KENT: The University of Akron women’s basketball team continued to pad the record books Sunday at the M.A.C Center against backyard rival Kent State with an 80-66 victory and a sweep of the regular-season series.
The most prolific scoring duo in women’s college basketball, forwards Hanna Luburgh and Rachel Tecca, continued their stellar play to lead the Zips. Tecca notched a double-double with 29 points and 13 rebounds while Luburgh added 21 points.
Guard Amber Dunlap led the Golden Flashes with 19 points, followed by guard Ashley Evans with 16 points.
The win extended the Zips’ (19-8, 13-3 in Mid-American Conference) record winning streak to 12 games and allowed them to set marks for the program for most consecutive road wins with six and for most wins for the team in conference play with 13.
They earned each one as the Golden Flashes (6-21, 3-13) hung around for 30 minutes before the Zips could put together a significant run to put them away. Kent State deserves plenty of credit for the defensive effort, UA coach Jodi Kest said.
The Zips didn’t come out with their usual energy and the Golden Flashes took advantage on their Senior Day.
“I would agree,” Kest said. “We came out the first 10 minutes not with the type of enthusiasm and intensity we stressed to them beforehand where they were probably going to come out with that kind of energy and that’s what they did.”
When the Zips finally woke up, Kent State was within two points at 43-41 with 14:18 left in the game. The Zips did what they do best, outran the Golden Flashes. At the half, UA had four fastbreak points. In the second half it turned into a track meet and the Zips ran that number to 24 points for the game, while Kent State scored just two points on the break in the game. It led to UA outscoring the Golden Flashes 37-25 from that moment on.
It also gave Kest’s team those records. In her mind one was more notable than the other — the road wins.
“That’s the one I’m happy [about]. I told the kids: It’s really hard to win on the road in Division I no matter what the records are,” she said. “For us to have six wins in a row says a lot about our kids. One thing we always used to tell the kids is you’re a good team when you win at home. You’re a great team when you win on the road. We’re almost getting to be a great team.”
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Zips blog at www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.