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Women’s basketball struggles late against No. 15 Florida State

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

The Kent State women’s basketball team shot 18-of-73 in its Dec. 3 game against No. 15 Florida State (6-2) in Tallahassee.

“I can’t remember a game I’ve coached where we missed so many layups,” coach Todd Starkey said. 

Three quarters into the game, the score was 51-39 because of the rebounding efforts of KSU junior forward Bridget Dunn and redshirt senior guard Katie Shumate. 

As a team, Kent State (4-3) won the rebounding battle 53-31 and limited the Seminoles to two second-chance points. 

Dunn finished the game with a career-high 12 rebounds, and Shumate grabbed nine rebounds. 

“Overall, it was definitely a winnable game for us,” Starkey said. “We had our chances, had our opportunities, and kind of let this one slip away late.” 

KSU started the game by making only two of its first 15 shots, but in the final two minutes of the first quarter, the Flashes outscored FSU 10-0, taking a 14-11 lead. 

After Kent State took a 19-16 lead early in the second quarter, the Seminoles went on a 15-5 scoring run to end the first half, taking a 31-24 lead. 

Florida State pulled ahead by double digits early in the third quarter – then the Flashes scored six consecutive points, making the deficit 41-35. 

Throughout the rest of the game, KSU shot 4-of-23.

“Overall, I just thought we were off offensively as far as finishing shots,” Starkey said. “We let missed shots affect us at the defensive end of the floor throughout the third and fourth quarters.”

One “bright spot” for the team was Dunn, Starkey said. 

“She was rebounding the ball last year as well before she got hurt,” he said. “She has really changed her game in that way in the last couple of years, and I’m really proud of her.”

Up next

The Flashes will travel to Pittsburgh to play Duquesne (3-3) at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Dukes average 63.8 points per game and allow 65. The Flashes have scored more than 65 points in two of their previous three games. 

Duquesne has three players who average more than ten points a game. Senior guard Amaya Hamilton leads the team with 13.5. 

Last season, The Flashes lost to Duquesne, 67-73. 

“We have to be more consistent,” Starkey said. “If we are more consistent moving forward, then there isn’t a team on the rest of our schedule that we can’t or shouldn’t beat.” 

Seven games in

Kent State opened the season with a win, but shortly after, the team was defeated by defending NCAA champion Louisiana State University. 

At halftime, the Flashes trailed 39-37 and then allowed 70 points in the second half, losing 109-79.

Junior forward Jenna Batsch scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds against LSU this season.

The Flashes followed that game with a 64-57 win against Xavier.

The team traveled to Florida Nov. 24 to compete in the Daytona Beach Classic. 

Kent State lost 64-54 to Chattanooga in the opening game and won its last game against Missouri 67-64. 

The Flashes have only played one home game this season — they defeated Coppin State 77-40.

Team leaders

Shumate leads the team in scoring (10.9 per game) and rebounding (7.4)

Batsch is the only other Flash averaging more than 10 points per game at 10.6.

Dunn has recorded the most three-pointers at 14.

New transfer student Mikala Morris has been a great new addition to the Flashes after coming here from Quinnipiac University. She averages nine points per game.

Morris scored 18 points and had nine rebounds against Missouri.

Looking ahead 

Kent State has three out-of-conference games remaining: Duquesne (Dec. 10), Lake Erie (Dec. 19) and La Roche (Dec. 30)

The Flashes will open their Mid-American Conference on the road against Buffalo at 6 p.m. Jan. 3.

KSU was selected to finish third in the 2023-24 MAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll. 

The Flashes will face defending MAC champions Toledo on at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 in the M.A.C. Center. The Rockets were picked to win the regular season and conference title. 

Kent State and Akron will face off for the first time this season at 2 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Rhodes Arena. The Zips were picked to finish sixth in the conference.

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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