Kent State didn’t do the most important thing in basketball at the beginning of the second half.
The Flashes missed 10 of their first 11 second-half shots on their way to a 68-58 loss to Buffalo in Senior Day.
Kent trailed only 31-29 at halftime. Buffalo turned the ball over on its first possession of the second half, but Kent State missed a three-point shot. Then UB made a three-pointer. Kent State missed its next shot, got the offensive rebound, then missed the second-chance. A three-point play by Krista White brought Kent back to within five at 17:27, but the Flashes missed everything for the next seven minutes.
By then it was Buffalo, 45-34. The margin stayed between eight and 11 points for the rest of the game.
In that run and for most of the second half, Buffalo dominated the boards, outrebounding Kent State 26-16 in the half.
In a brief postgame radio interview before a ceremony honoring Kent State’s three graduating seniors, coach Danny O’Banion said she liked how physically her team played but saw “momentary lapses” on offense and defense.
Senior Cici Shannon ended her MAC Center career with her ninth double-double of the season. She had 16 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and four steals. Senior Mikell Chinn had six assists and three steals. Seniors Montia Johnson and Melanee Stubbs each had six points, but Stubbs was only 3 of 14 shooting. Larissa Lurken had 11 points, including three of five three-pointers.
Kent State finishes the regular 5-24, 3-15 in the MAC and in 11th place in the conference. They’ll play at Eastern Michigan at 5 p.m. Monday in the first round of the conference tournament. The Flashes lost to Eastern 70-53 Feb. 4 in Kent. The Eagles (18-11, 11-7 MAC) won their fourth straight game Saturday, beating Central Michigan 93-86.
Buffalo’s victory earned them a fourth seed and two-round bye in the tournament. The Bulls tied with Eastern and Western Michigan at 11-7 but took the highest seed on tie breakers.
Monday’s first round of the tournament looks like this:
No. 12 Bowling Green (9-20, 2-16) at No. 5 Western Michigan (18-11, 11-7).
No. 9 Central Michigan (12-17, 7-11) at No. 8 Northern Illinois (12-16, 8-10).
No. 11 Kent State (5-24, 3-15) at No. 6 Eastern Michigan (18-11, 11-7).
No. 10 Miami (7-22, 4-14) at No. 7 Toledo (17-12, 10-8).
On Wednesday, there will be these games at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland:
- Bowling Green/Western Michigan Winner vs. Central Michigan/Northern Illinois winner.
- Kent State/Eastern Michigan winner vs. Miami/Toledo winner.
Thursday afternoon quarterfinals:
- No. 4 Buffalo (18-11, 11-7) vs. BG/WMU/CMU/Northern.
- No. 3 Akron (22-7, 12-6) vs. KSU/EMU/Miami/Toledo.
Friday afternoon semifinals:
- No. 1 Ohio (25-4, 16-2) vs. Buffalo quarterfinal winner.
- No. 2 Ball State (17-12, 13-5) vs. Akron quarterfinal winner.
Finals are at 1 p.m. Saturday.
- Eastern Michigan 93, Central Michigan 86, at Central.
- Ball State 71, Toledo 55, at Ball State.
- Akron 79, Bowling Green 71, at Bowling Green.
- Ohio 75, Miami 60, at Ohio.
- Western Michigan 50, Northern Illinois 45, at Western.