Flashes miss upset bid at BG

Josh Johnston

Defense can’t stop Prochaska

VIEW photos from the game.

The Kent State women’s basketball team’s play for the first 36 minutes of Saturday’s game against No. 25 Bowling Green pleased Kent State coach Bob Lindsay.

But how the Flashes fared over the final four minutes of the game didn’t put a smile on Lindsay’s face.

Kent State (17-9, 6-8 Mid-American Conference) fell just a few minutes short of pulling off an upset over MAC East leader Bowing Green, losing 61-54 at Anderson Arena in Bowling Green.

“I thought we played pretty well for 36 minutes,” Lindsay said. “We got outplayed for four, and it was enough to beat us.”

In those four minutes, the Flashes, who led 50-48 off two free throws by junior Rachel Bennett, were whistled for six fouls, leading to 11 points at the line for the Falcons.

With each foul by Kent State, the crowd of 2,312 erupted. When Bowling Green sophomore forward Jen Uhl drained an open 3-pointer to give the Falcons a 56-50 lead with 2:08 left to play, the crowd sensed victory.

“You’ve got to hit big shots when you’re open,” Uhl said. “Hitting that was just so fun. (Kent State) had to call a timeout.”

Going 0-of-4 from the field in the first half, Falcons’ sophomore forward Lauren Prochaska single-handedly carried Bowling Green through most of the second half. For almost the first nine minutes of the half, she was the lone scorer for the Falcons, putting up 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting. On the half, she accounted for 25 of Bowling Green’s 40 points.

“We didn’t do a good job of defending (Prochaska) in the second half,” Lindsay said. “I would have to think that we were a little bit better defending her in the first half.”

The previous 36 minutes were much kinder to Kent State, which lost on the road for the sixth-consecutive time. Senior center Anna Kowalska and the Flashes took advantage of a weak Bowling Green front court to hold a 26-21 lead at the end of the first half.

With Prochaska focused on freshman guard Jena Stutzman on the wing, Kent State pushed the ball inside for 32 total points in the paint.

“They couldn’t handle our post players,” sophomore guard Jamilah Humes said. “I think our post players came out and did a really good job scoring inside.”

Kowalska, who only saw 23 minutes on the floor because of foul trouble, scored 10 points. In her place, junior center Lorriane Odhiambo and junior forward Yoshica Spears combined for 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Prochaska effectively shut down the Kent State perimeter by limiting Stutzman to only one shot. The Flashes, who ranked second in the country in 3-point percentage entering Saturday, failed to hit anything beyond the arc the entire game.

“We came into this game knowing they were going to hug Jena on the 3-point line,” Bennett said, “so coming off that ball screen, we had a whole lane. It’s not that we were hesitant on the 3-point line; we just wanted to get inside.”

With her scoring effort, Prochaska surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her career at Bowling Green.

“(Prochaska) basically beat us,” Lindsay said. “She beat us by herself.”

Player of the game

Bowling Green sophomore forward Lauren Prochaska

Plain and simple, without Prochaska, the Falcons’ win streak would have been snapped. She scored 25 points in the second half to keep Bowling Green in the game and secure the win.

The game was over when.

Bowling Green sophomore forward Jen Uhl scored a wide open 3-pointer to give the Falcons’ a 56-50 lead with 2:08 left on the clock.

Stat of the game

Zero – The number of 3-pointers Kent State made. One of the top 3-point shooting teams in the country, the Flashes blanked from the perimeter for the first time in 80 games.