Seven seconds to go in the third quarter: Kent State’s Chelsi Watson puts back a missed shot and it’s 46-45 Eastern Michigan.
Six seconds later: EMU’s Phyllis Webb, who had taken just 11 three-point shots all season, throws one up from the wing at the third-quarter buzzer. It rattles around the basket, goes in, comes back out, bounces high off the backboard and falls back in.
That essentially ended Kent State’s night.
Eastern scored the next 14 points and outscored the Flashes 23-6 in the fourth quarter.
The final score was 72-51. KSU drops to 3-12 on the season, 0-5 in the MAC. Eastern is 12-4 and 3-2 in the conference.
It was a game in which Eastern destroyed Kent State in the first and fourth quarters, while Kent State outplayed the Eagles in the second and third quarter.
After falling behind 22-10 after 10 minutes, KSU outscored Eastern 20-12 in the second and 15-12 for the first 9:57 of the third quarter.
“We got anxious,” coach Danny O’Bannioin said in her postgame radio interview. “We just settled for outside shots.”
And Kent State is not a good outside shooting team. They make an average of only 27 percent of their three-point shots this season.
In the fourth quarter, Kent was 2 of 7 from the field. And having being essentially even with EMU on turnovers and points off turnovers through three quarters, they committed eight that led to 15 points in the fourth.
Jordan Korinek led Kent State was 16 points and 9 rebounds. She fouled out with 1:45 to go. No other Kent State player scored more than 7 points.
“I thought the second quarter was a big set forward for us,” O’Banion said. “We were behind 22-10. That typically doesn’t end well for us.”
She said she didn’t think fatigue was the problem in the fourth quarter.
“We had a lot of players with minutes, but they were the right lineup in the game,” O’Banion said. “We need the best five on the floor to finish out the game.”
Tyra James played 35 minutes in her first start since Christmas. She had played well off the bench in the last four games. Against Eastern, she scored Kent’s first five points, then didn’t score again until the last basket. Larissa Lurken had six points on two three-pointers in 34 minutes. Naddiyah Cross played 33 minutes at point guard and scored two. Korinek play 29 minutes but lost time because of foul trouble.
Freshmen Alexa Golden, who had started seven of the last eight games, and Paige Salisbury, who had averaged about 10 minutes a game as back-up point guard, didn’t get into the game until late and played just three minutes each. Neither scored.
Junior college transfers Watson (6 points) and Keziah Lewis (7 points in a season-high 15 minutes) had the bulk of the time off the bench.
- KSU shot 37.5 percent, about 2 percentage points under its season average. Eastern shot 45.1 percent, above 5 points above its average.
- Eastern outrebounded KSU 34-31. The Eagles had 11 offensive rebounds. They had 26 Tuesday against league-leading Ohio in a 71-64 loss. KSU had 10 second-chance points, EMU 9.
- Eastern’s Cha Sweeney, the MAC’s third-leading scorer at 19.3 points a game, didn’t score. She had three first-half fouls and went 0 for 11 from the field.
Kent State is home Wednesday to play Ohio, which beat Central Michigan 86-84 in overtime saturday. The Bobcats are 13-3 and the only undefeated team in conference play at 5-0. The game is at 7 p.m. at the MACC.
Other MAC scores:
- Ball State (12-4, 4-1) 67, Bowling Green (5-9, 1-4) 56, at Bowling Green.
- Western Michigan(11-6, 3-2) 80, Miami (7-9, 1-4) 66, at Western.
- Ohio (13-3, 5-0) 86, Central Michigan (9-7, 3-2) 84 in overtime at Ohio.
- Toledo (9-7, 4-1) 66, Northern Illinois (8-8, 1-4) 59, at Toledo.
- Akron (9-7, 3-2) 69, Buffalo (10-6, 2-3) 61, at Buffalo.