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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Offense keeps rolling for women’s basketball, winning three of last four

Brittany Lucia
Mikala Morris making a 2-point shot during the Kent State women’s basketball game on Jan. 24, 2024.

Over the past six games against Eastern Michigan, the Kent State women’s basketball team has scored over 70 points four times. 

On Wednesday, the Flashes (17-8, 12-3 MAC) notched their seventh consecutive win when they defeated the Eagles 76-64.

“We looked really good at times, and other times we didn’t look as good as I would like for us to,” Coach Todd Starkey said. “Teams like that are dangerous when they’re playing with nothing to lose at the end of the season, and we faced a few teams like that here recently.”

KSU has scored 70 or more points in six consecutive games – the longest stretch of the season.

Kent State made eighth of its first 10 shots, and led 18-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Despite shooting 3-of-14 in the second quarter, they led 30-28 at the half.

Kent improved offensively after halftime, scoring 31 points on 61.1% shooting, pushing the lead to 15.

Redshirt senior guard Katie Shumate scored a team-high of 10 points during the quarter and was 6-of-6 from the free throw line. 

Eastern Michigan (6-20, 2-13 MAC) started the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run. Junior forward Jenna Batsch tallied seven points on 2-of-3 shooting to lead the Flashes, sealing the victory.

Shumate had a game-high of 23 points and nine rebounds, but she had to leave the game with two minutes remaining with a lower-body injury.

“We’ll get back, get her evaluated tomorrow and see where she is after the bus ride home,” Starkey said. “So I’m gonna remain optimistic.”

Batsch reached the 20-point plateau for the third time this season, finishing with 21 – she has scored in double-figures in 14 of her last 15 games. 

“Jenna had a great game. When she plays within herself, she’s a really tough player to defend,” Starkey said. “So I was really pleased with the way she played.”

Sophomore guard Dionna Gray has been playing major minutes for the Flashes after sophomore guard Corryne Hauser got injured.

Gray had a season-high 12 points, a career-high nine rebounds, and five assists. 

“She’s a capable scorer. She can get downhill and score,” Starkey said. “Defensively, she’s solid all the way around, and she doesn’t lead teams to bully her because of her size.

“To have nine rebounds against one of the top rebounding teams in the league, I think it shows what her effort looks like.”

Gray had spent time in the summer practicing with the team, so this made the transition to the actual game easier. 

“She played valuable minutes with that group, and I think that made the adjustments so much easier,” Starkey said. “That was great preparation for what she’s doing now, but like I said, she’s a different type of player than Corrine, but she’s a very good player”.

Up next, The Flashes will return to the M.A.C Center for senior day on March 2 to play Buffalo (16-10, 9-6 MAC) tip off is at 1 p.m.

Kent State won the last time they played the Bulls 73-64 on Jan. 3. 

Redshirt senior guard Chellia Watson averages 23.1 points for Buffalo, which is fifth in the nation. 

KSU has three seniors, including Shumate, guard Abby Ogle and center Mikala Morris.

Shumate averages the most points per game (15.2), and the most rebounds (7.1).

Ogle has been on the team for three years. She averages 2.5 points per game and 2.7 rebounds.

Morris spent the last four years at Quinnipiac. In her first season with the Flashes, she is fourth on the team in scoring (8.2 average) and third on the team in rebounding (4.5 average). 

“We have the toughest finish in the conference with Buffalo, Ball State and Toledo,” Starkey said. “So we got three really tough games ahead of us, which will be great preparation for us for the tournament.”

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

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