Women’s basketball wins first wagon wheel matchup of the season

Kyle Kuchta, Reporter

With 21 seconds left in the game, Kent State’s women’s basketball team had a 53-50 lead.

Freshman guard Corynne Hauser then made a shot with just 13 seconds left in the game. After an Akron 3-pointer, senior guard Katie Shumate hit two free throws with seven seconds left — giving Kent State a 57-55 victory. 

Despite going 17-of-55 from the field and 4-of-14 from three, KSU was able to pull off the road win.

“This was a defensive battle,” coach Todd Starkey said. “It was a good game plans on both sides, and it was back and forth. They got us last year, so it was nice to get this one. That’s now three in a row we’ve won and four of our last five in conference play. It sets up a really big game on Saturday that’s arguably the best team in the league.”

Kent State forced 18 turnovers on eight steals and three blocks. 

Akron shot 19-of-50 from the field and 5-of-17 from deep.

Kent State improves to 13-7 overall with a 6-3 record in the MAC, and the team is now in fourth place in the conference. 

Akron falls to 14-6 overall and  5-4 in the MAC. The Zips are now fifth in the conference. 

Slow start

It was a slow start for both teams, as the Flashes led with a 11-10 score after quarter one. They went 4-of-15 from the field and 2-of-5 from three.

Akron was held to zero points until 4:02 left to play in the first quarter, but Kent State only scored six of its own. The Zips were just 4-of-16 from the field to start and 1-of-5 from 3-point range. 

Four different players made it in the scoring column for the Flashes.

Much of the same continued in the second quarter as KSU shot 4-of-10 from the field, while the Zips shot 3-of-10. The Flashes went 7-of-10 from the line. This was the most visits to the free throw line out of any quarter from the game. 

Coming into the game Akron shot more foul shots than anyone in the league.  Kent State had more free throw attempts, going 19-of-24, while AU went 12-of-18.

Kent State and Akron both went 0-of-2 from three in the second quarter.. 

Both teams had 13 points a piece in the second quarter. Kent State led at the half 24-23.

Big third quarter

KSU’s biggest lead of the game came in the third quarter, where the team went up 40-28 with 3:11 left to play after a 9-0 run. Kent State would finish the quarter on a 12-2 run going up 43-30. 

The Flashes outscored Akron 19-7 in the third while shooting 33% from the field and going 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. 

“We were just executing really well and following the game plan,” graduate student guard Hannah Young said. “We were setting good screens and cutting well, and I think we do the little things right.”

This was Akron’s lowest scoring quarter in this game. The team scored just seven points.

“I loved how we played in the third quarter,” Starkey said. “I wish we could play like that for all four quarters.” 

Akron had its best shooting performance in the fourth quarter, shooting 53% from the field and 42% from deep.

Kent State shot 33% from the floor in the fourth quarter.

The Flashes were outrebounded 43-30 in the game, but scored 17 points off turnovers and 22 points in the paint. 

“We did a really good job of that and made sure we had active hands and got deflections and made their post entries tough — we got some turnovers off of that” Starkey said. “We missed seven uncontested layups in the first quarter, we had opportunities to push it out a little bit more, wished we would’ve done that but at the same time you just take what you can get and get a win on the road.”

Akron outscored Kent State in the fourth 25-14.

Young led the team in points with 16. She added six rebounds and two assists. Shumate added 11 points with three rebounds, three steals and a block. 

Hauser had nine points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Kent State will head to Muncie, Indiana, to take on Ball State (18-4). 

The Cardinals sit at second place in the MAC and have won six-straight. They are 7-1 in the conference.

Tip off is 11 a.m. Saturday. 

Kyle Kuchta is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]