All sorts of nice things to say about Kent State’s 62-58 win at Bowling Green Saturday.
- It meant Kent State swept its season series over the Falcons for the first time since 2001-02. It was Kent State’s first win at Bowling Green in 11 years. It was Kent State’s first win — in any men’s or women’s sport — ever at BG’s Stroh Center.
- It was Kent State’s second win in three games and third straight good game. (It lost by two at Buffalo Wednesday.) It was its first MAC road victory of the season. It gives Kent State a 3-11 conference record, 5-20 overall. It gives KSU a chance to equal or better last year’s MAC record of 4-14. The Flashes are now alone in 10th place in the league (and in fourth place in the MAC East.)
It was a game in which many players in many positions contributed.
- Senior point guard Mikell Chinn, who missed more than a month earlier in the season with a concussion, equalled a career high with 10 assists. She scored a season-high seven points. “Mikell stepping up in a way a senior point guard steps u,” coach Danny O’Banion said in her postgame radio interview. “Their game plan was the leave our point guards open. Once Mikell realized that, she did a great job adjusting.” Chinn made two layups and a 15-foot jumper in the first half and a free throw with seven seconds to go that clinched the game.
- Sophomore wing guard Larissa Lurken, who has had an up-and-down season despite being Kent’s leading scorer, had one of her best games. She had 16 points on four three-point shots and four of four foul shooting. She had been averaging only 51 percent after shooting almost 80 percent last season.
- Cici Shannon had 10 points on four of five shooting and eight rebounds. It was only the second game since she had 20 rebounds against BG in January that she didn’t have double digit rebounds. O’Banion said Bowling Green often had two players try to block out Shannon after missed baskets.
- Mckenna Stephens had 11 points on five of seven shooting, mostly on midrange jump shots. She added some excitement by missing three foul shots in the last minute but made a fourth to give Kent State a three-point lead.
- Until those three misses and one at the end by Chinn, Kent State had made 10 of 12 free throws. The team, which is a distant last in the MAC in foul shooting, has shot well in the last three games. It wouldn’t have been in any of them without that shooting.
- For one of the few times this season, Kent State committed fewer turnovers than its opponent (10 to BG’s 13) and scored more points off of turnovers (14-10), Three of those turnovers were Chinn steals. Lurken had two steals.
- Kent State led by five at half time and extended the lead to 16 in the second half. That’s its largest lead of the season. it was sort of holding on for dear life at the end.
- The Flashes outscored BG 28-16 in the paint and 10-2 on second-chance points. Its bench outscored the Falcons’ bench 23-16.
- Bowling Green, which has lost four players to season-ending injuries, played only eight women.
- O’Banion called this was a “special team.” “We’ve talked a lot about the potential of this team. We have just enough to be successful — not a surplus but enough,” she said.
The Flashes are home Wednesday to play Akron, which is 19-6 and 9-5 in the MAC. The Zips lost to first-place Ohio 71-55 in Akron Saturday. Kent State played very well when it lost to Akron 74-67 in Akron Jan. 31.
Other MAC scores Saturday:
Ball State (15-10, 11-3 MAC) 51, Northern Illinois (10-14, 6-8) 50, at Northern.
Miami (5-20, 2-12) 78, Buffalo (15-10, 8-6) 68, at Buffalo.
Central Michigan (12-13, 7-7) 63, Western Michigan (16-9, 9-5) 51, at Central.
Toledo (15-10, 8-6) 81, Eastern Michigan (14-11, 7-7) 72, at Eastern.