The Kent State women’s basketball team allowed only two University of Miami field goals in the fourth quarter.
But one of those shots was the biggest of the game, as Miami guard Peyton Scott hit a buzzer-beating three pointer which gave the RedHawks (4-18, 3-15 MAC) a 61-58 home win over the visiting Flashes (10-7, 9-5 MAC).
“The summary of the game is 16 percent from the three point line and 48 percent from the free throw line, so we weren’t playing very well,” coach Todd Starkey said. “We didn’t finish and missed free throws and layups. They hit the three at the buzzer to win it, but I feel like if you hold a team under 60 you should win the game.”
Kent State led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but ended up taking just a two-point lead to the locker room following a 10-1 Miami run to close the half.
The Flashes defense gave up 20 points in the third quarter and the RedHawks took a five-point lead into the final 10 minutes.
Neither team shot well in the fourth quarter. Kent shot 25 percent from the field while Miami shot 15.4 percent, hitting just two of 13 field goal attempts.
Overall, the Flashes shot 41.5 percent from the field and the RedHawks shot 37.7 percent from the field.
“Our offense was stagnant,” Starkey said. “It didn’t feel like we had the same energy or fight, but this was our fifth road game in six games. That has an effect mentally and physically that wears you down just being on the road. But we definitely beat ourselves today, no question about it.”
Kent only made two three-point field goals on 12 attempts, well below the team’s conference average of 8.9 makes per game.
The Flashes shot poorly from the free throw line, making only 12 of 25 attempts for 48 percent compared to the RedHawks’ 83.3 percent on 15 of 18 attempts from the stripe.
“Free throws are such a mental thing,” Starkey said. “It depends on what your mentality is stepping up to the free throw line, but we practice them all the time. It’s just a matter of the mentality stepping up there and shooting with confidence.”
Kent usually averages 11.8 assists per game, but only dished the ball out four times compared to Miami’s 12 assists.
The Flashes were led by sophomore forward Nila Blackford who had another double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds, sophomore guard Katie Shumate had 12 points and two of the team’s four assists and junior guard Hannah Young had 10 points and five rebounds on the afternoon.
Miami was led by Scott with 25 points and 12 rebounds and senior forward Kelly McLaughlin with 21 points and four rebounds.
Kent won the rebounding battle 38-32 resulting in 18 second chance points compared to six second chance points for the RedHawks.
The Flashes outscored Miami 38-24 in the paint and cashed in 19 points on 18 Miami turnovers compared to the RedHawks’ eight points on 16 Flashes miscues.
Kent State will wrap up its regular season road game schedule by taking on first place Bowling Green State University (17-4, 13-3 MAC) Wednesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in Bowling Green.
Kathryn Rajnicek is a sports reporter. Contact her at email@example.com.