Women’s basketball sets 3 point record to beat Ohio

Nila Blackford (4) initiates on offense against Ohio University. Blackford would finish with a double-double (12 points, 13 assists). Dec. 11, 2020.

Kathryn Rajnicek

With 1:08 to play, junior guard Mariah Modkins nailed a deep three-point shot that set a new Kent State women’s basketball program record of 16 three-point shots made in one game.

 The Flashes (1-2, 1-0 MAC) went on to beat Ohio University (2-1, 0-1 MAC) 84-80 Friday afternoon, the sixth straight game against the Bobcats that has been decided by four points or less.

Kent State’s 22 assists were the team’s most against a Division 1 opponent since Feb. 8, 2017 against Eastern Michigan University. 

“We won this game first of all by sharing the ball,” Modkins said. “A lot of people scored because we were able to move the ball and we were also able to contain on the defensive end.”

Six Kent State players scored in double-figures: sophomore guard Katie Shumate scored 18 points, Modkins had 15 points and seven assists, freshman guard Casey Santoro and sophomore guard Clare Kelly each had 14 points, sophomore forward Nila Blackford had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds and junior forward Lindsey Thall had 11 points and four blocks.

“We really wanted to win and we’ve been working really hard and haven’t been seeing the results we wanted,” Modkins said. “I think we played together the whole game and it was fun. It was the most fun game we’ve had all year.”

Modkins, Kelly and Santoro all scored career highs and combined for 11 of the Flashes 16 three-pointers.

“[Kelly] is a talented player and she was working through her freshman year trying to figure out what college basketball was going to look like,” coach Todd Starkey said. “Now, we just want some consistency out of her because she’s very capable. It’s just a matter of continuing to build confidence in her and I think this was a great boost for her.”

Kent State had 19 turnovers that led to 19 pointsforOU, but Kent won the rebounding battle 39-33 on the afternoon, including 13 from Blackford.

“We were pretty hard on [Blackford] for the last couple weeks about her focus and some of the rebounding stuff,” Starkey said. “We felt like she should have had more than five rebounds against Saint Francis and we called her on that and she responded.”

The Bobcats were led by redshirt junior guard Erica Johnson with 29 points and senior guard CeCe Hooks with 23 points. 

The Bobcats shot 36.5% overall and 38.2% from  three-point range. Kent shot 44.6% overall and 57.1% from beyond the arc. 

The Flashes completed an eight point trip down the court in the third quarter. Blackford made a layup and converted a foul shot for a three-point play. Then Ohio was called for a technical foul and Thall made both foul shots and Kelly scored a three-point shot off the in-bound. 

“I’ve never seen anything like that, but if we can get that again I’ll be really happy,” Modkins said. “It could have deflated them a lot and we were able to talk about what we needed to do offensively and defensively while the free throws were going on.”

Kent will conclude its third game in five days at 2 p.m. Sunday against the University of Toledo (3-0, 1-0 MAC) at Toledo. 

Kathryn Rajnicek is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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