Flashes lose, tie for second place in MAC

Deanna Stevens

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Kent State women’s basketball team could not push its winning streak to three with a 69-63 loss to Western Michigan on Saturday.

The loss puts Kent State into a three-way tie for third place in the Mid-American Conference. As of now, Western Michigan and Ball State join Kent State with a 6-3 MAC record.

The Flashes (13-7, 6-3 MAC) started the game strong, jumping to a 7-0 lead early in the first. But the Broncos took the lead with 14 minutes remaining and never returned it.

Western Michigan (9-11, 6-3 MAC) had three consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to double digits midway through the half. The Broncos were deadly from behind the arch, hitting 5-of-9. They lead by as many as 12 points with five minutes to go before halftime.

But outscoring the Broncos 11 points to nine within the last five minutes brought the Flashes’ deficit back under double digits going into the half, 39-31.

To end the first half, the Flashes led in points off the bench, second-chance points and points off turnovers. Yet red-hot shooting from the Broncos seemed to be too much, as they were 56 percent from the field and 55 percent from 3-point range.

Senior forward Lindsay Shearer led the Flashes in the first half with 12 points, but was held to only two points in the second half. Leading the Broncos was guard Carrie Moore, who had 19 points in the first and finished with a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said defending Moore, guard Casey Rost and forward Lindsey Brown would be vital for a victory. But after Brown was injured in the first half, it was guard Maria Jilian, along with Rost and Moore, who seemed to be too much for the Flashes.

Jilian and Rost finished the game with 17 points apiece. The three Broncos combined for 59 of the team’s 69 points.

Kent State junior guard Sarah Burgess was the high scorer for the Flashes with a season-high 19 points.

Rebounds were another area Western Michigan dominated, as it out-rebounded Kent State 21-11 in the first half and finished with 46 rebounds to Kent State’s 25.

The second half was a total opposite for the Flashes. The team did not get its first points until four minutes into the half. The Broncos took advantage of the lack of offense and pushed the lead to 16 points mid-way through the final half.

But the Flashes did not go away quietly. Led by Burgess’ 13 points in the second, they went on a 13-4 run which brought Kent State within five points with just under a minute left.

Free throws and possession of the ball to end the game gave the Broncos the ability to run out the clock and take the win.

The Flashes look to break the three-way tie when they face Ball State at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact womens basketball reporter Deanna Stevens at [email protected].