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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Let’s dance: Women’s basketball to play Notre Dame in first round of NCAA Tournament

Jacob Shondel
The Purcell Pavilion, home of Notre Dame women’s basketball team.

The Kent State women’s basketball team enters the NCAA Tournament as the No. 15 seed and will take on the No. 2 seed University of Notre Dame in the first round, tipping off at 2:15 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion. 

The Flashes, led by redshirt senior guard Katie Shumate and junior forwards Jenna Batsch and Bridget Dunn, defeated Buffalo 78-60 in the Mid-American Conference championship to punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament. 

The win was the first conference championship for coach Todd Starkey, as the Flashes earned a spot in March Madness for the first time since 2002. 

Shumate earned MAC tournament MVP and a spot on the all-tournament team alongside Dunn. 

The Fighting Irish went 13-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and were 26-6 overall for the season. This season, they earned their sixth conference championship, defeating NC State 55-51. 

The Flashes went 13-5 in the MAC and were 21-10 on the season, earning their fourth conference tournament title.

Since the 1994-1995 season, just three freshmen have earned a spot on the First Team Associated Press All-American team. 

Two freshmen were selected this season – Notre Dame’s Hannah Hidalgo and USC’s JuJu Watkins.

Hidalgo is currently ranked fifth in the nation and leads women’s college basketball in steals per game with an average of 4.6. 

She earned ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, being one of only three players in the conference’s history to earn both honors in their first season. 

Hidalgo and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark are the only two major conference players to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists a game. 

Also leading the Fighting Irish are First-Team All-ACC tournament players senior Maddy Westbeld and junior Sonia Citron. 

The two programs have met once before, with the Fighting Irish winning 66-41 in 1996 – which was also the last time the Flashes advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kelsie Horner is assistant managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Kelsie Horner, Assistant Managing Editor
Kelsie is a senior journalism major with a minor in communications. In her three semesters at KentWired, she has served as a Digital Tech, Digital Editor and Assistant Managing Editor.
Contact her at [email protected].
Jacob Shondel, Sports Editor
Jacob is a senior journalism major. He enjoys writing about sports and has previously covered women’s lacrosse and soccer. Contact him at [email protected].

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