Woe-vertime: Chippewas outscore Flashes

Thomas Gallick

Forward Ellie Shields gets fouled while taking a shot during Saturday night’s loss against Central Michigan. DANIEL DOHERTY | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

The Kent State women’s basketball team led by four with one minute remaining, but the Central Michigan Chippewas stormed back with a 23-2 run to finish the game and win 87-70 Saturday at the M.A.C. Center.

Coach Bob Lindsay said fatigue affected the Flashes (6-15, 3-6 Mid-American Conference) in overtime, but the team should have been able to close out the game in regulation.

“We played poorly in the first half, played much better in the second half and then had nothing left in the overtime,” Lindsay said. “(We) couldn’t finish the game off. We had a five-point lead and had a two-point lead with 24 seconds left and couldn’t finish the game off.”

The Flashes found themselves down by 12 points to the Chippewas early in the second half, but went on a 15-2 run to tie the game with 8:23 remaining. Near the end of the half Kent State’s leading scorer of the night, freshman forward Ellie Shields, fouled out of the game with 20 points and nine rebounds.

“I was so frustrated,” Shields said. “I couldn’t believe I wasn’t in the game. I was very sad. I actually wanted to cry.”

Shields was also in foul trouble early in the first half. She came out of the game with two fouls with more than seven minutes to play in the half. Foul trouble, along with the Flashes’ seven-player roster, led to junior guard Asheley Harkins and freshman guard Stephanie Gibson playing all 45 minutes of the overtime game.

In a back-and-forth game, the Flashes and Chippewas traded leads 11 times, until Central Michigan went ahead for good in overtime. Chippewa guard Angel Chan, who had been averaging 9.4 points per game, dropped 15 of her team’s 19 overtime points on the Flashes in the extra session to bring her game total to 25.

The Flashes shot an abysmal 16.7 percent from the floor in overtime, following an effort of 40 percent in the second. In the first half, Shields went 4-for-8, while the rest of the team shot 5-for-26, with no other player knocking down more than one shot from the floor.

Freshman forward Chenel Harris said she didn’t know why the team had such an off night shooting.

“For most shooters you have those days where you can’t miss, and we’ve had those in this gym,” Harris said. “Then you have other days where it seems like you can’t make one, or everything’s just that much harder and unfortunately today, as far as our shooting went, everything was just that much harder.”

Harris and Harkins both posted double-doubles despite shooting a combined 5-for-26. Harris finished with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Harkins scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 12 boards.

Sophomore guard Rachel Bennett also scored in double figures with 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

Chan’s 25 points led the Chippewas in scoring for the game, but senior guard Candace Wilson led Central Michigan in regulation scoring with 20 points. She added a free throw in overtime to bring her game total to 21.

The win was the first for Central Michigan in the MAC and on the road, bringing the team’s record to 6-18 overall. Kent State returns to action Wednesday night against Northern Illinois in DeKalb.

Game Notes

Big night on the boards

Three Flashes, junior guard Asheley Harkins, sophomore guard Rachel Bennett and freshman forward Chenel Harris all recorded career highs in rebounds on the night. Harkins and Harris grabbed 12, while Bennett pulled down nine. 5-foot-8 Harkins’ previous career high was five.

All out, all night

Saturday night’s game marked the second consecutive game where Harkins has played the entire game, after she posted 40 minutes at Eastern Michigan. No player on Central Michigan played more than 40 minutes, while all of the Flashes starters except freshman forward Ellie Shields played at least 41.

Death by 3-pointer

Fourteen of Kent State’s 15 losses have come in games where the opposition hit more than six 3-pointers. The Chippewas connected on 12 and shot 44.4 percent from behind the arc over the Flashes’ zone defense.

Not since 2002-03.

The last time Kent State lost six games in the Mid-American Conference was the 2002-03 season. The Flashes went on to win the MAC East that season with a 10-6 conference record.

Contact sports reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].