Carter scores game winner in first start back from mono

Freshman guard Katie Shumate (14) goes for a layup during the women’s basketball game on Jan. 29, 2020. Kent State University won against Ball State University 69-68. 

With 10 seconds to go against Ball State Wednesday night, redshirt senior guard Megan Carter grabbed a loose ball, crossed behind her defender and drove toward the basket. She trickled the ball over the front of the rim from two feet away in the key play of Kent State’s 69-68 win at home.

“I lost control, hurried up and got it back,” Carter said. “I saw the out-of-bounds sideline and I just tried to tip it to myself. I’m not going up on the play.”

The victory makes Kent State’s record 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the Mid American Conference and Ball State 13-7 overall and 5-3 in the MAC.

This was Kent State’s first win against Ball State since coach Todd Starkey was hired. Prior to the game, the Flashes were 0-4 against the Cardinals. 

“Personally, that was the first time I’ve played and beat Ball State,” Carter said. “We beat Ball State my freshman year, but I was out with an ACL tear, so it’s pretty big.”

In just her second game back from mono, Carter gave it all she had out there on the floor.

“I’m really proud of Megan Carter with everything she’s been through this season and to just come out and have just a hard-fought, physical, tough game,” Starkey said. “She was tired, fatigued and trying to get her rest, but she came away with 20 points and seven fouls drawn, so really good performance by her.”

The Flashes were without a key member of their team as sophomore guard Asiah Dingle did not play and Starkey would not comment on why. 

In addition to Carter’s 20 points, freshman guard Katie Shumate scored 15 points, freshman forward Nila Blackford scored 14 points and sophomore forward Lindsey Thall scored 11 points. 

“We tried to run some stuff for her (Shumate) intentionally early to get her in a bit of a rhythm and get her aggressive and that worked for her in the first half,” Starkey said. “It was kind of Katie’s first half and Nila’s second half.”

Kent State will be back in action at 2 p.m. on Saturday on the road against University of Toledo (9-9, 4-3 MAC).

Kathryn Rajnicek is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].