Juniors power women’s basketball to road success

Lance Lysowski

Three times this season, junior forward Taisja Jones and junior guard Jamilah Humes have reached the 20-point mark in the same game.

The Flashes’ two leading scorers did just that in the team’s come-from-behind victory over Ohio on Saturday, 80-74.

Humes’ 23 points and eight rebounds highlighted the win for Kent State (17-8, 10-3 Mid-American Conference), while Jones added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bobcats led 67-65 with 3:28 left to play when Flashes’ senior forward Yoshica Spears sank her first free throw. Spears missed the second but was able to grab her own rebound. The senior called a timeout, giving Kent State an additional possession.

Following the timeout, Spears received a pass at the baseline and sank a 3-pointer, giving Kent State the lead for good. On the Bobcats’ following possession, Spears forced an Ohio turnover, which Jones turned into two Kent State points on a layup.

Spears finished with 14 points, while her turnover assisted the Flashes’ 23 points off of turnovers.

Ohio managed to pull within two with five seconds left in the game, but free throws by senior guard Rachel Bennett and Humes sealed the game for Kent State.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said the team’s slow start was disappointing, but the second-half push carried the team to the conference victory.

“I thought we came out a bit flat-footed today and didn’t play with as much energy as we should,” Lindsay said. “That being said, we still found enough in the second half to make the plays we needed to down the stretch.”

The first half included six ties and four lead changes, until the half ended with a 38-32 Kent State lead. Ohio started the second half with a 12-2 run led by 3-ponters by Ohio senior guards Jenny Poff and Jennifer Bushby, but the Flashes’ late 10-0 run was too much for the Bobcats to overcome.

Bushby, who finished with 23 points on the game, recorded her 1,000th point for Ohio (6-20, 2-11 MAC).

Lindsay said the Flashes must begin to learn from their mistakes and do a better job defending.

“We need to learn from (what) we didn’t do well,” Lindsay said. “We need to play better defensively and get points on easy baskets. We were giving up too many second chances.”

The win pulls Kent State to within one game of MAC-East leading Bowling Green, who the Flashes lost to on Jan. 16, 89-61.

Kent State will play their final home game Wednesday when Akron visits the M.A.C. Center at 7 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].