Women’s basketball drops last-second heartbreaker


Senior center CiCi Shannon tries to pass the ball through heavy Miami defensive coverage in the M.A.C. Center on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The flashes were only down by 6 at the half, but fell flat the second half to fall to Redhawks 69-53, dropping their record to 3-19.

Quentin Smith

Box Score

The Kent State women’s basketball team went toe-to-toe with in-state rival Akron on Wednesday night. The game was even all night as both teams took turns making scoring runs.

But a late shift in momentum changed the course of the game for good.

With 1:45 left in the game, sophomore guard Larissa Lurken made a free throw to pull her team within one point, 51-52, and a possession later, she made two crucial free throws to give her team a narrow 53-52 lead.  

On the following possession, Akron pushed the ball up the court and got it to their leading scorer Sina King, who scored a layup and drew a foul call on the play.

King went on to the miss the free throw, and with 4.8 seconds left, forward McKenna Stephens grabbed the rebound, took two dribbles and hoisted up a half-court heave for the game-winner, only to have it come up short and end the game at 54-53.

“Both teams struggled at times offensively, but at the end of the day, they had one more play than we did to make, and they made it,” coach Danielle O’Banion said.

The Flashes (5-20, 3-11 Mid-American Conference) were hurt early on in the game when their second leading scorer, redshirt senior center CiCi Shannon, had to sit out due to foul trouble. Even with Shannon on the bench, the team still picked up her slack defensively.  

The Flashes came up with seven steals on the night and held their opponent to just 30 percent shooting. Redshirt junior guard Melanee Stubbs said the team locked in on personnel Wednesday.

“I was the ball-hawk tonight to try and slow them down, because they like to push in transition,” Stubbs said.  “Our goal was to slow them down and make them play in the half court set up.”

Rebounding plagued the Flashes the most Wednesday night, especially on the offensive end. The team gave up a total of 17 offensive rebounds, which led to nine second-chance points for Akron.

Kent State was one player short from its usual rotation as sophomore guard Krista White was out with an injury that O’Banion described as a “bum wheel” and is listed as day-to-day. The team received 15 points from the bench tonight in her absence.

Lurken paced the team with 11 points, while Stubbs added 10 points and senior guard Mikell Chinn dished out 11 assists.

The team will hit the road again this Saturday when they travel to take on Miami at 1 p.m.

Contact Quentin Smith at [email protected].