Flashes beat Huskies in OT

Tyler McIntosh

Members of the Kent State women’s basketball team rejoice as they beat the Washington Huskies 81-78 in overtime. Kent State will play in the Gene Hackerman Invitational next weekend in Houston. KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: John Proppe

It took all of the second half and an extra overtime period, but the Kent State women’s basketball team managed to erase an 18-point first-half deficit to defeat Washington 81-78 last night.

Senior guard Kristin Peoples, who only played three minutes in the first half due to foul problems, returned in the second half and led the Flashes with a career-high 29 points and five assists.

“It was tough to sit there and watch us struggle like that, knowing I should be out there helping my teammates,” Peoples said. “I just had to come out and do the best I could in the second half.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said that Peoples played great and that a positive of her being stuck on the bench in the first half was her ability to play fresh in the second half.

Like so many other first halves this season, the Flashes started out slow, shooting just 26.9 percent from the field and committing 15 turnovers.

Kent State failed to score a field goal for the final seven minutes of the first half and found themselves trailing 37-19 heading into the break.

“We haven’t had many games when we haven’t had Kristin for such a long time,” senior guard La’kia Stewart said. “We had trouble starting our offense. That put us on defense for an extended period of time and that drained us.”

Stewart, who scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds, started the second half by scoring six straight points.

Kent State (2-3) would pull to within six points before Washington widened the gap to 11 points.

However, Kent State would end the second half on a 21-10 run to tie the game at 67 and send it into overtime.

“I think our effort starting on the defensive end in the second half to get easy transition points and we got a lot more rebounds to start our transition game,” Peoples said.

Trailing by one with four minutes to go in overtime, Peoples drove the lane and scored an easy lay up to put Kent State up for 73-72. Washington would come back to tie it up with just 18 seconds left in the game.

Coming off of a Kent State timeout, Stewart found Peoples who then made her only three of the night to put Kent State up for good.

“If the drive was open I was going to take it,” Stewart said. “But if it wasn’t, I was either going to look for her or Sarah [Burgess].”

Burgess added 13 points and nine rebounds for Kent State.

Contact sports reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].