23-6 push in fourth quarter sends Eastern Michigan past KSU

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.

Box score

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.

MAC standings



    • Carl Schierhorn



      You think it’s fatigue? Or just not good enough.

      And if it is fatigue, where do they go? They’re not going to win without Korinek-Lurken-James.


      • flashfanday1

        Good Day, Carl…

        I actually enjoyed watching the game against Eastern Michigan and began very optimistic about a possible win. I thought Coach O’Bannioin made a good decision with the starting lineup because these were kids that have been around and have some experience, but then I quickly realized she planned to hang her hat on the exact starting line up for what i’ll just call the entire game. Big mistake IMO! This game is a tale of two different stories. I’m proud of the way Korinek, James, and Lurken played, they all work hard as they can most games. Even though Lurken wasn’t as big of a threat offensively and unfortunately James penetration can be weak at times against great defenses but she’s young and only has room to grow.

        It’s pretty clear to me that if u stop 1 of 3 of these players and have decent scoring you’re in for a win. I’ve yet to see Kent shut down any offense this year. While i don’t expect major scoring from a PG, Cross continues to not seize scoring opportunities, create shots or find foul trouble for the defense by going to the basket and at 33 mins that’s just questionable. Strangely, before being pulled from the starting line up early in the season she had that drive to score more. Kent needs to get there and attack before the defense sets up more often… this could really blow a game wide open if their conditioning can keep up with the pace.

        There’s a saying “live by the 3 die by the 3”! This team especially in the fourth quarter took way to many long range shots at the end of the shot clock (not necessarily 3’s). This is where I question, “How could fatigue not be a factor”? Once again, while I believe she can’t win (right now) without James, Lurken, and Korinek… it’s also clear she can’t win with them, well not with them alone. Totally disregarding the stretch of the bench continues to be a thorn in her side. I wouldn’t say they got anxious, I’d say they were tired from a Fan’s perspective. If you’ve ever played game as a high impact player you know settling for the jumper always comes when you don’t have the energy to drive or keep up post play… or when you’re old, which means you better find a jump shot.

        EMU’s defense is describable as tenacious. They make up for poor shooting with speed and aggressiveness to the ball with every pass by the offense. A joy to watch actually! Why? if you know you’re overall poor shooters, you better be able to make them become poor shooters as well, even better you’re not relying on scoring due to droughts. Bonus if you’re great scorers.

        The other side of this game is.. luckily for them. Cha Sweeney found foul trouble and no rim! She is typically a terror and I had expected her to make a big showing against Kent especially once they became tired. Eastern overall shot poorly in the 3rd or maybe it was the 2nd and early 4th quarter allowing Kent to have but not seize an opportunity to grab a lead in this game. A lead that could’ve helped them during the fourth quarter. However, no real energy at this point to go and get it!!

        Last but not least important, Kent has got to find a way to attack all game and early in the shot clock for more scoring opportunities. Too many, and I mean too many plays are coming down to last second shot clock attempts. I’m not sure what this is about, but it has to stop. Errant shots while the bench counts down 5, 4, 3, 2…. is ridiculous. I’t happens but all too often.

        After the tomorrow’s game against Ohio, if resulting in a loss.. its time to shake things up. I don’t care how wacky it is at this point. This season is stained and getting close to flush-able. Once again use the bench! Leaders can emerge if you allow them too! Experience is usually the best teacher! Its not to late to make a run!

        I can’t help but believe these kids are losing confidence in the overall game plan!

        “Arm chair quarter backing with a basketball”


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