Kent State Women's Basketball Outlasts Central Michigan For Second Straight Win
"I thought we played a very good game," said 23rd-year head coach Bob Lindsay. "Offensively, we were good, especially in the first half. I'm proud of our effort. We earned the win."
The Golden Flashes (4-12, 3-3 MAC) strung together back-to-back victories for the first time in 2011-12 by shooting 56% from the field while limiting the Chippewas (11-9, 3-3 MAC) to just 33.3% in the first half to head into the halftime break with a 37-29 lead. Kent State has won three of its last five games and has shot 40% or better in four of the last five games after finishing Sunday's contest at a 45.7% clip.
Kent State's junior class once again led the way. Forward Diamon Beckford (Upper Darby, Pa.) scored a team-high 21 points and shot 70% from the field, reaching double figures for the seventh time this season -- including in each of the last three contests and five of Kent State's last seven games. Guard Trisha Krewson (Sandusky, Ohio) added 17 points, knocking down a team-high four treys. She reached double figures for the 11th time in 2011-12 and eighth time in the last 11 games. Guard Tamzin Barroilhet (Sainte Maxime, France) dished out a game-high five assists and added eight points.
"At this point in the season, we're playing really well together," said Beckford. "We were such a young team in the beginning and had never played together. Now, we're meshing really well.
The Flashes came out firing in the first half and went into the break with just its third halftime lead of the season, taking an eight-point advantage into the locker room thanks in large part to 11 points by Beckford. The Flashes built a 10-5 lead out of the gates using a three by Krewson, a layup and a three by Beckford and a layup by freshman guard Jamie Hutcheson (Ancaster, Ontario). Central Michigan countered with a 9-2 run to take a 14-12 with 11:28 remaining in the half. That was the only lead the Chippewas held the rest of the way, though, as the Flashes turned a four-point lead with 8:36 left in the half into a 10-point lead a minute late thanks to back-to-back threes from freshman guard Josey Hull (London, Ohio) and Krewson. The Chippewas shaved Kent State's lead to five with three minutes remaining, but the Flashes ended the half on a 9-4 run with the help of two layups by freshman forward Melanne Stubbs (Merrillville, Ind.) and a jumper by Barroilhet.
Kent State led by double digits for nearly the entire second half – including by as many as 14 points with 8:51 to play. The Chippewas gave the blue & gold a fight in the waning moments, though, taking advantage of eight missed free throws by the Golden Flashes and going on a 12-4 run over the final minute of play to trim Kent State's lead to just two with 16 seconds to play. Hutcheson was fouled with eight seconds to play and knocked down the second of her two free throw attempts to increase Kent State's lead to three. Kent State shut down the Chippewas on their final possession to ice the victory.
Three Chippewas finished the contest in double figures. Sophomore guard Niki DiGuilio led all scorers with 22 points. Freshman guards Jessica Green and Kerby Tamm contributed 14 and 10, respectively. Freshman guard Crystal Bradford hauled in 14 rebounds.
Kent State opens a two-game MAC West road trip by traveling to Kalamazoo, Mich., to meet Western Michigan Wednesday (Jan. 25). Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Golden Flashes are now two victories away from 600 wins in program history.