players this season. She currently ranks No. 3 in the country in points per game and leads in free throws made and attempted. The Cottage Grove, Minnesota, native is on the verge of breaking Kent State’s single season scoring average and is 25 points away from breaking the program’s total points record for a single season. Both records are held by Bonnie Beachy who posted 732 points and 21.5 points per game during the 1980-1981 season. Lurken became the 20th 1,000 point scorer in Kent State history this year while she has shattered the program’s career records for three pointers and will end ranked in the top 10 in numerous other categories. She has proven to be the consummate student-athlete as she was named an Academic All-American last week.
Starkey has put together the best turnaround for any team this season as he took a six-win team to a current 19-11 record. The 2016-2017 squad has surpassed its win total from the last three seasons combined and has the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2010. The team has made the biggest RPI jump in the country this season, up 226 spots to its current position of 92.
Korinek has put together her finest season during her junior campaign by averaging 15.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. She also became a 1,000 career point scorer this season and was named an Academic All-American for holding a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Korinek was named All-MAC Honorable Mention in 2016 as a sophomore.
The Kent State Golden Flashes will look to continue their success as the No. 3 seed when they begin play in the 2017 MAC Tournament on March 8 in Cleveland.