Women’s basketball upends Western Michigan

Kent+State+senior+forward+Larissa+Lurken+drives+into+the+lane+against+Northern+Illinois+University+senior+guard+Ally+Lehman+at+the+M.A.C.+Center+on+Wednesday%2C+Jan+11%2C+2017.

Kent State senior forward Larissa Lurken drives into the lane against Northern Illinois University senior guard Ally Lehman at the M.A.C. Center on Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017.

Henry Palattella

The Achilles’ heel of the women’s basketball team over the past couple years has been the fact they’ve made a habit of digging themselves into early holes that they can’t crawl out of.

For the first 20 minutes of their game against Western Michigan University, it looked like history was going to repeat itself.

“Once again, this team is really doing a good job of making the right adjustments at halftime,” coach Todd Starkey told Kent State Athletics after the game. “We were really struggling and were fortunate to go in at halftime down 11.  We made some adjustments and… They did a really good job of executing that.”

But the Flashes (9-9, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) reversed history Wednesday night, as they came back from an 11-point halftime deficit to upset Western Michigan (13-4, 4-2 Mid-American Conference).

The Flashes clawed back into the game much in part to senior guard Larissa Lurken, who again started for the Flashes, scoring 13 of her 26 points in the second half to help put the Flashes on top. Junior forward McKenna Stephens stepped up with nine points, none of which were bigger than her three-pointer with over six minutes remaining that gave Kent a 64-63 lead.

Freshman guard Ali Poole made easily her biggest bucket as a Flash with 4:36 left, as she made a layup that gave Kent a 57-55 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. Reigning MAC East player of the Week Jordan Korinek played well too, finishing with 15 points on six of nine shooting, and she also started the game by scoring the Flashes first eight points.

Senior guard Meredith Shipman led the Broncos with 21 points on seven made field goals, six of which were three-pointers. Sophomore Deja Wimby chipped in with 17 points of her own, but she also fouled out with just over a minute left.

The Flashes biggest victory of the night came on the glass, as the Flashes outrebounded the Broncos 41 to 28, 11 of which were grabbed by sophomore guard Merissa Barber-Smith. Barber-Smith only got better as the game went on, as 10 of her rebounds came in the fourth quarter.

The Flashes will be back in action this Saturday when they welcome MAC West rival Toledo to the M.A.C. Center. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

Henry Palattella is the sports editor, contact him at [email protected]