Flashes pecked out of win

Matt Gottfried

The Kent State women’s basketball team, along with No. 25 Bowling Green, combined to generate everything one might expect in a clash between the Mid-American Conference’s top two teams last night.

Unfortunately, the outcome wasn’t quite what the Flashes had in mind, as a 33 percent shooting performance cost them in the 62-50 loss.

The Falcons (23-2, 14-0 MAC) entered the contest riding a 17-game home winning streak, the third longest such streak in the nation. They also stand as the only unbeaten team in the conference and are winners of 14 straight.

All those streaks continued after last night’s victory though, as Bowling Green recorded its second win over Kent State (17-8, 10-4 MAC) this season.

In their meeting last month, Bowling Green held off a late Kent State surge for a 62-50 victory, despite relinquishing a 15-point halftime lead.

One player who has earned a reputation for clipping the Falcons’ game after game is senior forward Lindsay Shearer.

Shearer, who manhandled the conference rival in last year’s MAC Championship game for a career-high 44 points, scored 20 points in the two teams’ first meeting earlier this year.

Last night, Bowling Green did everything in its power to see that didn’t happen again.

Shearer drained eight of her team’s first 10 points to start the contest, but was held scoreless for the following 17 minutes. By the time she sunk her first points of the second half at the 12:44 mark, the Flashes were down 36-30. She then went on to score six-straight points for the Flashes a few minutes later to cut the deficit to 38-34.

The Falcons’ offense, however, which has four players averaging double figures, proved to be too much for the Flashes to overcome. The No. 1-ranked offense clinched the MAC East Division Title . Despite Bowling Green’s strong defensive pressure, Shearer still managed to lead Kent State with her 20 points and eight rebounds.

As a team though, the Flashes hit just three of their first 16 shots from the floor to fall behind early in the contest.

Senior guard Tiffany Kelly, who has been plagued by injuries through most of her career, drained the Flashes’ only 3-pointer in the team’s 12 attempts. The trey brought the team to within one point at 20-19. During that span, the team missed 19-straight attempts from long range.

Though first place is now out of reach for Kent State, it has a No. 2 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament where it will receive a first-round bye. The Flashes will look to tune up for their MAC run on Saturday when they host Miami in what will be their last home game of the season.

Contact women’s basketball reporter Matt Gottfried at [email protected].