Humes’ big day carries Kent State over Vikings

Lance Lysowski

Junior guard scores 23 in 71-56 victory

Junior center Ellie Shields is fouled by a Cleveland State player on Saturday night. Shields had seven points in the Flashes’ 71-56 win. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Jamilah Humes could not be contained during the Kent State women’s basketball team’s 71-56 win over Cleveland State.

Humes shot 7-for-14, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc, for a season-high 23 points in the Flashes’ romp over the Vikings. The junior guard, who also added six rebounds and five assists, came just two points shy of tying her career high.

“When you’re having a good game, you really just don’t think about it,” Humes said. “It just comes in the flow of the offense, and I think that’s how you have a good game – when you’re offense comes with the flow. You think about it more when you miss a shot.”

The win marked Kent State coach Bob Lindsay’s 377th of his career, which made him the all-time winningest coach in Mid-American Conference basketball history.

The Flashes (5-1) held a 36-22 advantage at the half and led by 20 points with 13 minutes to play in the second half, but Cleveland State’s 10-0 run cut Kent State’s lead to seven with eight minutes left to play.

With the Vikings dictating the game, Kent State coach Bob Lindsay called a timeout. Junior guard Stephanie Gibson then followed Lindsay’s speech with a 3-pointer, and the Flashes took off from there.

“When coach called the timeout, he got it into us about how the game is not over, and it’s never over until the buzzer sounds,” Humes said. “We just wanted to get back out there and do what we did in the first half. When Stephanie hit that 3, we just ran with it.”

The Flashes played shut-down defense on the Vikings. Both teams turned the ball over 18 times, but Kent State’s 19 points off of turnovers made the difference.

Senior forward Yoshica Spears, who tallied her second career double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds), said even though the team looked sluggish at times, clutch play down the stretch led to the win.

“We gave up a couple offensive rebounds, one too many,” Spears said. “I think that whenever we need to come up with something big we did, and we got the win. That’s the only thing that counts in the end.”

During Cleveland State’s comeback attempt, junior forward Taisja Jones sparked Kent State’s offense. The junior college transfer finished with 12 points and three rebounds.

Lindsay said the Flashes need role players like Jones to come off the bench and make a difference down the stretch.

“We were stagnant in the second half; we were standing around,” Lindsay said. “The bottom line is we can play better longer and harder longer. In order for us to do that, we have to have kids come off the bench and play significantly well on both ends of the ball.”

Kent State shot 41.7 percent from the field and held the Vikings to 32.8 percent. Despite the Flashes’ offensive performance, Lindsay said the team still has a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the ball.

“As a team, we could be better than that,” Lindsay said. “To be honest with you, I don’t think we’re a great offensive team no matter how we shoot. We just have to make sure the other team doesn’t shoot better than us.”

Kent State will return to the M.A.C. Center tomorrow to host Wichita State (4-2) at 7 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected]

Players Of The Game

Kent State: Junior guard Jamilah Humes (23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists)

Coming just two points short of a career high, Humes also sunk 5-for-6 from the foul line and added two steals.

Cleveland State: Freshman guard Honesty King (12 points)

While Horizon League preseason Player of the Year Kailey Klein was held to zero points on 0-for-6 shooting, King’s 12 points in her 15 minutes of play gave the Vikings life down the stretch. King also sunk a desperation shot from 3-point territory at the halftime buzzer.