Lady flashes defeat Chippewas

Prior to last night’s game against central Michigan, the KSU women’s basketball team struggled with their 3-point shooting.

Prior to last night’s game against Central Michigan, the Kent State women’s basketball team struggled all season with their 3-point shooting.

That was not the case against the Chippewas as the Flashes shot 41 percent from behind the arc en route to an 82-76 win at the M.A.C. Center.

Kent State (12-7, 5-2 Mid-American Conference) was led by sophomore guard Jena Stutzman, who went 4-for-9 from long range for 14 points. The Flashes finished second in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage last season, but the team has struggled by shooting 29 percent this season.

Although there were no lead changes throughout the game, Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said the team was inconsistent and let the Chippewas narrow the deficit.

“We shot the ball well in the first half, and the second half they tried to extend on us,” Lindsay said.  “I don’t think we took advantage of what they were doing defensively. You’ve got to be able to put teams away, and this team has a problem putting teams away. “

Kent State controlled the game until the Chippewas (7-12, 4-3 MAC) drew within four after senior guard Kendra Holman’s two free throws following a layup attempt with just over six minutes left in the second half.

Junior guard Jamilah Humes responded to the rally attempt with 4:18 left when she sank both free throws, giving the Flashes the 71-66 lead.  Humes set a career high with 11 assists, and added 13 points to aid the Kent State victory.

Humes said her goal was to protect the ball and stick to conservative play which opened up opportunities for her teammates.

“I only wanted no more than two turnovers; I didn’t meet that goal,” Humes said. “I was really just trying to take care of the ball and not so much try to push the offense. I wanted to just let the offense run itself.  By doing that, I was able to find my open teammates.”

Central Michigan rallied with 36 seconds left, but the Flashes’ defense down the stretch sealed the win.

The Flashes went 7-for-18 from 3-point distance, and held a plus-14 rebounds margin after the first half. Junior center Ellie Shields led the charge inside with 12 points and five rebounds.  Kent State turned 16 offensive rebounds into 14 second chance points, while registering 36 points in the paint.

After inconsistency on the boards throughout the season, the Flashes have out rebounded their opponent for the third straight game.

Lindsay said the team’s success inside can be contributed to the team’s goal of outworking their opponents.

“We’ve gone into the last few games talking about winning the effort play,” Lindsay said. “I think we’ve done a decent job at that.  Today there were times we were playing very hard; I think that’s a big part of that win.  If we could play with a little more consistency I’d feel better.”

Even though the Flashes failed to win in perfect fashion, Stutzman said every win is critical for Kent State.

“I think at this point in the season, a win is a big one for us,” Stutzman said. “Every game is going to be a close game. We have to come ready to play every game.”

The Flashes will begin their road trip on Saturday when the team tips off against Northern Illinois at 4:30 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].