Second-half comeback gives women’s basketball a weekend split

Josh Johnston

Flashes beat Seattle after being down 18

The Kent State women’s basketball team overcame an 18-point second-half deficit against Seattle University yesterday to tie the game at 76. Then in overtime the Flashes poured it on.

Kent State (4-1) beat Seattle 89-77, after outscoring the Redhawks 13-1 in overtime. The win gave the Flashes a split in their two games at the Husky Classic in Seattle, after they lost to Clemson on Friday.



Washington 82

Seattle 56

With a 10-point run to start the game, tournament host Washington moved onto the Husky Classic final with an easy win over Seattle. Five players for the Huskies scored in double figures to give Washington its second win of the season.


Clemson 85

Washington 67

Clemson forward Lele Hardy scored 22 points for the second straight game to beat Washington in the tournament championship game. The Huskies finished the first half with a narrow one-point lead, but 63 percent shooting from the field powered the Tigers in the second half.

“We showed a lot of character coming back off of not only the (18-point) deficit, but the fact that we missed 17 free throws in the game,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “We dug ourselves a hole. Fortunately, we didn’t keep digging.”

Yesterday’s comeback came two years to the day after an 18-point return against Washington at the M.A.C. Center. The Flashes won that game in overtime as well, 81-78.

Early foul trouble hindered Kent State, with senior center Anna Kowalska, sophomore guard Jamilah Humes and sophomore forward Chenel Harris all drawing two fouls in the first half. Without Kowalska or Harris inside, the Flashes struggled to penetrate Seattle’s defense.

“Especially in the last 10 minutes of the half we were playing combinations of players that we’ve never played before,” Lindsay said. “That’s tough to do obviously. They’re not used to playing with each other, and they’re not used to playing the number of minutes they’re playing. That doesn’t usually stack up in your favor.”

After seeing the court for only five minutes in the first half, Kowalska took full advantage of her time in the second half by scoring 14 of her team-leading 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. Kowalska fouled out of the game with around five minutes left.

The Huskies went up 54-36 with 16:34 left in the game. From that point, however, Kent State outscored Seattle 40-22 to force the overtime. Sophomore guard Stephanie Gibson drove for a layup with 36 seconds left to tie.

“I saw we were down by two and I was like, ‘Crap,'” Gibson said. “(Humes) missed (a) layup and I knew my defender wasn’t really a good defender. So I just took it to the hole and, thank God, the layup went in (and) got two points.”


• Black Friday: In its first game at the Husky Classic, Kent State lost to Clemson 68-53 on Friday. The Flashes led by as many as five points in the second half but couldn’t stop Clemson forward Lele Hardy, who scored 22 points.

• Five alive: Five of Kent State’s players scored in double digits against Seattle, the second time the feat has occurred this season. Led by Kowalska’s 18 points, Shields (14 points), Humes (13), Gibson (11) and junior guard Yoshica Spears (11) all posted double figures.

• The season for giving: Seattle gave the Flashes 46 chances at the line yesterday, with Kent State making 29 of the free throws. The trips to the charity stripe were Kent State’s most since the Flashes attempted 44 free throws on Feb. 7, 2007, at Northern Illinois.

• Shields is back: After missing two games because of injury, sophomore center Ellie Shields returned the court against Clemson and Seattle. She scored 16 points over the two games.

During the overtime period, the Flashes moved ahead quickly with two free throws by Gibson, a layup by Humes and a jump shot by sophomore center Ellie Shields. The three women combined for 38 of Kent State’s points in the game.

“One of our team goals (was to) win in overtime,” Gibson said. “We definitely got that.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].