Shields, women’s basketball drop Miami, 72-64

Matt Lofgren

Utilizing a complete all-around offensive attack, the Kent State women’s basketball team defeated Miami 72-64 on Thursday.

The Flashes (17-7, 8-4 Mid-American Conference) took the lead early and held off a late RedHawks (10-14, 12-9 MAC) offensive strike. Kent State finished with five players recording double-digit point totals.

The Flashes started quickly as sophomore guard Tamzin Barroilhet scored a fast-break layup to set the tone on the night.

Barroilhet finished with 15 points, including a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arch. Leading the Flashes in scoring was senior center Ellie Shields, who recorded 18 points.

“I think setting the tone at the beginning of the game was very important personally,” Barroilhet said. “To get the team going and imposing our rhythm and not letting them impose their rhythm especially when they’re at home.”

The quick start propelled the Flashes to an early 24-11 advantage through good offensive looks and using an effective three ball. By working the ball around, the team accumulated nine assists in the game.

By halftime, the Flashes held on to a strong 34-24 lead.

After about a minute of scoreless action, Kent State went on a quick 6-0 run to take a 40-24 lead.

The Flashes’ scoring started with a quick layup by senior guard Jamilah Humes, who finished with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Shortly after, senior forward Taisja Jones continued with a layup en route to her 13 points.

By the end of the game, the Flashes scored 38 points in the paint, primarily from the help of Shields’ post presence.

The Flashes finished shooting 43 percent, a slight step down over the past two games, but an improvement on their season mark of 42 percent.

Although the Flashes had a hot start and played well as a unit, the team did hit a rough patch late in the game that almost opened the door for a RedHawks comeback.

Miami’s star player Courtney Osborn almost put a damper on the Flashes’ win, but her 28 points just were not enough to take down the team.

“We had stretches of good offensive execution, stretches of good defense and stretches of the exact opposite,” said Kent State coach Bob Lindsay. “But I thought having five players in double figures was good, I thought we needed to spread out the scoring a little bit.”

Late in the game, the RedHawks pulled within three points with just under two minutes remaining in the game. Up 67-64, the Flashes had to turn to their thriving starters to pull this one out, and they responded.

The Flashes got their final seven points from the free-throw line to put the game out of reach for the RedHawks. Kent State finished 18-for-23 (78 percent) from the foul line.

The win puts the Flashes at second in the MAC East standings with the MAC Championships looming.

Up next for the Flashes is their second-to-last home game versus Buffalo (13-12, 6-6 MAC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].