THE NON-CONFERENCE LOOK:
After the first three weeks of the season, the Mid-American Conference has posted a 25-39 non-conference record. That mark also includes an 0-4 record against nationally-ranked opponents.
Two MAC schools have picked up a total of three tournament titles along the way. Ball State captured the Minnesota Regal Classic and the College of Charleston tournament, while last weekend Miami won Northwestern's tourney.
NOT BAD FOR A FRESHMAN:
Western Michigan's Kristin Koetsier is playing like she is a seasoned veteran for the Broncos. In each of her last three contests, Koetsier has posted double-doubles. Her double-double total is second in the league, trailing only Northern Illinois' Michelle Johnson's four.
MIAMI TURNS THE TIDES:
After opening the season with losses to Kentucky and Santa Clara, Miami has posted four consecutive wins. The current win streak is the team's longest since 1996-97, when the RedHawks won five straight. Miami also picked up its first team tournament title last weekend at Northwestern, the school's first since the 1995-96 campaign.
BOMBS AWAY FOR BG:
Last year, Bowling Green broke the school single-season records in both three-pointers attempted and made (135-of-400), and if the first six games are any indication, those records may be in serious jeopardy this year. The Falcons have attempted 129 treys, making 49, during that time. BG leads the league with an average of 8.2 three-pointers made. Should the Falcons continue at that pace, they would hit 212 successful three-pointers in 559 attempts.
OFFENSE NOT CLICKING FOR UT:
Even though it's still early, Toledo has been hampered this year by a struggling offense. In its first five games, UT is averaging just 54.4 points per game and converting only 35.5 percent of its shots, which rank second to last and last, respectively, in the league.
On the bright side, Toledo is holding its opponents to just 61 points per game which ranks second only to Northern Illinois in the MAC this year.
JOHNSON TO THE RESCUE:
Northern Illinois' Michelle Johnson almost single-handedly gave the Huskies their first win of the season. The junior tallied 24 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in the 57-55 win against Montana State last Friday. Johnson capped off the evening with an offensive rebound and a three point play with 10.6 seconds remaining to give NIU the victory.
BANGED UP BOWLES:
Akron junior center Cheryl Bowles set a career-high with 21 rebounds against Youngstown State despite playing with a separated shoulder, which she suffered during practice earlier in the week. Bowles' total is the most this year by a MAC player and is three short of the league record of 24. Her next game she set a career-best with four blocked shots versus Alabama to go with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
ONE MORE AND WE'RE HOME:
Ball State is in the midst of a seven-game road trip to open the season, and are currently 4-2 in the first six contests. The Cardinals, who wrap up the road swing with a game at IUPUI on Wednesday, opens the home season against Illinois-Chicago Dec. 10. Following the home opener, BSU returns to the road with a game at Chicago State Dec. 18. In all, nine of BSU's 11 non-conference games will be played on the road. As if being constantly on the road for non-league games wasn't enough, the Cardinals' first two league contests are away from Muncie.
EMU SETTING THE TONE:
In the brief history of the Convocation Center, Eastern Michigan set a new record with a 37-point margin of victory in a non-league contest with Central Michigan. Freshman Dru Bishop score a team season-high 23 points in just 16 minutes of play on 8-of-10 shooting. The Eagles shot a blistering 79 percent (19-of-24) in the second half.
KENT'S SHOOTING FOR CHARITY:
Kent, which hit 74 percent (527-711) of its shots from the charity stripe last year, are off to nearly the same effort in the 1999-2000 season. After five games this season, Kent is shooting 70 percent (134-191) from the free-throw line.
Dawn Zerman, who led the league and was second in the nation at 89.1 percent (122-137), again leads the Flashes with an 82.4 percentage (42-51), including a 16-for-17 effort in two games last week.
SZALL INCREASES PRODUCTION:
Ohio sophomore Cathy Szall, a member of the MAC all-Freshman team last year, has picked right up where she left off at following a successful rookie campaign. Szall, who averaged 13 points a game as a freshman, has hit double figures in points in each of the Bobcats' first four games and leads the team with a 15.2 scoring average.
FROM WHOM THE BELL TOLLS:
Buffalo junior Tiffany Bell has jumped off to a quick start to the season, as has the Bulls. Bell, who averaged 15 points a year ago, leads the league with a 25.5 points-per-game average. In each of the Bulls' first four games, Bell dropped in 20 or more points, with 28 points coming in a win at home against St. John's and a season-high 29 in the team's home opener versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
BALANCED ATTACK FOR JONES:
Central Michigan sophomore Vershaun Jones has turned into a balanced player, both offensively and defensively. After averaging 5.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, Jones has increased her averages to 8.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest. In each of the Chippewas first four games, Jones has either totaled double digits in points or rebounds.
PATILLO PRODUCES FOR HERD:
Marshall guard Toni Patillo led the Thundering Herd to a second-place finish at the Davidson Roundball Invitational. The junior was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 22 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest. Since scoring only two points in the Herd's opening game, Patillo has reached double figures in each of her last four games. Her 22.3 average for the week is 12 points above her scoring average from a year ago. Patillo is the only Marshall player averaging double figures (16.8) and also leads the 3-point field goal percentage at .471 (10-of-16).