First-Round Women's Tournament Recap

Updated 2/29/2000

No. 6 Ball State 94, No. 11 Central Michigan 81 -- Four players scored 20-plus points, led by 21 from both freshman Tamara Bowie and sophomore Shala Crook, as sixth-seeded Ball State rolled to a 94-81 win at home over 11th-seeded Central Michigan Monday in Muncie. The Cardinals' Christy Jones and freshman Laurie Kitts each contributed 20 points apiece, while Jones added a game-high 13 rebounds.

Vershaun Jones paced Central Michigan with 21 points, while senior Shelly Woods added 15 points. The Chippewas finished the season with a 9-19 record.

Ball State, which improved to 16-12 on the season, will face third-seeded Toledo in a quarterfinal game Thursday at 9 p.m.

No. 8 Buffalo 72, No. 9 Akron 55 - Buffalo shot 58 percent in the second half and used a 15-2 run to vault past Akron, 72-55, in Buffalo. Mari McClure scored a game-high 22 points, while junior Tiffany Bell and freshman Tara Perrier each contributed 13 points in the win.

Cheryl Bowles led Akron with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Angela Tylec came off the bench to add 12 points.

The Bulls, who snapped a five-game losing streak, will face top-seed Kent in the opening quarterfinal game at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Buffalo improved to 18-10 on the year, while the Zips finished with an 11-17 mark.

No. 5 Eastern Michigan 67, No. 12 Northern Illinois 65 - Eastern Michigan's starting guard tandem of Kristy Maska and Stephanie Smiley combined for 31 points as the Eagles held off Northern Illinois, 67-65. The win for the Eagles improved their mark to 15-13 on the season, while the Huskies finished with a 6-22 mark.

EMU, which advances to face fourth-seeded Miami at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, had a balanced scoring attack, in addition to Maska's and Smiley's combined 31 points. Senior Amy Crickard had nine points, while Abby Wiseman and Jessica Henry had eight points each.

Northern Illinois had four of its starters reach double digits in scoring, paced by 18 points from freshman Kristan Knake. Michelle Johnson and Kelli Ryan each scored 12 points for the Huskies, who shot 42 percent from the floor.

No. 4 Miami 78, No. 13 Marshall 68 - Miami freshman Heather Cusick tied a career-high with 23 points and senior AuBree Hamilton added 12 points and 11 rebounds as the RedHawks held off Marshall for a 78-68 win.

With the game tied at 2-2, Miami went on a 17-0 run early in the contest for a 19-2 lead, and built as high as a 25-5 advantage before Marshall was able to pull within 11 points. The RedHawks then ended the half, building a 17-point cushion.

The RedHawks, who improved to 16-11 on the season, posted its first MAC Tournament victory since 1997. Marshall, meanwhile, played in its first-ever MAC postseason game and ended the year with an 8-20 record.

The Thundering Herd was paced by Yashico Stevens' 16 points. Toni Patillo also added 13 points for Marshall, which lost for the third time this season to Miami.

No. 7 Bowling Green 84, No. 10 Ohio 70 - Bowling Green's Francine Miller scored 18 of her game-high 23 points in the second half and helped the Falcons to an 84-70 home win over Ohio. Angie Farmer had 17 points and Dana Western and Jaymee Wappes each chipped in 11 points for the Falcons, who improved to 11-16 on the year.

Bowling Green, which defeated the Bobcats for the third straight time this year, built a halftime lead of 46-33 behind eight first-half three-pointers. With 12:30 minutes remaining in the opening stanza and holding a 19-10 lead, the Falcons used a run of 15-8 over the next three and a half minutes to open up a 16-point lead. BG began the second half by netting the first nine points and broke open the contest to lead by as many as 22 on two different occasions, before the Bobcats closed to within eight with 6:24 left. The Falcons then scored the next four points and closed the door on Ohio, which ended the season with an 11-17 record.

Ohio was paced by Cathy Szall's 20 points, while Jacquie Negrelli added 19 points, six assists and four steals.

The Falcons, which shot 53 percent from the floor, forced 23 Bobcat turnovers and commanded a 36-28 advantage on the boards. BG moves on to the quarterfinals and will face Western Michigan, the second seed, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.