Lurken scores career high in historic win over Northern Illinois


Freshman guard Tyra James passes the ball to sophomore guard Naddiyah Cross in a game against Northern Illinios on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The Flashes won 95-85.

Eric Pitcher

Despite the late surge from Northern Illinois University (8-11, 1-7 Mid American Conference) the Kent State women’s basketball team (4-14, 1-7 MAC) snapped their 10-game losing streak in historic fashion. Junior guard Larissa Lurken made history as she went 7-for-8 from behind the three-point line (tying a Kent State record) and had a game-high/career record 37 points. Lurken also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, adding a double-double to her record.

“I wish I could tell you I was surprised that Larissa played this way with our backs against the wall, but I’m not,” Coach Danielle O’ Banion said, of the junior’s performance.

In the fourth quarter, Northern Illinois was determined to fight their way back into the game one way or another. The Huskies weren’t just going to give it to the Flashes, they were going to make them earn it. And Kent State earned it, missing only two free throws throughout the game and shooting 22-of-24 from the line. It wasn’t only the foul shooting, though, it was also earned on the glass as the Flashes out rebounded the Huskies 44-33.

“We did a good job preserving our lead from the free throw line.” O’ Banion said.

Leading by as much as 20 points when the buzzer sounded to mark the end of the third quarter, it appeared as though the game was already over and the Flashes had it in the bag. But, that was anything but the truth. The Huskies came out in the fourth quarter clawing and fighting their way back into game. Cutting the Flashes’ lead down to as little as 5 points, time looked like it was never going to run out.

“The clock simply did not move fast enough down the stretch,” O’ Banion said.

Northern Illinois used their last timeout with 1:56 left to make it a race against the clock. Despite starting the night slow and going 0-of-7 from deep, the Huskies’ Mikayla Voigt turned it on late when she needed it. Hitting three, 3-pointers late in the third, she would finish the game with 19. She wasn’t alone in the comeback effort, though, as the Huskies’ Ally Lehman, who has averaged 12.2 point per game and 11.3 rebounds per game, added a double-double, pitching in 22 points and pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds. 

Fending off the brutal comeback from the Huskies, the Flashes were able to escape defeat, ending their brutal 10-game losing streak. Kent State looks to carry this momentum into Saturday as the women take on Western Michigan University at the MAC Center. Tip-off is at 2 p.m.