Golden’s strong first half leads Flashes to road win over EMU


Senior Alexa Golden makes a shot during Wednesdays game against Western MI. Kent State won the game 55-51.

Gina Butkovich

Despite beating Eastern Michigan 67-54 on Wednesday, the Kent State women’s basketball team is still looking for the ever-elusive “perfect” game.

“We’re just searching for consistency,” coach Todd Starkey said. “It’s been up and down. We’re finding ways to win games, but our best basketball is still ahead of us. Hopefully we can still make that happen before the end of the season. ”

The Flashes got over .500 in conference play with the win, improving their record to 13-9 and 6-5 in the Mid-American Conference. Eastern Michigan fell to 10-12 and 3-8 in the MAC.

The Flashes won despite Eastern Michigan scoring 19 points off turnovers.

“Our first quarter, I thought, was incredibly sloppy,” Starkey said. “We had seven first quarter turnovers and five missed layups in the beginning. My job is to coach us to our best, and I’m really pleased with the win. We had some moments that we played some really good basketball and did some really nice things.”

Even with the win, Starkey knows the Flashes will need to put together a more complete effort if they want to make a deep run in March.

“If the goal is to get to the top of the league and play into the top four to get a by to Cleveland, then we’re going to have to continue to play better,” Starkey said.

The second and third quarter saw the Eagles only score five points off turnovers. Kent State struggled again in the fourth, however, with the Eagles recording  seven more points off turnovers.

Despite these issues, the Flashes kept the lead for almost 38 minutes, thanks in part to senior guard Alexa Golden. Golden had 17 points, all of which came in the first half.

“In the first half I noticed they weren’t really guarding me, and if they aren’t going to guard me on the three point line, I’m going to shoot it,” Golden said in her postgame radio interview.

And shoot it she did, making 60 percent of her attempted three pointers.

Golden chalked up her second half shutout to that Eastern Michigan “started to guard her in the second half.”

Golden contributed to the defensive efforts as well, holding Eastern Michigan senior guard Daniell Minott  to five points. Minott came in averaging 15 points per game.

“We wanted to try and get her in foul trouble and move our feet, stay in front of her, and make her take tough shots,” Golden said. “Not stop her from scoring, but make her take tough shots, and it seemed to work tonight.”

Golden finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, the first double-double for the Flashes this season. 

“I thought she was the only player that played good from start to finish,” Starkey said about Golden. “I thought other players showed up at times when we needed them to, but as far as a consistent effort from start to finish I thought she was the best.”

Kent State returns home to play Bowling Green on Saturday. The Eagles got their first conference win Wednesday against Buffalo.

“They’ve been a team that has been on the brink of getting that first conference win a number of times, and this is going to do nothing but give them a big time boost coming into our place,” Starkey said. “We don’t take anyone for granted, I don’t care what their record is. Everybody in the MAC is well coached and is a very good team.”

Gina Butkovich is a sports reporter. Contact her a [email protected].