Women Flashes take no bull in second-half win

Lance Lysowski

Women Flashes take no bull in second-half win.


Shields leads last-minute comeback

After trailing by 12 in the first half, the Kent State women’s basketball team overcame a strong Buffalo offensive duo to defeat the Bulls 68-66 last night at the M.A.C. Center.


Kent State (10-7, 3-2 Mid- American Conference) cut the Bulls’ lead to five points with 5:30 left in the second half, and took the 65-63 lead with junior center Ellie Shields’ hook shot with a little more than a minute remaining.


Junior forward Kourtney Brown’s two free throws gave the Bulls (5-13, 1-4 MAC) the lead, but junior forward Taisja Jones received two charity shots and sunk both, sealing the win for the Flashes.


Buffalo sophomore guard Brittany Hedderson and junior forward Kourtney Brown seemed unstoppable for the Bulls.


Hedderson scored 19 points, 17 of which came in the first half. The sophomore paced Bulls’ offensive attack in the first half, shooting 5-for-9 from long range. Brown, who is averaging 16.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, finished with 22 points and six rebounds with 18 points in the second stanza.


Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said the team wanted to limit the three-point shot in the second half, but the result was Brown’s success in the paint.


“We started out playing zone,” Lindsay said. “We were very lethargic in it. We started pressuring, and they started isolating Kourtney Brown. That was the tradeoff.”


After being outrebounded by Bowling Green in Saturday’s 89-61 loss, the Flashes improved dramatically against the Bulls in the paint. The Flashes kept the rebound margin to minus-three while junior center Ellie Shields led the inside attack with 18 points and six rebounds.


Shields said the win was necessary after the disappointing loss to the Falcons.


“What was most important was us, as a team, deciding to play harder,” Shields said. “That was basically our main goal. We didn’t play hard enough in the game on Saturday.”


After shooting just 33 percent in the first half, Kent State excelled in the second half by improving to 46 percent from the field, while shooting 72 percent from the free throw line.


Shields said the team has to limit the opposition’s opportunities in the second half, or the team will continue to struggle.


“We knew we had to make a defensive stop,” Shields said. “It was defense stopping their post players. We made it a goal, and everybody played hard.”


Jones, a junior college transfer, continued her assimilation into the Flashes’ offensive system. Jones, who scored 20 or more points in six of the team’s last ten games, added 14 points, while grabbing five rebounds.


The win prevented the Flashes from losing three straight games for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign.


Kent State will look to build on the win on Saturday when the team hosts Ball State at 7 p.m.


Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected]