Women’s basketball lassos Broncos

Lance Lysowski

Spears leads Flashes in scoring with 19

The Kent State women’s basketball team shut down Western Michigan last night, allowing only 16 second-half points on their way to a 69-39 victory.

The Flashes (15-8, 8-3 Mid-American Conference) won the battle down low, finishing with a plus-19 rebound margin and 26 points in the paint.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay attributed the team’s dominance on the floor to its size advantage over the Broncos.

“We’ve been rebounding well all year, and that’s one of our strong points,” Lindsay said. “We had a little bit of a size advantage, and we just wanted to make a point of going to the boards hard.”

Kent State led 39-23 at the half, and continued to outplay the Broncos through the rest of the game. Junior forward Taisja Jones’ free throw at 16:07 gave the Flashes a 20-point advantage.

Western Michigan (7-17, 2-9 MAC) narrowed the deficit to 13, but Kent State answered with a 8-0 run, capped by senior forward Yoshica Spears’ jumper and free throw that followed.

Spears led the Flashes’ offense with 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, while Jones added 14 points. Kent State’s offense excelled, shooting 43 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc.

Lindsay said the team made it a point to play well last night, as the Flashes were coming off a disappointing loss to Eastern Michigan.

“We played very poorly against Eastern Michigan, and we wanted to come out and play a lot harder on defense tonight, and that was one of our goals tonight,” Lindsay said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”

The Flashes jumped out to an early lead, which was highlighted by a 13-0 run over a five-minute span in the first half.

Western Michigan’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Miamie Giden (14.9 points per game), was held to just six points on 3-for-13 shooting.

Lindsay credited Giden’s talent, but was impressed with his team’s defensive effort.

“We needed to help out as much as we could; she’s a really good player, as is (junior forward) Ebony Cleary,” Lindsay said. “They’ve got some really good athletes. I feel fortunate that we were able to limit Giden’s touches and the number of points she had.”

The Flashes will return to the M.A.C. Center on Saturday when they host Miami at 2 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].