Women’s team flips Zips

Lance Lysowski

Lindsay and the Flashes continued their success over the rival, defeating the Zips 67-64.

Akron led 31-28 at the half, but Kent State (18-8, 11-3 Mid-American Conference) built a 38-36 lead with 15:39 remaining in the game before the Flashes put together a 12-4 run.

A fadeaway jumper by junior guard Jamilah Humes capped the run, and accounted for two of her 31 points on the night.

Humes said the success came with the pace of the game, and she looked to challenge her opponent on every possession.

“I guess it was just one of those nights,” Humes said. “Everything just flowed right, and I wanted to challenge their smaller defenders.”

With just over a minute to play, Akron (15-12, 9-5 MAC) narrowed the deficit to five and looked to cut it to three, but senior forward Yoshica Spears grabbed a rebound on a Zips’ missed lay-in.

Akron sophomore center Kyle Baumgartner connected on a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession; pulling the Zips within two with 33 seconds left in regulation.

Following an Akron timeout, the Flashes drained 11 seconds on the clock before Humes added two free throws to give Kent State a four-point lead with 22 seconds remaining.

Humes said the coaches motivated the players to begin taking advantage of Akron’s defensive weakness.

“Our coaches were really emphasizing the driving opportunities,” Humes said. “We wanted to exploit their slowness of foot on the defensive end. When they collapse we have to penetrate and pitch.”

Baumgartner missed a 3-pointer with eight seconds left, but was fouled by Humes on the shot. After missing the first free throw, Baumgartner brought the Zips within two points by making her second and third attempts.

Spears added a free throw to give the Flashes a 67-64 lead, and Akron freshman guard Taylor Ruper’s buzzer-beating attempt hit the rim and sealed a Kent State victory.

Lindsay said the team’s play in the second half was impressive, but they failed to close out the opponent.

“I wasn’t very happy at the half with the way we competed, and defended the ball,” Lindsay said. “We had a discussion with that at halftime, and I think we responded. We did a good job, especially in the first seven minutes.”

The Zips held a firm nine-point lead on the Flashes with 7:05 left in the first half, but Humes led Kent State to a 13-2 run on a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left.

Akron ended the half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, but the Zips’ 12 turnovers turned into 12 Kent State points.

“Obviously Humes had a great game and Spears had a great game,” Lindsay said. “They obviously carried us from an offensive perspective. “

The Flashes will tip off against MAC-leading Bowling Green at noon Saturday in Anderson Arena.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].