Flashes determined to finish off opponents

Lance Lysowski


Flashes determined to finish off opponents

Defense looks to adjust against Northern Illinois

Sitting at second in the Mid-American Conference East Division, the Kent State women’s basketball team is facing one problem: an inability to close out games.

The Flashes (12-7, 5-2 MAC) are riding a three-game winning streak, but they have struggled with taking advantage of building early leads in each of the recent contests.

“You’ve got to be able to put teams away, and this team has a problem putting teams away,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “They just let them get back in.”

During that span, the team has rededicated itself to outworking its opponents.

Junior guard Jamilah Humes’ performance during Wednesday night’s 82-76 win is a prime example of the blue-collar work ethic Lindsay is preaching.

Humes secured her first career double-double scoring 13 points and tallying a career-high 11 assists.

“She plays kind of by the seat of her pants and makes some good plays while sometimes making plays that hurt you,” Lindsay said. “When we were playing well, she was a big part of that.”

Although the Flashes have struggled shooting from long range throughout the season, sophomore guard Jena Stutzman shot herself out of a slump during Wednesday’s victory against Central Michigan. Stutzman shot 4-for-9 from behind the arc for 14 points.

Stutzman shot 44 percent from 3-point range last season, but her production has dipped to 37 percent from long range.

Stutzman said it was a relief to make the shots she is capable of but attributes her success to Humes’ ability to pass the ball efficiently.

“I haven’t really been shooting that well, but again (Jamilah) does a really good job of finding me,” Stutzman. “I had a bunch of wide open shots that I better start hitting.”

Humes and Stutzman will look to extend the Flashes’ winning streak to four games on Saturday when the Flashes travel to Dekalb, Ill., to face Northern Illinois.

The Huskies (8-11, 2-5) are positioned at fifth in the MAC West Division and are coming off a disappointing 96-51 loss to Miami.

Northern Illinois’ offense is led by junior guard Marke Freeman, who leads the team with 17.5 points per game.

Following Wednesday’s win, Humes said the team made an adjustment to Central Michigan’s ability to drive the ball down low, but the result was the Chippewas’ ability to find open shooters.

“We weren’t stopping penetration,” Humes said. “They kept driving the ball to the middle. They were penetrating and pitching. We couldn’t cover the shooters.”

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski

at [email protected].