Shearer domination leads to win

Deanna Stevens

A dominating game by Lindsay Shearer, improving offensively in the second half and equally discriminating jumpshooting, led Kent State to a 77-61 victory over Montana State on Saturday.

The senior forward topped the Flashes (4-1) with 28 points and seven rebounds in her 30 minutes of play. Six of her 28 came consecutively with 13 minutes left in the second half when Montana State came within four points. She converted on back-to-back, 3-point plays to build the lead back to 10. From that point on, the Flashes lead never fell below double digits.

“Lindsay (Shearer) is used to making big shots in games,” Kent State coach Bob Lindsay said. “She’s not someone who will wilt under pressure, and we have to continue to give her the ball in these situations.”

Shearer’s 28 points moved her to 12th place on the Kent State all-time leading scoring list. It also is the 21st game with 20 points or more.

The Flashes’ 77-point final was a season high, even though the team only shot 39 percent for the game.

Outside shooting was a struggle for both teams. Montana State (0-5) only shot 38 percent. Yet, dominant post play – especially in the second half by the Flashes – was too much for the Bobcats.

According to Shearer, the post players took advantage of their athleticism a lot more in the second period.

“We improved in the second half,” Shearer said. ” We took advantage of (the post game) a lot more. In the first half, we were impatient on offense, and we just kept taking threes.”

Taking control down low was a key factor for the Flashes, Lindsay said.

“Overall, one of the things we tried to do was dominate the inside game,” Lindsay said. “Tiffany (LaFleur) and Lindsay (Shearer) had excellent games. I think our inside presence was the difference in the game.”

Just like the rest of her fellow Flashes, junior center Tiffany LaFleur did most of her damage in the second half as well, 10 of her 12 points came after halftime. She went on a six-point run of her own late in the second half. However, LaFleur earned two of her points from the free throw line, and two put-back layups with five minutes left in the game.

LaFleur tied her career high, which she earned against Ball State last February.

“Tiffany should be a first-team All-Conference player,” Lindsay said.

However, Lindsay added that it was up to LaFleur to capitalize her full-ability.

Also in the second half, the Flashes began to utilize on the high-low game between junior forward La’kia Stewart and Shearer.

Shearer added that the Bobcats were collapsing on Stewart at the top of the key, so they were able to recognize that and she was able to convert down low.

Stewart added nine points and seven rebounds to the Flashes’ cause.

Along with Shearer and LaFleur’s career achievements, point guard Malika Willoughby moved to sixth on the all-time assist list. Willoughby had added eight points, seven assists, and three steals to the effort.

Even with the win, Lindsay and the players agree they have a few things to address. According to Lindsay, the Flashes defensive pressure was not the main reason the Bobcats were held to under 40 percent shooting. Communication and more pressure on the perimeter are a few things the Flashes want to work on.

The Flashes head to St. Bonaventure at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

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