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Third quarter onslaught guides women’s basketball past Coppin State

Yasmeen Matthews
Mikala Morris rings the victory bell on Nov. 29, 2023 after the Golden Flashes win the game against Coppin State University.

After starting the season with five consecutive road games, the Kent State women’s basketball team played in front of a home crowd Wednesday. 

The Flashes (4-2) defeated Coppin State (3-5) 77-40.

“It’s been quite the last nine or ten days with a lot of traveling,” coach Todd Starkey said. “It kind of showed in the first quarter when we got off to a slow start and struggled to find our rhythm.’

Kent State Golden Flashes cheer after a three-point shot in the game against Coppin State Eagles on Nov. 29, 2023. (Yasmeen Matthews)

During the first six minutes of the first quarter, KSU was 1-of-7 from the field and allowed six offensive rebounds.

“One of our big points of emphasis with this team was that we need to keep them off the offensive glass,” Starkey said. “That was obviously something that we focused on during the time out, and really let the team know we needed to change that.”

Throughout the rest of the game, the Flashes limited the Eagles to only one offensive rebound. 

During the second quarter, KSU forced seven turnovers, scoring nine points off turnovers to take a 30-16 halftime lead. 

“Defense has been a big emphasis for us and being connected and talking and just playing hard,” redshirt senior guard Katie Shumate said. “I like the way we’re playing with a lot of energy.”

Kent State took control of the game during the third quarter, outscoring CSU 26-7 and taking a 56-23 lead into the fourth quarter. 

A big part of the team coming back offensively was graduate student Mikala Morris. She was the leading scorer for the second game in a row and finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

“I think it all starts with how hard we go in practice and how we treat every practice like a game and pay attention to our scouts,” Morris said. “It wasn’t our best start, obviously, but how we ended was great.

Redshirt senior Katie Shumate blocks a Coppin State University player in the game on Nov. 29, 2023. (Yasmeen Matthews)

“We knew we could do better, so that’s what we did.”

Redshirt senior Katie Shumate finished the game with 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Establishing the paint was also a crucial part of the Flashes game tonight and what helped them win the game.

KSU ended the game with 36 points in the paint.

“Both Morris and Janae Tyler are really doing a great job of establishing the paint,” Starkey said. “We wanted to play through them and then look for good shots off of that.” 

Freshman Janae Tyler had eight points and has been performing exceptionally well, Starkey said. 

‘The sky’s the limit with her, and she’s still kind of coming into her own,” he said. “When she goes in and is productive and does really nice things for us. I’m really excited about her future.”

The Flashes will now travel to Tallahassee, Florida, taking on No. 15 Florida State on Sunday.

Tip off is at 2 p.m. 

Freshman Janae Tyler holds onto the ball as Coppin State University’s defensive players attempt to steal it during the game on November 29, 2023. (Yasmeen Matthews)

The Seminoles are 5-1 on the season and have three wins by 35 or more points.

“They are very talented, and they are beating people big, and they are going to be confident playing at home,” Starkey said. “We’re excited about the opportunity, and our players realize this, but they came here because they wanted those types of opportunities.”

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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