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Flashes rally for division title

Published: February 17, 1999 12:00 AM

KALAMAZOO, Mich. _ The Kent State women's basketball team earned its second consecutive Mid-American Conference East Division championship in dramatic fashion, wiping out a late five-point deficit to defeat Western Michigan 73-66 Tuesday night at University Arena.

The Golden Flashes (18-6, 12-2 Mid-American Conference) trailed 64-59 with 5:20 to play, but scored the next 14 points to salt away their eighth consecutive victory.

"We're used to coming back in somebody else's gym," said Kent coach Bob Lindsay. "We know how to do that. We just found a way to win."

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The Broncos (16-8, 9-5) led 35-29 at halftime and maintained a 64-59 cushion with 5:20 to play. But Kent junior point guard Dawn Zerman hit a 3-pointer, and sophomore center Julie Studer tossed in a layup to tie it before two free throws by freshman forward Jamie Rubis gave the Flashes a lead they would not relinquish.

"Dawn is a money player," said Lindsay. "She plays her best ball when her back is against the wall."

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Two free throws by Zerman and a layup by freshman Kristen Buelow gave Kent a commanding 72-64 with 1:18 left.

Studer tossed in 15 points (7-of-8 field goals) and grabbed eight rebounds in the decisive second half, and wound up with career highs in both points (24) and rebounds (11).

Sophomore guard Carrie Nance scored 10 of her 18 points in the first half to keep the Flashes close, and Zerman finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

"We've scrapped our way into this position (MAC East Division title) with different kids playing well in different situations," said Lindsay. "Our players know how to win games."

The Flashes return to the MAC Center Saturday to battle West Division leader Toledo.

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