PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - With two Golden Flashes fouling out in regulation, Maryland-Eastern Shore outlasted Kent State 76-71 in overtime Sunday afternoon (Jan. 6) at the Hyche Center. KSU battled back from a seven-point deficit in the second half, but both Kent State post players (Anna Kowalska & Ellie Shields) received their fifth fouls in the final minutes of regulation.
Stephanie Gibson came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points, while Kowalska tallied 16 of her game-high 23 points in the second half. Gibson also pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds for her first career double double.
The Golden Flashes jumped out to an early lead, which turned into double digits by the first media timeout. With her first shot attempt since Nov. 24, Asheley Harkins buried a three-pointer from the right corner and followed with an old fashion three-point play on the next possession to give the Flashes a 16-4 lead, four and a half minutes into the game.
A jumper from Gibson gave the Flashes their largest lead of the game (23-9) at the 11:30 mark, before a scoring drought hit. KSU scored just two more points over the next 7:30 and saw its lead slip down to one point (26-25), but a pair of field goals from Harkins, including a three-pointer, helped build the KSU advantage up to 35-29 at halftime.
Both sides traded punches to start the second half until another Golden Flash scoring drought led to a 14-0 UMES run, giving the Hawks a 48-41 lead. Several trips to the foul line helped KSU stay within striking distance and a three-pointer from Gibson gave the Flashes a one-point edge (60-59) with less than four minutes to play.
April McBride had a chance to give the Hawks their lead back with 10 seconds to play from the charity stripe. However, she only converted the second attempt, which tied the game 67-67. Rachel Bennett’s baseline jumper in the final seconds rattled off the rim to force overtime. McBride pulled down nine of the Hawks’ 22 offensive rebounds, including seven in the second half.
Gibson drilled her third three-pointer of the contest in overtime, but it would be the only field goal for the Flashes in the extra period. The Hawks (5-6) scored the game’s final six points in the last two minutes of OT and held on for the five-point victory.
KSU remains in search of its first true road victory of the season after coming up empty in its first five tries. Harkins joined Kowalska and Gibson in double figures with 12 points, adding four assists and three steals after missing six straight games with a leg injury. Shields and Chenel Harris pulled down seven boards each, while Kowalska blocked four shots.
Tiffany Reid led four Hawks in double figures with 19 points. McBride notched a double double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Golden Flashes (3-9) will take another road trip to open Mid-American Conference play Wednesday (Jan. 9) at Ohio.