March Madness | Kent State University

March Madness

Kent State men’s and women’s basketball teams both had stand-out seasons this year. 

As Mid-American Conference East Champions, the Kent State women’s basketball team headed to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), squaring off against the University of Michigan Wolverines at the Crisler Center arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on March 16. The Golden Flashes put forth an impressive second-half effort, but ultimately fell 67-60 to a tough Michigan team in the first round. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of a team as I am of this team and what they’ve been able to accomplish this season,” says women’s basketball head coach Todd Starkey. “We made a statement about who we are, and that we won’t go down without a fight.” 

The Kent State men’s basketball team won the Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament (see outside back cover), earning  a bid to the Big Dance—the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. KSU’s 14th-seeded team played third-seeded UCLA close in the second half, but fell to the Bruins 97-80 in the first round at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, on March 17.  

“I couldn’t be more proud of how hard we fought throughout the entire game and for the season we had this year,” says men’s basketball head coach Rob Senderoff. 

Glimpses from both games include:

photo by David Dermer ’16

1. WNIT Kent State senior guard and Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Larissa Lurken drives around a Michigan defender during the first round of WNIT. 


photo by Bob Christy '952. NCAA Kent State guard Jaylin Walker speeds around UCLA defender Lonzo Ball during the first round of the NCAA Tournament South Regional in Sacramento, California. 


photo by David Dermer ’163. FLASH FANS Kent State fans get fired up during the WNIT game against the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 


photo by David Dermer ’164. GOOD SHOT Larissa Lurken makes a foul shot against the Wolverines during the second half of Kent State’s WNIT matchup.


photo by Bob Christy '955. ON THE MOVE Kent State senior guard Jon Fleming outmaneuvers a UCLA defender.


photo by David Dermer ’166. HEADING OUT The Kent State women’s basketball team hits the floor for warmups at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.


photo by David Dermer ’167. BAND FAN A member of the Kent State Marching Band shouts support during the first round of the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament South Regional.

View the post-season celebratory video:

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