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Weekend recap: Women’s basketball splits matches in Daytona Beach Classic

Yasmeen Matthews
Kent State Women’s Basketball team after their win over Central Michigan on Feb. 8, 2023.

The Kent State women’s basketball team is now 3-2 after splitting its games in the Daytona Beach Classic.

KSU lost to Chattanooga 64-54 on Friday and defeated Missouri 67-64 on Saturday. 

Against Chattanooga (6-1), Kent State had a season-high 32 points in the paint but struggled with scoring jump shots, finishing 2-of-22 from behind the three-point arc. 

KSU opened the game on an 18-11 run; however, the Mocs made a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, cutting the lead to 18-14.

The Flashes were outscored 15-4 in the second quarter, as they missed their final 10 shots to end the half.

The score was now 29-22.

After cutting the deficit to 31-26, the Mocs went on an 8-0 run, pushing their lead to double digits. 

The Flashes held Chattanooga without a field goal for the final four minutes of the third quarter, making the score 48-36. 

During the fourth quarter, the KSU defense forced six turnovers and three made field goals, and with one minute remaining in the game, the score was 59-52. 

However, the Mocs scored the following five points, putting the game away.

Freshman Janae Tyler scored a career-high 14 points. Graduate student Mikala Morris finished with 12 points.

Redshirt senior Katie Shumate had 10 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

The team’s 54 points are the fewest it has scored this season.

For the final game on Saturday, the Flashes competed against Missouri (5-2).

“I was really pleased with the way our team responded when we didn’t play a very good game,” coach Todd Starkey said. “I was really proud of the way they stepped up; they listened to the game plan, and it was a great win over a power five team.”

After being held scoreless against Chattanooga, sophomore Corynne Hauser recorded 17 points and a career-high eight assists.

“She knew she didn’t play well, and for her to follow up, especially against that good of a team, and be able to have that type of performance is a really monumental thing. It was great to see,” Starkey said. 

KSU opened the game, making nine of its first 16 shots to take a 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After converting on eight of its first nine shots, the Tigers took a 31-30 lead with four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

KSU’s defense held Missouri scoreless for the remainder of the half, and the score after 20 minutes was 49-47 Tigers. 

After a back-and-fourth third quarter, the Tigers went on a 10-2 scoring run, building their lead to 47-42 with one minute remaining in the third quarter. 

During the final minute, the Flashes went on a 7-2 scoring run and went into the fourth quarter trailing 49-47.

With six minutes remaining in the game, Kent State trailed 60-53; however, the Tigers would not make a field goal for the rest of the game.

Over the next four minutes, the Flashes scored 11 unanswered points, taking a 63-60 lead.

After Missouri converted on four free throws, KSU trailed 64-63 with 19 seconds remaining in the game. 

Hauser got the inbounds pass, beating her defender on the baseline, and converted a layup to take a 65-64 lead with 12.3 seconds left. 

This was the second time in her career she made a go-ahead layup in the final 15 seconds of a game. 

“She did a great job of driving the ball to the basket,” Starkey said. “I’m proud of her for taking the initiative at the end of the game.”

Starkey was proud of the way his team competed throughout the game.

“They are a good team, and we didn’t give in,” he said. “We didn’t give up on ourselves, and we didn’t get down on ourselves. I was really pleased with their consistency and effort.” 

Graduate student Mikala Morris had her best game with Kent State, scoring a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds.

“I thought she really stepped her game up,” Starkey said. “She’s been trending in that direction, so I wasn’t surprised, but I was really pleased to see it, and all her teammates were pretty excited about it.”

On Wednesday, the Flashes will compete against Coppin State (3-4) for their home opener. 

The Eagles average 58.4 points per game and allow 63.9 points. 

Kent State has scored 64 or more points in four of its five games.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.

“Our focus is to enjoy this one and then get some rest,” Starkey said. “We are excited about getting home and continuing to improve.”

Emily Lowen is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Yasmeen Matthews, Assistant Photo Editor
Yasmeen is a sophomore Photography Major and KentWired's Assistant Photo Editor. She enjoys taking photos of the various sports teams as well as student life on Kent's campus. Contact her @[email protected].

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