Kent State Women’s Basketball Fends Off Ohio For First Conference Win
Trio of juniors lead the way for the Golden Flashes with double-digit scoring efforts.
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State women's basketball team put together a 12-9 run over the final five minutes of play to earn a 68-65 victory Saturday (Jan. 7) over Mid-American Conference East Division foe Ohio at the M.A.C. Center.
"I'm proud of our team and their effort," said 23rd-year head coach Bob Lindsay. "We gave ourselves a chance to win. We've had a lot of situations this year where we've been in close games, and the plays have gone against us. Today, I thought the plays went in our favor, and we did enough to win the game."
The Golden Flashes (2-10, 1-1 MAC) snapped an eight-game losing streak and earned their first conference victory of the 2011-12 campaign with the victory over the Bobcats (8-8, 1-1 MAC). Kent State has won five straight over Ohio and is now 38-9 all-time against the Bobcats under Lindsay.
"It was a big emphasis starting last Wednesday, that it's a new season," said junior guard Trisha Krewson (Sandusky, Ohio). "It's 2012 and we're a new team. We feel really good about the win today. Our whole persona and team morale was elevated today. We were confident and wanted to win in front of our home crowd and play for each other. I could definitely feel how close we were as a team today."
Kent State outshot Ohio, 46.3%-43.6% -- including a 35%-25% edge from three-point land and outrebounded the Bobcats, 38-27.
"We emphasized grabbing the rebounds and boxing out in practice," said junior forward Diamon Beckford (Upper Darby, Pa.). "We were able to get key rebounds when we needed to get them."
A trio of juniors led the way for the Flashes with double-digit scoring efforts. Guard Tamzin Barroilhet (Sainte Maxime, France) led all scorers with a career-high 20 points, marking the second time this year she has reached double figures. Beckford and Krewson each achieved double-doubles. Beckford scored a career-high 19 points -- including a game-high four threes -- and chipped in 10 rebounds while Krewson added 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and matched Barroilhet with a game-high three steals. The effort marked the second double-double of Krewson's career and eighth time this season she has hit double digits in scoring. Beckford's double-double was the first of her career and the contest marked the fourth time this season she has totaled double figures in scoring.
"I thought Tamzin had really good stretches of the game," said Lindsay. "There were a couple instances where she had successive plays where she played very, very well. She's struggled a little bit this season with her confidence level, but she came out today and did a very good job for us. Krewson rebounded the ball well and made a couple of big shots, and Diamon kept us in there with her three-point shooting."
Barroilhet and Beckford did the bulk of their damage in the second half, each scoring 13 points. With the contest knotted at 56-all with 5:17 to play, the Golden Flashes played with the poise of a veteran team to capture their first MAC win of the season. Back-to-back layups by Barroilhet gave Kent State a four-point edge with just over four minutes to play. Sophomore guard Shavon Robinson answered for the Bobcats by converting a layup and drawing the foul and completing the conventional three-point play by knocking in the free throw. Beckford and Barroilhet countered with back-to-back layups to give the Flashes a 64-59 lead with 2:49 to play. Ohio came back with two successful freebies from redshirt senior Tenisha Benson and a layup by Robinson to cut Kent State's lead to one with just over a minute remaining. That's as close as the Golden Flashes allowed the Bobcats to get, though, as Krewson was fouled and sank two free throws to put Kent State back up by three with 19 seconds left. Robinson was fouled and hit her two free shots with five seconds left to cut it to one again for Ohio, but freshman guard Itziar Llobet (Sant Cugat de Valles, Spain) iced the win for Kent State by sinking two free throws.
The Golden Flashes got off to a good start, opening the game with a 15-8 lead thanks to two layups and a trey by Barroilhet and layups by Llobet, Krewson and freshman guard Jamie Hutcheson (Ancaster, Ontario). Ohio answered back, though, going on a 24-6 spree over the next 10 minutes to take its largest lead of the game at 32-21 with four minutes to play in the half. The Golden Flashes rose to the challenge, though, at the end of the first 20 minutes, using a 7-2 run highlighted by layups by Krewson and freshman forward Melanee Stubbs (Merrillville, Ind.) and a trey by Beckford to limit to the Bobcats to a six-point edge heading into halftime.
Kent State carried over its end-of-half success into the beginning of the final 20 minutes of play, tying the game at 39-all with an 14-8 run to begin the half thanks in large part to two layups by Barroilhet, one by Hutcheson, a layup and a three by Beckford and a trey by Krewson. Ohio built its lead back up to eight at 54-46 with 9:20 to play. The Flashes responded once again, this time with a 10-2 run powered by threes by Beckford and Barroilhet to knot the score at 56-all and set the stage for Kent State's final push.
Three Bobcats finished in double figures in scoring. Benson led the way with a team-high 15 points, and Robison was right behind her with 14. Junior guard Ashley Fowler added 10 more for Ohio.
Kent State travels to Oxford, Ohio, to battle Miami next Wednesday (Jan. 11) in the first contest of a two-game MAC East road swing. Four of Kent State's next six games will be played on the road.