Fire and Ice

Lance Lysowski

Taisja Jones and Jamilah Humes

Women’s basketball is ready for the postseason.

The duo’s archrivals

Jamilah Humes and Taisja Jones despise the Bowling Green basketball team.

The Falcons have won the Mid-American Conference six years in a row and swept Kent State during the regular season this year.

Bowling Green’s leading scorer, junior guard Lauren Prochaska, was the 2008-09 MAC Player of the Year, averaging 17.3 points per game, but Humes and Jones said their nemesis’ success is not the reason they despise them.

“We can’t stand them,” Humes said. “We think they are very cocky. We’ve got to beat the best to be the best.”

The Falcons captured another regular season championship, finishing above the Flashes in the MAC East Division.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said it’s not surprising that Bowling Green is on his team’s mind, but he believes that every team has the same mentality.

“I think if you asked any team in the league what team they are shooting for, it’d be Bowling Green because they’ve won the league the last five years,” Lindsay said. “They’ve lost two straight years in the tournament, but teams are always going to be gunning for them. They have a bulls-eye on them every time they go out there.”

The duo’s weaknesses

Just as kryptonite cripples Superman, turnovers and defensive lapses do the same to Taisja Jones and Jamilah Humes.

Although Humes led Kent State with 109 assists during the regular season, the junior guard also turned the ball over 104 times.

Humes laughed when talking about her obvious weakness and attributed the turnovers to her on-court vision, which may not match that of her teammates.

“I know that I get a lot of assists in a game, but (I’m) also getting a lot of turnovers,” Humes said. “I’ve been trying to work on that, but sometimes I see things on the court in my mind that my other teammates don’t see. That’s why me and Taisja have that good chemistry. Not everyone sees that.”

Jones’ weakness, defense, does not show up on the stat sheet, but Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said both players share weaknesses with their other teammates.

“They probably have the same weaknesses that all of the other players have,” Lindsay said. “They’re turnover prone, and we obviously need to make better decisions with the basketball.”

Forward Taisja Jones and guard Jamilah Humes are complete opposites on the court

Humes is a 5-foot-8 guard known for her knack of penetrating opposing defenses, her ability to run Kent State’s offense with her passing skills and the unlikely ability to rebound.

Jones, a six-foot junior college transfer, uses her mid-range shot to give the Flashes’ opponents trouble.

The Flashes’ two leading scorers even have inverse demeanors. Humes is a boisterous player, while Jones is quiet and restrained.

What allows these two players to play together so perfectly?

Jones said it’s simple — opposites attract.

“Me and her just have a good chemistry on the court for some reason,” Humes said. “She just knows where to cut (to the hoop). If we can have two people in double-digits scoring, as good of scorers me and Taisja are, it just increases our chances of winning.

If we can do that, and as a team with a good defensive effort, we would be unstoppable.”

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said the team’s success is sitting on the shoulders of the two players who bring different skill sets to the table.

“Well, Humes is a different kind of player than Jones,” Lindsay said. “Humes is a playmaker. She makes other players around her better. Taisja’s more of an individual scorer; that’s probably what she does the best.”

The Flashes are 11-4 when the duo score in double digits, and the team is 4-0 when the two reach 20-plus points.

Jones averaged 14.9 points per game during the regular season, while Humes averaged 14.4, but the two players know that it’s going to take more than just them to win a Mid-American Conference Championship.

Both players agreed that the adversity the team has faced, which has included ten games down the stretch that ended in a ten points or fewer scoring difference, has the team prepared for the upcoming tournament.

“I think we can just buckle down when it really counts,” Jones said. “Close games seem better for us because when we’re blowing someone out they just may come back.”

The two may not have much in common besides being the top two offensive players for Kent State, but that alone could help the Flashes win the conference and earn the team’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2001-02.