Record-Courier staff report
It came down to a shot at the buzzer to win the game, but the Kent State women's basketball team fell short on the road on Friday night in a 51-50 setback to Morehead State.
Instead, the game-winning shot was scored by Eagles sophomore guard Almesha Jones with 37 seconds remaining that held true.
Jones exploded for career-highs in 31 points and six steals in the game.
Jones, whose previous high-water scoring mark was 16, hit 5-of-9 from 3-point range and also blocked a would-be game-winning 3-point attempt with 13 seconds left as the Eagles won their second straight game and improved to 3-9. KSU, meanwhile, dipped to 1-10 on the season
"I told Almesha in the locker room that she really put us on her back and gave us a great opporunity to win," Morehead State head coach Tom Hodges said. "I don't how that game-winner went in, she must have put a little english on that."
The Eagles led by as many as 12 in each half and only trailed once.
Tazmin Barroilhet's lay-in with 52 seconds left put the Flashes ahead for the first time, 50-49.
Following Jones' eventual game-winner, a heavily contested lay-in off the glass, the Golden Flashes had three oppotunities for the go-ahead bucket.
Jones' block thwarted the first one with 13 ticks left, and KSU turned it over on an in-bounds play immediately after that. Diamon Beckford, who ironically hit a game-winner against Morehead State in last year's 65-64 KSU win, misfired on a short jumper as time expired.
Barroilhet registered career-highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds for Kent State. She was 10-of-13 from the field and also had team-highs of three assists and four steals.
The Eagles led 24-15 at the break while shooting 44 percent (10-of-23). MSU cooled off to 36 percent (10-of-28) in the final half and saw KSU hit 50 percent (12-of-24). MSU forced 25 turnovers, resulting in a season-high 17 steals. A 30-19 Eagle lead with 18:51 left evaporated into just a 33-31 advantage at the 14:25 mark via a 12-3 Golden Flash run.
"We didn't shoot the ball great in the second half, but I am proud of our team for finding a way to hold on and win. We head into the Christmas break now on the strength of a win instead of a disappointing loss," Hodges said.