Flashes foul out against Ohio

Josh Johnston

Coach: ‘I don’t think we were very smart,’ in loss to Bobcats

Junior guard Yoshica Spears dives for a loose ball in last night’s game against Ohio. The Bobcats defeated the Flashes 68-58. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

ATHENS – Freshman guard Jena Stutzman and Ohio junior guard Jenny Poff matched up 3-pointer for 3-pointer last night as the Bobcats topped the Flashes 68-58 at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio.

Stutzman, from the wing, nailed her shots when Kent State needed a boost. Poff, nearly always under pressure, keyed up long balls to keep the Bobcats ahead.

In the end, however, it was fouls and free throws that gave Ohio a 68-58 win over the Flashes (17-8, 6-7 Mid-American Conference).

“I don’t think we were very smart, to be very honest with you, defensively,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “I mean, fouling people 30 feet from the basket with five seconds left on the shot clock, we didn’t play smart.”

Kent State closely trailed Ohio through most of the game, closing to within a point with 5:39 left in the game. In the double bonus, the Bobcats converted all 14 of their free throw attempts to pull away, despite going 1-of-5 from the field in

the same span.

Stutzman, coming off of a 21-point performance against Miami on Sunday, hit five 3-pointers and all her free throws to lead the team with 17 points. With 62 perimeter shots made on the year and three games left, Stutzman currently sits second in most 3-pointers made in a season in Kent State history.

“Shooting well last game and just getting extra shooting in has gotten my confidence up,” Stutzman said. “When I’m open my teammates do a good job of giving me the ball, and I just try to shoot with confidence.”

Poff, who entered the game averaging around 11 points per game, frustrated the Flashes’ defense by knocking down six of nine 3-pointers. Many of her shots were made in the face of a Kent State defender.

“You kind of get self-defeated,” senior guard Asheley Harkins said about Poff’s shooting. “We’re all Division I athletes. When she gets a nice look, she’s a decent

3-point shooter.”

In the first half, the Flashes took 13 minutes before finding their footing against Ohio. Behind a defense that locked down Kent State’s 3-point shooters, the Bobcats built a 23-9 lead with 10:18 left in the half.

With fewer than seven minutes left in the half, a jumper by sophomore guard Jamilah Humes hit two sides of the rim and then paused before falling in. After that, Kent State’s shots seemed to drop faster.

Humes’s field goal sparked a 12-3 Kent State run which finished at the half with Ohio leading 32-29.

In the second half, the Flashes cut the lead to a single point four times, but were unable to capitalize. Poff shot 4-of-5 from the 3-point line in the half to keep the Bobcats

from going under.

“Bottom line was when we cut the lead to three and it was a three-point game at the half, we had an opportunity to win it in the second half,” Lindsay said. “We didn’t make enough plays to win. They made more plays than we did and they played better than we did.”

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Josh Johnston at [email protected].