MAC Pepsi Players of the Week
SLOW WEEK FOR MAC TEAMS:
With final exams and the holiday season in full swing, only seven of the league's schools saw action last week. While the upcoming week is nearly as light, every school but Toledo will play between Monday and Wednesday of Christmas week. Games will resume on Tuesday, Dec. 28 and run through Thursday, Dec. 30. The MAC portion of the schedule opens on Sunday, Jan. 2.
LOOKING FOR SEVEN STRAIGHT:
Buffalo, which lost its season opener to Niagara, has won six straight contests and is the lone MAC school that has fewer than three losses. The Bulls, who have won three straight at home, host Youngstown State on Dec. 21 after a 10-day layoff. YSU is a perfect 4-0 versus MAC schools this year.
THE NON-CONFERENCE LOOK:
After the first five weeks of the season, the Mid-American Conference has posted a 44-62 non-conference record, which translates into a .415 winning percentage. That mark also includes an 0-6 record against nationally-ranked opponents.
A LOOK AT THE RPI:
In the weekly installment of the College Basketball News Women's RPI Report (through games of Dec. 20), the Mid-American Conference was ranked No. 18 among the 32 Division I conferences. The MAC had four schools in the top-150 -- Kent (No. 69), Buffalo (No. 112) and Miami (No. 140) and Ohio (No. 141) -- and nine of the 13 schools in the top 200.
AUTOMATIC AT THE LINE:
Ohio's Jacquie Negrelli continued her perfect string of consecutive foul shots made over the weekend, extending it to 28. The sophomore, who hit only 51 percent of her attempts as a freshman, leads the nation in free throw percentage.
BOWIE PRODUCING AS A ROOKIE:
Ball State freshman Tamara Bowie, who has started the last three contests, is averaging 20 points per game in her last four outings. She scored 20 points in 27 minutes at
Chicago State, and is shooting 58 percent in BSU's last four games. Bowie has scored in double figures in six of the Cardinals' nine games, including five games of 15-or-more points.
OVERAITIS HELPS UT TO WIN:
Senior Tara Overaitis scored a career-high 19 points in Toledo's 79-59 win over Washington State on Sunday. She also hit three of four three-pointers to the Rockets to a season-best 50 percent (7-of-14) from three-point range. The Rockets scored a season-high 79 points versus WSU and also totaled season-high point totals for a half in both the first (39) and second (40).
IS THERE A PATTERN HERE?:
If things hold to form, the Marshall's next opponent -- Morehead State -- could be in trouble. Through seven games, Marshall has alternated wins and losses. The Herd opened the season with a loss at Youngstown State followed by a win at Rider. They responded with a win versus Boston University after a defeat by Duquesne. The loss to UNCG was preceded by a win over West Virginia Tech. The Herd have won by an average of 11 points in its three victories, while losing by an average of just seven points.
PLAYIN' WITH THE BIG DOGS:
While Western Michigan is 2-6 through its first eight contests, the mark refelcts a difficult non-conference schedule to date. Two of the team's losses have been to nationally-ranked opponents, while a third defeat over the weekend to Stanford was against a squad that just fell ourt of the national rankings earlier in the week. Following their loss Monday to No. 16/No. 13 Iowa State, the Broncos have the 75th toughest schedule in the country, which is the third hardest among MAC schools.
WMU'S ANSWER TO Y2K:
With the year of 1999 coming to a close and the talk of a potential Y2K situation gripping people around the world, Western Michigan has at least one solution to any basketball troubles -- freshman Kristin Koetsier. The rookie dropped in her fifth 20-plus outing in eight games in the Broncos' 80-66 loss at Stanford on Saturday. Koetsier had 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting versus the Cardinal. Last week in two contests, Koetsier connected on 63 percent of her shots from the floor and 77 percent from the free throw line.
DRAINING THE LONG SHOTS:
Central Michigan senior Jodi Culbertson posted a career-high 17 points against Michigan last week while tying a career-high with five three-pointers. Culbertson has hit 22 threes this season after seeing limited action her first three years. She has at least one triple in every game in 1999 and is averaging 11.0 points and 4.4 assists per game.
ANOTHER ROOKIE TAKES OVER:
Freshman Amy Zercher matched her career-high with 16 points to lead Ball State to a 78-54 victory at Chicago State. Zercher, who connected on back-to-back threes in the second half, nailed a career-high five three-pointers in the contest to match the second-highest total ever by a Ball State player in a single game. In addition, Zercher grabbed seven rebounds and handed out seven assists and recorded two steals in BSU's win.
IT'S TIME TO SHINE FOR STEVENS:
Junior college transfer Yashico Stevens had her best week in a Thundering Herd uniform. Stevens set back-to-back career highs in scoring with 16 versus West Virginia Tech and 19 against UNC Greensboro. Stevens recorded her first career double-double in the Herd's win over the Lady Bears and also grabbed 10 rebounds. She shot over 72-percent (8-11) in the Herd's heartbreaking loss to the Spartans. For the week she hit half of her shots from the floor (15-30).
OU EQUALS WIN TOTAL FROM 1998-99:
Ohio equaled its win total from a year ago after only nine games under head coach Lynn Bria after posting two wins in three tries last week. The Bobcats finished last season 4-22.
Of the Bobcats' four wins this season, all of them have been from teams from the Carolinas -- 3-0 versus North Carolina schools and 1-0 against a school from South