After early lead, Flashes deliver victory down stretch at Ohio

Taylor Rosen

In a game where Kent State led for the majority of the contest, it was forced to execute late in the game to hold on and defeat Ohio 69-64.

“We were never out of the woods in this game because Ohio shoots the three ball really well,” Kent State head coach Danielle O’Banion said during the postgame show on iHeartRadio. “They were able to get themselves the ball back late in the game by flopping a bit. I’m really happy for our team to earn a road win tonight though. Ashley really did seal it off for us from the free throw line, which was good to see, and that is something you expect from a senior point guard.”

The Flashes (7-21, 4-13 MAC) had four players finish the game scoring in double-digits.

Senior guard Ashley Evans led the Flashes in scoring with 18, and she made four consecutive free throws down the stretch to help fend off a late Ohio run. Junior forward Montia Johnson had a double-double performance, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

“Montia is an effort based player, and I’ve said that before,” O’Banion said. “It’s awesome that she found a way to impact the game without us necessarily running a whole bunch of plays for her. We had nine offensive rebounds, which were converted into 11 second chance points. That doesn’t always happen for us, and to me, that points to our grit. She led the way in that regard for us tonight.”

Sophomore guard Rachel Mendelsohn added 13 points on five-of-eight shooting performance from the field. Freshman guard Larissa Lurken scored 12 points on 50 percent shooting from behind the three point line.    

“I thought Rachel and Larissa gave us a major boost,” O’Banion said. “Rachel got some minutes earlier than usual, and she maximized those. It’s always a good thing when your youngsters start to come along. Larissa Lurken was our iron woman tonight. She played 39 minutes, hit a couple of big threes and was solid defensively.”

The Bobcats (9-19, 3-12 MAC) finished the game shooting 36 percent from the field and were outrebounded by the Flashes 42-27.

The Flashes will play their final regular season game of the year at Buffalo Saturday at noon.

“I’m really proud of this team,” O’Banion said. “They have continued the trend of playing better if not beating teams the second time around. That is something we have always planted ourselves in as a program. We get better as the season goes on, and this was another one of those games tonight. The goal on Saturday is to do the same with Buffalo and to really finish that trend strong.”

Contact Taylor Rosen at [email protected].