10-point surge gives Flashes enough for win

Lance Lysowski

Humes tallies 33 points

Junior guard Jamilah Humes turned in a career performance Saturday, leading the Kent State women’s basketball team to an 80-71 victory over Northern Illinois.

Humes, who registered a career-high 11 assists earlier last week against Central Michigan, posted another career landmark with 33 points and led the Flashes with nine rebounds over the Huskies.

After trailing at the half, the Flashes came out strong after the break and took a 44-43 lead with 14:21 to go. There were seven lead changes before Kent State made a 10-0 run capped off with a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jena Stutzman.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said he was impressed with his team’s work ethic, which included a plus-6 rebound margin.

“I thought we played really hard, and I thought we made some big plays to get the lead in the game,” Lindsay said. “It was a good win for us.”

Despite playing without junior forward Taisja Jones for the majority of the first stanza because of foul trouble, Kent State (13-7, 6-2 Mid-American Conference) narrowed the deficit to five at the half.

Humes recorded 12 of the team’s first 18 points to prevent the Huskies from taking advantage of the loss of Jones.

Jones recovered from her time on the bench in the second half by scoring 11 of the Flashes’ first 17 points in the second half and finished with 20 points. Jones said she was devastated in the game’s early minutes and wanted to aid the team down the stretch.

“I didn’t want to let my team down,” Jones said. “I was just trying to spark something. Once I started scoring, it helped everyone else around me.”

Kent State shot 34 percent in the first half but recovered in the second by shooting 68 percent from the field. The Flashes won the effort battle down low with a plus-8 rebound margin and limited Northern Illinois (8-12, 2-6 MAC) to two field goals in the game’s final 4:35.

“I thought our effort was a little bit better,” Lindsay said. “I’ve been talking to our team lately about winning the battle of effort before we start worrying about anything else; I don’t think we did that in the first half, but in the second half, we did a much better job of it.”

The Flashes will look to extend their winning streak to five on Wednesday when the team hosts Toledo at 7 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].