Kent State woman’s basketball improves to 3-3 in MAC

The Flashes celebrate their victory against Central Michigan on Jan. 22. The Flashes beat the Chippewas 67-64. Photo by Adrianne Bastas.

The Flashes celebrate their victory against Central Michigan on Jan. 22. The Flashes beat the Chippewas 67-64. Photo by Adrianne Bastas.

Matt Lofgren

It wasn’t the ideal ending to a game, but the Kent State women’s basketball team (4-12, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) got it done when it mattered most Sunday afternoon in the M.A.C. Center.

With 3:47 left in the game, the Flashes were on top by eight when Central Michigan instituted the “Hack-a-Flash” policy. In that final stretch, the Flashes went to the line a total of 15 times, making a frightening seven free throws which was just enough for the Flashes to get by with a win over the Chippewas (11-9, 3-3 MAC).

“I think it’s just we haven’t been in that situation,” junior guard Trisha Krewson said. “Really all season we haven’t been in a two-point, three-point game down the stretch. Obviously, it’s a learning experience for a lot of the young players who have never been in that position, so obviously we need to knock down free throws.”

Coach Bob Lindsay agreed with Krewson, but feels that his team needs to adapt fast if they want to become a threat in the MAC.

“You can simulate (the game on the line), but you’re simulating it against your own second team, and it’s not the same as doing it against the other guy’s first team,” Lindsay laughed. “We’ve got a freshman point and that’s got something to do with the way we handle those kind of situations and we don’t really have a great ball handler on the floor.”

Good decision-making by junior guard Krewson, junior forward Diamon Beckford and junior guard Tamzin Barroilhet, or the “Big Three,” played an important role Sunday. Scoring a combined 46 points, led by Beckford’s 21, The “Big Three” paved the way for the team’s 16 assist performance.

One main difference between these two teams was rebounds. Central Michigan pulled down an impressive 42 rebounds to the Flashes 27. Fortunately, Central Michigan failed on many of these second chance opportunities as the team only shot 37.7 percent from the floor.

“They didn’t really convert those opportunities,” Lindsay said. “The minus 15 rebound margin had more to do with the multiples on one possession. They would miss and the ball would bounce right back to them whatever they were, so that’s a little bit misleading. We haven’t been a good rebounding team all season. We have a tendency to be complacent.”

Game recap:

Flashes win back-to-back games for the first time this season, improving to 3-3 in the Mid-American Conference.

As a team, the Flashes shot 45.7 percent from the floor and were 8-21 from beyond the arch.  

The Flashes’ “Big Three” combined for 46 points; Diamon Beckford with 21, Trisha Krewson with 17 and Tamzin Barroilhet with 8.

The Flashes sank 17-27 free throws in the victory.

For one of only a handful of occasions this season, the Flashes actually had fewer turnovers than their opponents. Central Michigan committed 23 turnovers, which the Flashes converted into 21 points. Kent State gave the ball away 19 times, which the Chippewas turned into 20 points.

Where the Flashes really jumped ahead was with the newfound fluidity of the offense.

“I think that this point and time in the season we are playing really well together,” Beckford said. “We’re starting to know what each person does well. With us being such a young team in the beginning, that really hurt us because we never played together. Right now, we are meshing really well.”

The Flashes run the Princeton offense, which is a very difficult offensive strategy to master. But since the team has gotten on the same page, the team has looked like a new group.

“I think we are playing with a lot more emotion now,” Beckford said. “Coach makes a joke saying, ‘Running the Princeton offense is fun,’ and we looked at him like ‘this is a hard offense to learn.’ Now we are getting the back cuts, we’re getting open shots and it’s actually really fun to watch.”

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].