Flashes Advance in MAC Tournament
CLEVELAND -- Win and advance. That’s the mantra this time of year when you don’t get any points for style. Third-seeded Kent State did just that Wednesday afternoon, knocking off No. 6 Central Michigan, 68-55, in Mid-American Conference Women’s Basketball Quarterfinal action at Quicken Loans Arena.
With the victory — their 20th of the season — the Golden Flashes advance to face second-seeded Toledo Friday (March 12) at noon. The Rockets defeated Ball State, 67-56, in the day’s first quarterfinal.
Junior guard Jamilah Humes (Saginaw, Mich.) had 24 points (22 after halftime), nine rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals to pace the Flashes. She became the 19th player in school history to top the 1,000-point plateau with her three-pointer at the 8:45 mark of the second half. Meanwhile, junior forward Taisja Jones (Dallas, Texas) finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Senior guard Yoshica Spears (Nome, Texas) joined the duo in double-figures with 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-high six steals.
Kent State’s fortunes mirrored those of Humes, who was named to the All-MAC first team Tuesday. The Flashes trailed 28-21 at the half after shooting just 21.4 percent (6-28) while committing 17 turnovers, as Humes played just five minutes after picking up two quick fouls.
After Central Michigan pushed the margin to nine with a basket to open the second half, Kent State started chipping away at the deficit. Senior center Lorriane Odhiambo (Nairobi, Kenya) scored four quick points, Spears knocked down a three-pointer and senior guard Rachel Bennett (Marion, Ohio) followed with a lay-up to cut the deficit to 31-30 at the 16:58 mark.
That’s when Humes proceeded to take over, scoring 13 of Kent State’s next 15 points — including eight straight at one point — to put the Flashes up, 46-40, with 8:45 remaining. Jones then added a triple to push the advantage to nine.