Hannah Young matched her career highs of 14 points and eight rebounds in Kent State’s 79-71 win over Northern Illinois. (File photo from KSU website.)
Hannah Young has started to give Kent State the bench scoring the team has sought all season.
The sophomore from Forest, Virginia, played her best game in a KSU uniform Wednesday, scoring 14 points and hitting four foul shots in the last 30 seconds as the Flashes beat Northern Illinois 79-71 on the road. Young also led Kent State in rebounding with eight. She made four-of-seven shots, two-of-three 3-point shots and had two assists and a steal in 20 minutes.
The victory gave the Flashes their first road win of the MAC season and evens KSU’s record in the MAC at 2-2. The Flashes are 9-6 overall. Northern Illinois is 0-4 in the league and 4-11 overall. the Huskies have lost six straight games.
“She came through really, really good,” coach Todd Starkey said in his postgame interview with David Wilson on Golden Flash iHeart Radio. “She has a lot of family that live about 15 minutes from here, and her mom flew up here for the game. So I’m really happy that Hannah was able to have a good game in front of her family. We really needed her down the stretch, and I was pleased with how she played throughout the game.”
Kent State had seen an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle to four with 53 seconds to play. In the last 30 seconds, Young grabbed three rebounds and hit four-of-six foul shots. Those four points were Kent State’s only scoring in the last two minutes.
Before then, the Flashes had been in control since the middle of the second quarter. KSU scored the last eight points of the second quarter and had run its lead to 73-56 with 2:09 to play.
But NIU went on a 15-2 run, including 11 points in a row to close the score to 75-71. Kent State missed all five of its shots in that time and committed four turnovers in the face of a Northern Illinois press.
“We went into panic mode a little bit and threw it around and turned it over like it was our job down the stretch,” Starkey said. “We started playing tentative, running away from the ball. We had guards that didn’t want it in their hands late and post players that kind of disappeared on the glass.
“But we found a way to win. And any road win in the league is a good win. Northern Illinois is much better than their record and a dangerous team.”
Young’s 14 points came after she scored seven in Kent State’s victory over Western Michigan on Saturday. She helped Kent State to 21 bench points, their most of the season against a Division I team. The Flashes have had five games this season where its entire bench scored five points or fewer.
The Flashes also got good scoring from point guard Asiah Dingle, who had 20 points, and forward Nila Blackford, who had 19. Katie Shumate had 11 and was second to Young with seven rebounds.
Dingle had five steals to lead a Kent State defense that forced 24 turnovers and converted them to 33 points. That’s the most points off turnovers for Kent State this season. KSU’s 13 steals were its third highest of the season.
5:19 3Q | Kent State 57, NIU 46
Asiah Dingle with her third steal of the night and is up to 16 points. Flashes have turned 17 NIU turnovers into 24 points. pic.twitter.com/qAvuhMaMYF
— Kent State Women’s Basketball (@KentStWBB) January 16, 2020
- In his pregame interview, Starkey said senior guard Megan Carter had mononucleosis. She missed her second-straight game, and Starkey had no timetable for her return. Freshman Clare Kelly started in her place.
- Starkey also said that senior Ali Poole had torn her ACL against Western Michigan and was done for the season. Poole had injured the knee in summer practice. She never got back to full strength, and she hurt it again diving for a ball against WMU
- Kent State had 18 assists on its 30 baskets, equaling its highest total of the season against a Division I team. (The Flashes had 25 against Division III Hiram.) Blackford and Shumate each had four, Dingle and guard Mariah Modkins three and Young two.
- The Flashes made 45.5% of their baskets, second highest of the season against Division I. Dingle’s nine baskets in 15 attempts (60%) was her best percentage of the season, again aside from the Hiram game.
- Led by Blackford’s inside scoring and Dingle’s drives to the basket, Kent State overwhelmed NIU in scoring in the paint 42-22.
- Eight Kent State players saw more than 13 minutes of action for the second game in a row and second time this season (other than Hiram).
- Kent State had lost its last five games at Northern Illinois.
- The Huskies hit nine-of-19 three-point attempts, its best percentage of the season. Senior Courtney Woods, a preseason all-MAC West selection, had 25 points and four 3-pointers. But she had seven turnovers.
Kent State is back on the road Saturday at Miami.
The view from Northern Illinois
Coach Lisa Carlsen, quote on the team’s website:
“Anytime you turn the ball over 24 times you just put your team in a tough position, especially playing from behind.”
“I loved the fight and resiliency that we showed down the stretch and giving ourselves a chance when it seemed like maybe we wouldn’t have a chance. I think that’s something we can build on.”
On NIU’s press in the last minutes of the game: “We had to do something to speed them up and increase possessions. I thought our aggressiveness, really at all five spots, was critical. We did a great job of closing traps and being aggressive out of it.”
Other MAC scores
- Central Michigan (4-0 MAC, 11-4 overall) 66, Ball State (3-1, 11-5) 39 at Central.
- Western Michigan (3-1, 10-5) 73, Ohio (2-2, 9-6) 72 at Western.
- Eastern Michigan (3-1, 8-7) 80, Miami (1-3, 8-8) 53 at Eastern.
- Buffalo (2-2, 11-4) 65, Bowling Green (0-4, 7-9) 59 at Buffalo.
- Toledo (3-1, 8-7) 65, Akron (1-3, 8-7) 61 at Toledo.