Excellent numbers in assists, points off turnovers, bench scoring and shooting percentage give the Flashes a good report card — and a road victory at Northern Illinois.
Kent State 79, Northern Illinois 71
Score 70 points on offense: 79, the Flashes’ most against a Division I team since Jan. 3. Kent State is now 8-0 when scoring more than 70, ACHIEVED.
Hold opponent under 70: 71. Northern scored 15 point in the final three minutes, which blew this benchmark out of the books. NOT QUITE.
Make 40% of shots: 45.5%, KSU’s fourth best of the season and the best in conference play by six percentage points. Flashes are 4-0 this season and 25-4 under coach Todd Starkey when shooting about 45%. Northern is fifth in the conference in field goal defense at 40.1%. ACHIEVED.
Hold opponent under 40%: 42%. It was the first time in seven games an opponent had made better than 40%. Northern’s field goal defense had been last in the conference at 37%. NOT ACHIEVED.
Outscore opponent by five on free throws: Northern Illinois 20 of 26, Kent State 12 of 18. It’s the first game this season that the Flashes have shot fewer free throws and still won. In the Starkey era, they’re 9-25. But the next three numbers more than made up for it. NOT ACHIEVED.
Outscore opponent by five off of turnovers: +15. The Flashes scored a season-high 33 points off of 24 NIU turnovers. NIU scored 18 — 12 in the fourth quarter — off 15 Kent turnovers. ACHIEVED IN A BIG WAKY.
Have 14 assists: 18, equaling their season high against a Division I team (Robert Morris). Flashes had assists on 60% of their 30 baskets, also a season high. ACHIEVED.
Get 10 points from the bench: 21, highest of the season. The was led by sophomore Hannah Young, who’s 14 off the bench was the first time a reserve has scored in double figures this season. (That doesn’t count the two or three games when starters came off the bench within minutes.) ACHIEVED.
BOTTOM LINE: A win and a B+. Numbers would have been even higher except for KSU’s struggles at the end of the second half.
MAC women’s ‘golf’ standings
Kent State was the only team to win on the road Wednesday, so the Flashes moved to even par for the season.
There still were some exciting games.
Western Michigan forward Leighah-Amori Wool made a layup off of in inbounds pass in the final seconds to give the Broncos a 73-72 victory in Kalamazoo. It was the second loss in four games for Ohio, the preseason MAC favorite.
Central Michigan scored a surprisingly easy 66-39 win over Ball State in a game between the last two undefeated teams in MAC play. The Chippewas held Ball State to 14 points in the second half.
Buffalo came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat Bowling Green 65-59. Freshman Dyaisha Fair, the overwhelming leader for MAC freshman of the year, had 26 points for the Bulls and is averaging 23.3 points a game. Buffalo is 47-0 over the last three years when holding an opponent below 60 points.
Toledo beat Akron 65-61. The Rockets led by 19 late in the third quarter when Akron went on a 25-4 run to take the lead with for minutes to go. But Toledo responded with a 9-0 run.
Eastern Michigan scored 29 points in the first quarter and went on to a 80-53 win over Miami. 6-5 junior center Autumn Hudson had 14 points and led the Eagles in scoring for the second time in her career.
In traditional standings, Buffalo, Ohio and Kent State are tied for first in the West at 2-2. Central is 4-0 and Ball State, Eastern, Toledo and Western are 3-1. In the MAC tournament started today, the West would have the top five seeds.
The “golf” standings concept is stolen from a regular on the Flash Fanatics bulletin board, who has done this for men’s basketball for several years.
It gives a team -1 for a road win (a “birdie”) and adds a point for a home loss (a “bogey.” A home win or road loss gets zero (“par”).
The golf standings
- Central Michigan (4-0, 11-4)
- Ball State (3-1, 11-5)
- WMU (3-1, 10-5)
- EMU (3-1, 8-7)
- Ohio (2-2, 9-6)
- Buffalo (2-2, 11-4)
- Toledo (3-1, 8-7)
- Kent State (2-2, 9-6)
- Akron (1-3, 8-7)
- Miami (1-3, 8-8)
- Bowling Green (0-4, 7-9)
- Northern Illinois (0-4, 4-11)