Kent Holds off Toledo to Win MAC Tournament Title

Updated 3/4/2000

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    Tournament MVP Studer Scores 19 to Lift Flashes to 71-60 Victory

    The Golden Flashes advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history and the third time in the last five years.
    (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
    CLEVELAND (March 4, 2000) -- Junior center Julie Studer (Mansfield, Ohio/Lexington) scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to propel top-seeded Kent State University (25-5) to the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship with a 71-60 victory over third-seeded University of Toledo Saturday at Public Hall. It is the second tournament title in the past three years for the Golden Flashes, who won this year's regular-season title with a 15-1 league record.

    After leading 32-30 at halftime, Kent pushed its lead to 43-34 five minutes into the second half and held off several Toledo charges down the stretch. Studer, who was selected the tournament's Most Valuable Player, scored six of Kent's 11 points to extend the lead. Toledo junior Kahli Carter's (Columbus, Ohio/ Brookhaven) three-pointer with 8:14 remaining cut the Flashes' margin to 53-50 but the Rockets (14-15) could get no closer.

    In the first half, the teams exchanged leads eight times and never were separated by more than five points. Studer's layup with 22 seconds left broke the eighth tie and gave Kent the two-point halftime advantage.

    MAC Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament Team member Dawn Zerman scored 11 points, had 8 rebounds and dished out six assists for top-seeded Kent in the 71-60 victory over third-seeded Toledo.
    (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
    Kent senior Alana Bader (Kennan, Wis./Phillips) netted 16 points, while sophomore Carrie Nance (Goodrich, Mich./Goodrich) had 13. MAC Most Valuable Player Dawn Zerman (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) added 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Studer's play inside helped the Flashes outscore Toledo 38-14 in the paint.

    "I was pleased with the fact that we were able to find a way to win, which we have been doing all season," said Kent Head Coach Bob Lindsay. "I was concerned that the number of minutes we have played over the past three days would affect the quality of play, but it really wasn't a factor.

    "This particular team has done more with less than any team I've had at Kent. They have stayed together through injuries and other adversity, and their hard work paid off tonight."

    Tournament MVP, Julie Studer scored 19 points, including 15 in the second half for the Golden Flashes.
    (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
    Carter scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half to lead Toledo. Senior Karin Husbeck (Haslett, Mich./Haslett) had 14, including 12 in the first half, to carry the Rockets.

    "I thought we competed but in the second half we just couldn't put the ball in the basket," said Toledo Head Coach Mark Ehlen. "I certainly think Kent had something to do with that. We just couldn't generate enough offense in the second half."

    In extending its winning streak to 10 games, Kent set a school record with its 25th victory of the season, breaking the record set by the 1980-81 team. The Golden Flashes, who have won 22 of 23 games since Dec. 11, advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history and the third time in the last five years.

    Toledo and Kent were meeting in the tournament championship game for the fifth straight time and the sixth time in the last nine years. The Rockets, who were making their seventh consecutive appearance in the title game, had won the first three matchups before Kent claimed the hardware in 1998. Last season Toledo posted a 65-50 victory over the Golden Flashes.

    Joining Studer on the all-tournament team were Bader, Zerman, Carter and Eastern Michigan University's Kris Kachaturoff (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn).