Kent State Defeats Alaska Anchorage 53-47 for Great Alaska Shootout Title
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Kent State women's basketball team ended numerous streaks Wednesday evening, as the Golden Flashes captured the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout with a 53-47 win over the host University of Alaska Anchorage at Sullivan Arena.
With the win, Kent State improved to 4-0, marking the team's first 4-0 start in the program's 36-year history. The Golden Flashes ended UAA's streak of Great Alaska Shootout titles at four and marked the first in-season tournament victory for KSU since the 1996-97 campaign.
Senior Jamilah Humes (Saginaw, Mich.) was honored as the tournament MVP after leading Kent State with team highs of 23 points, four assists and five steals in the championship game. Senior Taisja Jones (Dallas, Texas), who also garnered all-tournament team accolades, added 17 points. Chenel Harris (Mississauga, Ontario) rounded out double-figure scorers with 10 points.
While Humes' offense was a big factor, the senior guard helped seal the win with a pair of critical defensive stop late in the game. Humes grabbed back-to-back steals with just under two minutes left in regulation to help Kent State take a four-point, 48-44 lead with 1:14 to go.
After UAA cut the lead down to one with a three-pointer, Kent State held the host Seawolves without another point while going 5-of-6 from the free throw line to seal the game. With just 11 seconds remaining and Kent State's lead at 49-47, UAA made an untimely unforced error and turned the ball over at midcourt to help Kent State's momentum.
For the second straight night Kent State fell behind early, spotting UAA the game's first 11 points, aided by a trio of three-pointers. The Golden Flashes couldn't get on the board until a Jones free throw at the 13:55 mark, and Kent State's first field goal wasn't until 12:20 left in the first half when Harris banked in a long three-pointer.
But Kent State battled back slowly, and with a 14-2 run, including a string of nine straight points by Humes, Kent State took its first lead, 22-20, with 2:30 to go in the first half.
UAA ended the first half with the last four points to take a 24-20 lead at intermission. Humes' nine led the Golden Flashes, while Taisja Jones added seven in the first stanza.
In the second half, Kent State and Alaska Anchorage battled through five ties and 11 lead changes as neither team had more than Kent State's final six-point advantage.
Kent State's defense was the key, as the Golden Flashes benefitted from 28 Alaska Anchorage turnovers while committing just 14 turnovers on their offensive end.
Alaska Anchorage (5-2) was led by Hanna Johansson's 15 points, while Tanee Denson-Griffin added 11 points with a game-high eight rebounds.
Kent State is back in action Sunday, Nov. 28 when the Golden Flashes open their home schedule against Marshall. Tip-off against the Thundering Herd is slated for 2 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.
2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout
Women's All-Tournament Team
Alysa Horn, Alaska Anchorage
Kristi Kingma, Washington
Tanee' Denson-Griffin, Alaska Anchorage
Taisja Jones, Kent State
Hanna Johansson, Alaska Anchorage
Most Outstanding Player - Jamilah Humes, Kent State