Offense ignites in 79-55 blowout of Marshall

Brad Tansey

The Kent State women’s basketball team put on a shooting clinic Sunday against Marshall in the team’s home opener at the M.A.C. Center by defeating the Thundering Herd 79-55.

Kent State (5-0) shot 30 for 52 (57.7 percent) from the field, including 7 for 13 (53.8 percent) from 3-point range, in its best offensive performance of the young season.

“I thought we had some offensive spurts where we pushed the ball in transition and moved it well,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “Obviously, we made shots, and I thought our execution was good in places.”

The 5-0 start is the best in program history. Previously, Kent State’s best start was in 2008 when the Flashes started 3-0.

Marshall (1-4) scored five quick points in the game’s opening minutes off a Tynikki Crook layup and free throw. The 6-foot-1 senior forward finished the game with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Marshall sophomore forward Adrian Randall added two points to give the Thundering Herd an early 5-0 lead.

Despite the early lead, the Kent State defense held Marshall to 15 for 50 (30 percent) shooting on the day and just 1 for 7 (14.3 percent) from beyond the arc.

“Defensively, I thought we were OK,” Lindsay said. “I didn’t think we were real good. We didn’t rebound it very well.”

On the glass, Kent State was outrebounded 35-27. The Thundering Herd grabbed 17 offensive rebounds compared to Kent State’s seven.

Although Marshall had a high number of offensive rebounds, the Flashes limited the Thundering Herd to only 15 second-chance points on the day.

Kent State battled back to bring the score to 14-10 with 11:55 remaining in the first half.

After a timeout, senior forward Taisja Jones nailed a 3-pointer to cut the Thundering Herd’s lead to one.

The Flashes took their first lead of the game on the ensuing offensive possession when senior guard Jamilah Humes found sophomore center Leslie Schaefer for a layup.

Schaefer finished the game with 10 points in 18 minutes off the bench, as five Flashes finished in double figures.

“I think everybody helped out,” Kent State senior forward Taisja Jones said of the team’s offensive output. “We were passing the ball pretty good with 21 assists.”

Kent State never looked back after taking the lead in the first half.

The Flashes went up by six points with six minutes left in the half on a 3-point shot from Tamzin Barroilhet. Barroilhet, a 6-foot sophomore guard from France, scored a career-high 15 points in the game. Barroilhet’s mother made a surprise trip from France to see her daughter play.

“Honestly, it was a big boost,” Barroilhet said. “I was really pumped before I even saw her. I really wanted to do well after Alaska.

“When she walked in, I just burst into tears of joy.”

Jones connected on a layup and another 3-pointer towards the end of the first half to give the Flashes a 40-30 lead heading into the locker room. She finished the game with 14 points on 5 for 8 shooting.

Kent State went on an offensive frenzy in the second half by scoring 49 points.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Crook added a quick two points to cut the Kent State lead down to eight points.

After a steal by senior guard Stephanie Gibson, senior forward Chenel Harris nailed a 3-pointer to give Kent State a 45-32 lead.

The Flashes relied heavily on center Ellie Shields late in the game. Shields, a 6-foot-3 senior, finished the game with 15 points in 16 minutes off the bench. She was perfect offensively, going 5 for 5 from the field and free throw lines.

Despite the strong shooting effort, Kent State committed 31 fouls in the game, leading to 34 free throws for Marshall.

The Flashes welcome Youngstown State Wednesday in the team’s second home game of the season. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m.

Contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].