Women’s basketball suffers first loss in 101-92 loss at St. Francis

Brad Tansey

The Kent State women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday in a 101-92 overtime loss to Saint Francis.

After losing a 12-point halftime lead, the Flashes (6-1) rallied late in the second half as senior guard Stephanie Gibson tied the game at 83 by drilling a 3-pointer 0.1 seconds left on the clock. Gibson finished the game with a season-high 17 points.

Kent State was outscored 34-16 by the Red Flash (4-4) over the final seven minutes, including overtime.

“In the second half, we just didn’t play very well,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said in the post-game press conference. “We were outplayed. …We were flat outplayed in the second half.”

Saint Francis, which has won four of its last five games, outscored the Flashes 18-9 in overtime to seal the victory. The Red Flash was 6 for 6 from the field in overtime. The team finished 36 for 69 (52.2 percent) from the field on the day.

Lindsay said his team was tired going into the game and played tired.

“We were going south,” Lindsay said of the team’s momentum after Gibson’s buzzer beater. “If we were going to change what we were doing there, that 3-point shot would have juiced it up a little bit. We were done right there. We were just really lucky to be in overtime.”

The Flashes shot 36 for 72 (50 percent) from the field in the loss. Seniors Jamilah Humes and Taisja Jones finished the game with team-high 19 points apiece.

“I hate to concentrate on the shooting percentage when shooting percentage isn’t really the factor in this game,” Lindsay said. “In this game it was the points off turnovers, the second shooting opportunities we gave up, the quality of our defense was very poor.”

Kent State outrebounded the Red Flash 41-36, but gave up a season-high 28 turnovers, which led to 32 Saint Francis points.

Lindsay said the team’s effort level was a major contributing factor in the defensive breakdown.

“The high ball screen (Saint Francis) was running, we defended that very poorly the entire game,” Lindsay said. “We gave up second shooting opportunities; we gave up penetration off that high ball screen. We defended very poorly in the post areas.

“The whole thing was really garbage in my opinion, and that’s not to take anything away from Saint Francis.”

Saint Francis scored 40 points in the paint compared to Kent State’s 36.

The Red Flash was led by a total team effort, paced by freshman Alexandra Williams, who scored a team-high 29 points off the bench. 11 of Williams’ points came in overtime.

Saint Francis senior guard Samantha Leach added 26 points in the team’s victory.

The Flashes look to avenge their first loss of the season Tuesday as the team travels to Bowling Green, Ky., to take on the 1-5 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m.

You can contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].