Third quarter disaster at WMU sinks Flashes in third straight loss

Sean Blevins Sports Reporter

The Kent State women’s basketball team (7-6, 6-4 Mid-American Conference) had a solid first quarter, but imploded offensively and lost 71-58 to Western Michigan University (4-13, 3-12 MAC).

Kent has now lost three games in a row after starting conference play 6-1 and have fallen from first place in the MAC to eighth over the course of two weeks.

The Flashes jumped out to a 19-12 lead over the Broncos after the first quarter despite shooting 2-10 on three-pointers and just 8-18 from the field. Junior forward Lindsay Thall and sophomore Clare Kelly led the team with five points each in the quarter. 

KSU started off hot in the first three minutes of the second quarter and went up 26-17 before Western Michigan scored 10 points straight to take a 27-26 lead with 3:34 left in the quarter. 

The Broncos took a 31-30 halftime lead as they outscored the Flashes 19-11 in the second quarter.

The Flashes shot 3-15 from three in the first half and 12-32 from the field. Thall and Kelly finished the half with eight points each. Sophomore forward Nila Blackford added six points and four rebounds. 

WMU scored the first seven points of the third quarter to go up eight before sophomore Katie Shumate knocked down a pair of free throws. KSU scored only two points in the first seven minutes of the quarter and found themselves down 46-32. By the end of the quarter, the Flashes were down 52-35, having only scored five points and giving up 21.  

KSU recovered in the fourth quarter as they outscored WMU 23-19, but it was not enough to overcome the hole the Flashes had dug themselves. 

Kent State finished 7-25 from three-point range and 20-58 from the field with 18 turnovers and just six assists. 

Thall and Blackford led Kent State with 14 points each. Thall was 4-7 from three and grabbed seven rebounds and a steal. 

Blackford extended her double-double streak to five games by combining her 14 points with 12 rebounds.

The final Flash to score in double digits was sophomore Clare Kelly, who had 13 points, four rebounds and a steal.

Kent State will complete a three-game road trip with back-to-back games on Feb. 20 and 21 at Northern Illinois University (11-6, 9-3 MAC). 

Sean is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]