Against Duquesne, senior guard Megan Carter got Kent State the win with a buzzer-beater. With the game tied against Youngstown State and seconds left in regulation, she tried again. This time, she missed and the game went into overtime.
“I had no problem with her shooting a pull up jump shot there with about fifteen feet because a lot of times that goes in,” coach Todd Starkey said. “I said ‘if it comes down to a game winner in overtime, we’re going to use you as a decoy and we’re going to have somebody with a layup at the end.’”
In overtime, the game was tied at 71 with 1:54 left to go when sophomore guard Asiah Dingle scored the go-ahead basket on a driving layup. The Flashes ended up winning 82-73.
“We would definitely like to win more soundly,” Carter said. “But we got the win, we came back. We didn’t have a great first half, but we came back and we fought hard and didn’t give up.”
Dingle lead the team with 19-points and was one of the five Kent State players to score in double-digits for the second game in a row.
“We’ve got plays to score,” Starkey said. “Our defense is a little bit of our achilles heel.”
The third quarter ended with the Flashes down 52-47. In the fourth quarter, Kent State held Youngstown to four of 11 shots, stole the ball four times and scored nine points in 30 seconds.
“We came out slow in both games,” Dingle said. “We talked about that in the locker room, trying to start off strong so we don’t have to fight in the end, but I guess we’re good at fighting.”
Kent State forced 22 turnovers and had 25 points off of them, including seven points off of turnovers in overtime.
“We had much better defense down the stretch,” Starkey said. “I thought we were much better connected. We were doing some light pressure on them to try and keep them out of a rhythm offensively.”
Two of the freshman, forward Nila Blackford and guard Katie Shumate, combined for 30 points.
“It’s a nice thing to have those two as freshmen,” Starkey said. “There just learning as they go. I just told them ‘play hard and we’ll make corrections as you go. I don’t want you playing passive.’”
Blackford had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. She made six of her 20 attempted field goals.
“She’s a lot to handle,” Starkey said. “She struggled to finish. If she finished some of those layups, she’s got probably 25 [points] instead of 14.”
Shumate had 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
“Katie did a great job,” Carter said. “Katie always takes on the difficult tasks. I think that starts in practice. She guards me everyday, we go at it everyday and that translates into games.”
Kent State faces the University of Michigan on Nov.15 in Akron. On Nov. 8, the University of Michigan beat Western Michigan 76-55.
“We’re going to have to shore up things on the defensive end,” Starkey said. “Especially against Michigan on Friday. It’s a different animal.”
Contact Gina Butkovich at email@example.com