Kent State basketball offense topples Buffalo 85-73


Junior center Leslie Schaefer, celebrates with the rest of the team over their victory against Buffalo on Thursday, Jan. 19. The Flashes won 85-73. Photo by Emily Martin.

Matt Lofgren

Three players, 68 points, 13 assists — and a new nickname was born Thursday night.

Between juniors Trisha Krewson, Diamon Beckford and Tamzin Barroilhet, the Flashes’ “Big Three” had enough firepower to topple Buffalo hard at the M.A.C. Center 85-73 to improve to 2-3 in the Mid-American Conference and 3-12 overall.

“We actually started playing well against Akron, but unfortunately we didn’t get that win,” Barroilhet said. “We are definitely starting to find each other better and (get) a better understanding of what each other’s attributes are and I definitely think it’s showing.”

Barroilhet had her best offensive performance she has had all year with 19 points while her co-hosts Krewson and Beckford had career highs with 26 and 23 points to combine for 68 points in the win.

Final score

Kent State: 85

Buffalo: 73

Game highlights

  • Second win of MAC play and third win in four games.
  • The Flashes fought hard in the paint by finding several backdoor cuts for 25 assists and 34 points in the paint.
  • Shot a season high 53.4 percent from the floor and sank a season high 31 buckets on 58 shots.
  • The birth of the big three: Juniors Trisha Krewson had 26 points, Diamon Beckford had 23 points and Tamzin Barroilhet had 19 points to combine for 68 points.

“We’ve been working really hard in practice so it feels great to get the win and get it in the way we did,” Krewson said. “I just felt like we were all meshing well together and within the offense we were getting the right looks and we were knocking down shots.”

The shots that Krewson spoke about were the team’s 11 three-pointers they hit on the night on 22 shots. On only six other occasions in team history have there been more 3-pointers in a game.

On the other hand, the Flashes’ defense wasn’t up to par with the team’s philosophy on defense by letting the Bulls shoot 52 percent from the floor and allowing 10 three balls to find the bottom of the net.

“Very good offensive performance for us tonight, I thought our scoring distribution was good and we shot it well, we executed pretty well in most places and we probably could have scored a few more points,” Coach Bob Lindsay said. “Defensively; good in spots but I’d like to see us defend better than we did.”

Both teams left their defenses in the locker room as the Flashes scored a season-high 38 points by halftime, more than the team scored against Temple Dec. 6. To one-up themselves, the Flashes scored 47 points in the second half, which is also a season high.

Propelling the Flashes’ offense in the first half was the team’s ball movement with 26 assists, led by freshman Itziar Llobet with 8. On average, the team has 12.4 assists per game, making Coach Lindsay very pleased with his team’s work.

“It’s a product of execution: When you execute well, your number of team assists is going to improve,” Lindsay said. “I think they feel like they are improving, I think they feel like they’re getting better as a team and their recognition as a team is getting better.”

When the stats came across to Krewson, Beckford and Barroilhet, all three knew that weeks of hard work had paid off. When the nickname “Big Three” hit their ears all three smiled in acceptance.

“I think this is where we are gelling to whether it’s not where or how a team starts a season, but ends it,” Beckford said. “I think we are going to be a really tough team when it comes down the stretch to play.”

While the “Big Three” took in a hard-fought win, there was, perhaps, one person missing from the table. Freshman Jamie Hutcheson added in 13 points and continued to show coach Lindsay and her teammates that in time she can be a big contributor.

In all, the Flashes have a lot to take away from this game, but Lindsay feels that his team is starting to play up to its potential just in time for MAC play.

“I think we are a good shooting team, I don’t think we shot the ball too particularly well at the beginning of the year,” Lindsay said. “I’m not surprised we can do this, it’s just a matter of consistency.”

The Flashes will play one more home game on Sunday, with a 2 p.m. tipoff against Central Michigan (11-7, 3-1 MAC).

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].