Flashes’ dreams dashed by Bowling Green

Deanna Stevens

Senior forward Lindsay Shearer cries over Kent State’s 64-39 loss to Bowling Green during the MAC Tournament Championg game at the Quicken Loans arena. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Kent State women’s basketball team is once again the second best team in the Mid-American Conference.

Bowling Green (28-2, 16-0 MAC) defeated Kent State (21-9, 12-4 MAC) in the MAC Tournament Championship 64-39. It is the second consecutive season that the Falcons are the champions at the expense of the Flashes.

“Without stating the obvious, I think we were beat by a team that just completely out played us in every aspect of the game,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said.

A few of those aspects included rebounding, assists, and field goal percentage. Rebounding was the biggest downfall for the Flashes – they were out-rebounded 41-23.

Consistent with the regular season, the Flashes were down early. They went into halftime 26-13.

At that point, the Flashes were shooting 20 percent from the field and were yet to make a 3-pointer. Not hitting from beyond the arc was something that has been a major problem against Bowling Green all season.

Also consistent with the Flashes, they came out in the second half with a comeback run. A 12-0 run with 16 minutes 38 seconds left brought the Flashes within single digits.

But a timeout by the Falcons and four unanswered points slowed Kent State’s momentum. A fifth foul by senior guard Malika Willoughby crushed any hope of a comeback the Flashes had in them.

“When we cut the lead to nine and they (went on a 4-0 run) – that was the breaking point.” Lindsay said.

Senior forward Lindsay Shearer had a game-high 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half.

“It wasn’t necessarily a slow start,” Shearer said. “We never started. We didn’t play the game with a sense of urgency. We played this game like a regular season game, not the championship game.”

The loss may mark the last game of the season for seniors Willoughby, Shearer, Tiffany Kelly and Kacie Varvek. Lindsay said there is a chance the team will be invited to play in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. They will find out on Monday.

Bowling Green is the first MAC team to win back-to-back championships since 1997. They also set at MAC single-season record by winning 28 consecutive games.

“They are a very tough team,” Lindsay said. ” If you look at the difference between Bowling Green and everybody else in this conference is that they refuse to lose.”

Contact women’s basketball reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].