Women's Basketball Notebook -- February 19

Updated 1/24/1996
Kent State clinched its fourth straight East Division title with a 95-67 win over Ohio on Saturday. The Golden Flashes, who are the only team to claim the East title since the MAC went to a divisional format beginning with the 1997-98 season, have won five straight games and eight of their last 10.

With the divisional crown, KSU is assured no worse than a No. 2 seed in the 2001 Kraft Mid-American Conference Women's Basketball Tournament that begins on Mar. 3. The Golden Flashes also received a first-round bye to the quarterfinals that will take place on Mar. 6 in Gund Arena.

Toledo remains the hottest team in the Mid-American Conference, winning its last 10 games. The Rockets (12-1), who posted wins last week over Northern Illinois and Central Michigan, have clinched a share of the West Division title and will also receive a first-round bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. UT's magic number to clinch the MAC West Division crown is one.

Kent State extended its school- and MAC-record for consecutive home wins with a 95-67 win over Ohio on Feb. 17 and finished the regular season with a 12-0 home record. The Golden Flashes' 43-game home winning streak is the nation's longest current streak at any division. It is also the 18th longest streak in NCAA Division I history. Along with the current 43-game home winning streak, the Golden Flashes have also won 52 consecutive home contests versus MAC schools.

This past Saturday saw three MAC players score 30-plus points in three separate contests. Bowling Green's Francine Miller tied a school record with 35 points in the Falcons' win over Marshall. Miller already held the mark with Jackie Motycka and Jacki Raterman after notching 35 at Kent State last season. The game was also special for Miller as she became only the 16th Falcon to reach the 1,000 point plateau and only the fifth to do so as a junior. She is also the 101st in the history of the MAC to score 1,000 or more points.

In addition to Miller, Toledo's Kahli Carter tallied a career-high 33 points in the Rockets' win over Central Michigan, while Western Michigan's Karen Deurloo had 31 against Miami. Earlier in the season, Deurloo netted 33 against Kansas State and is the only player this year in the MAC to score 30 points more than once.

Bowling Green's Francine Miller is the latest -- and the 101st -- member of the conferences 1,000 point club, and that exclusive list will likely add a couple more this week. Ohio's Heather Laughlin is 15 points from the mark and would become the 10th Bobcat to reach the mark, while Eastern Michigan junior Stephanie Smiley is 24 shy and Buffalo senior Mari McClure is 28 away -- McClure hit the 1,000 point mark a couple of weeks ago but only her final three years count as UB joined the MAC in the 1997-98 season.

The Mid-American Conference will be hosting its second of two women's basketball conference calls on Thursday, March 1, beginning at 10 a.m. (ET). Each of the 13 head coaches will appear on the call and it will serve as a preview to the 20th MAC Women's Basketball Tournament. Media members may listen by calling (913) 981-5545.

Buffalo head coach Cheryl Dozier picked up her 50th career win with a 78-59 win at Akron on Saturday. Dozier, who is in her third season at UB, has a 50-29 record at Buffalo. Doziers .633 winning percentage is the fourth-highest of all time at UB and her 50 wins to date are the third highest total posted in UB women's basketball history.

Junior Stephanie Smiley has already made a place as one of the best ever to play at Eastern Michigan University. Having started all 81 games in her career, Smiley ranks in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding and is only the third player in EMU history to score 900-plus points and grab 500 or more rebounds. She also ranks second all-time in career assists and blocked shots, third in three-pointers made and seventh in steals. She averages 12.0 points on 46.4% from the field and 38.6% from the 3-point arc and adding 6.7 rebounds 5.0 assists and 2.2 steals a game, while averaging 37.4 minutes a contest in her 81 games.

Toledo has won 10 consecutive games, and the Rockets can thank its defense for much of the teams recent success. UT is holding its last six opponents (10 games) to an average of 58.6 points per contest. The Rockets' foes are only hitting on 38 percent of its shots from the floor and 27 percent from beyond the arc and are committing 17.7 turnovers per contest. UT's Kahli Carter and Melantha Herron have been quite of an offensive and defensive tandem during the streak. The duo are averaging 30.9 points and 15.0 rebounds per game over that span.

Buffalo senior Mari McClure is a perfect 21-for-21 from the free throw line in her last five games. She leads the team and the MAC with a .874 free throw percentage this season (97-for-111). For her career, McClure currently has a .827 percentage (267-for-323) which would make her UB's career leader if the season were to end today. She is currently in sixth place all-time in career free throws made at UB with her 267.

Northern Illinois' Jennifer Youngblood and Kent State's Julie Studer are tied for the league lead in the MAC in double-doubles with nine. Studer tied Youngblood for the top spot on Saturday when she scored 15 points and pulled down 11 boards Last year, Studer recorded only one double-double -- 21 points and 11 rebounds in the semifinals of the MAC tournament against Eastern Michigan. Below is a list of the league leaders in double-doubles:

MAC Double-Double Leaders
Jennifer Youngblood, NIU  -- 9
Julie Studer, KSU -- 9
Kahli Carter, UT -- 8
Tamara Bowie, BSU -- 8
Karen Deurloo, WMU -- 6
Tiffany Bell, UB -- 5
Beth Kindel, CMU -- 5
Shani Charles, EMU -- 5
Five tied with  4

In this latest installment of the College Basketball News Women's RPI Report and the WBCA Summerville RPI rankings (through games of Feb. 18), the Mid-American Conference was ranked No. 17 and No. 15, respectively among 31 conferences in both listings. The MAC has five schools in the top-150 -- six in the WBCA -- and eight in the top-200.

Toledo 71/65
Kent State 102/104
Ball State 117/117
Eastern Michigan 122/121
Buffalo 129/128
Northern Illinois 151/150
Miami 161/161
Western Michigan 167/172

Kent State freshman Christi Shibata has hit a team-leading 44 three-pointers this season. The 44 three-pointers in a season are the fourth most of any freshman at Kent State and sixth best mark in a single-season at KSU. Senior Carrie Nance has made 32 from long range. In her career Nance has made 103 treys and attempted 307 which both rank sixth all-time at Kent State. Her .336 three-point field-goal percentage is seventh all-time.

Ball State posted its school-record 18th win of the season in last Wednesdays 97-70 victory over Western Michigan. The 18-7 record after 25 games is the best record in the 26-year history of the program. The 1974-75 team (17-6) and the 1989-90 team (17-11) held the previous best record for wins in a season. BSUs 34 wins over the last two season are the most victories in back-to-back years.

Western Michigan freshman Emily Samuelson has made an immediate scoring impact for the Broncos. The first-year player averaged 16 points in games against Ball State and Miami last week. Samuelson had 18 points versus the Cardinals, including hitting three treys, then hit three more beyond the arc and finished with 14 points versus Miami. In MAC competition, she is eighth in field goal percentage (.534) and 15th in scoring (13.9), which are second and third, respectively, among freshman in the league.

Northern Illinois forward Jennifer Youngblood is among a strong group of talented freshman in the MAC. Youngblood is tied for the league leads the with nine double-doubles this season, including 24 points and ten rebounds at Ohio on Feb. 10. Youngblood is averaging 11.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game overall, but her numbers in MAC games improve to 14.1 points and 8.4 caroms per contest.

Youngblood is also shooting at a league-leading 65.2 percent (73-of-112) from the field in conference play, and six of her double-doubles have come in league action. She had scored in double figures nine consecutive times before being held to eight points and eight rebounds versus Toledo.

Akron senior Jamie Scott is enjoying her final season in more ways than one. First, Scott is coming off a knee injury in Feb. 1999 that sidelined her the entire 1999-2000 season, a malady that originally looked to be career ending. Second, she is going to end up as one of the school's top scorer and rebounders. Scott is second on the team this year in scoring (9.0) and rebounding (6.0). She is currently is sixth all-time at UA in career rebounds (683) and is 10th in scoring (887). Scott is 17 rebounds and 13 points short of becoming only the fourth Zips player to score 900 points and grab 700 rebounds.

Central Michigan junior Molli Munz drained six three-pointers last Wednesday at Eastern Michigan en route to a team-high 18 points. Munz's trey total versus EMU marked the third time in her career that she had hit six in a game, which is the second most in one game by a Chippewa. Munz, who earlier in the year became CMU's all-time leader in three-point field goals, is fourth among active MAC players with 141.

Miami freshman Kim Lancaster leads Miami and all MAC freshman in scoring with a 14.1 scoring average and is also fifth in field goal percentage (.551), which also paces all rookies. Lancaster netted a pair of 19-point performances last week against Bowling Green and Ohio, both of which led to RedHawk victories. This past Saturday against Western Michigan, Lancaster fell ill prior to the game and managed to play 15 minutes, scoring four points and pulling down three rebounds.

Below is a comparison of the league's preseason poll, which was released back in October, in relation to where the teams stand with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

East Division Pick/+/-
Kent State 1st/even
Buffalo 4th/+2
Miami 2nd/-1
Bowling Green 5th/+1
Ohio  6th/+1
Akron  3rd/-3
Marshall 7th/even

West Division Pick/+/- Toledo 4th/+3 Ball State 3rd/+1 Eastern Michigan 2nd/-1 Northern Illinois 5th/+1 Western Michigan 1st/-4 Central Michigan 6th/even

The four Kent State seniors, Carrie Nance, Liz Beggs, Lisa Wube and Julie Studer finished their careers at home Saturday in the 95-67 win over Ohio. The four were honored before the game at the M.A.C. Center. Wube transferred to KSU from Indiana and has played two seasons while the other three are all three-year letterwinners.

The three four-year players finished their careers 43-1 at home with the only loss coming in the first home game of their careers. Overall the three have won four straight MAC East Division titles, they own three MAC regular season championships and two tournament championships. In the four years they are 87-27 overall and 59-5 in conference games.

Eight of Ball State's 11 players who have seen playing time this season have hit at least one three-pointer, while five Cardinals have connected on 20-or-more long range bombs. After registering the top 10 three-point shooting efforts in a game last season, the Cardinals have matched those totals four times this season. Four of BSU's top five three-point shooting performances in school history have happened this season - 15 vs. Eastern Michigan Jan. 27, 14 vs. Western Michigan Feb. 14, 13 vs. Marshall Jan. 4 and 11 vs. Illinois-Chicago Dec. 30.

Western Michigan junior Karen Deurloo extended her impressive streak this past week against Ball State and Miami. Deurloo scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds versus the RedHawks. She has now scored 10 or more points and shot .500 or better from the field in 13 straight contests and 17 times overall this year. For the week, Deurloo averaged 26.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field.

Toledo leads the league with 19 overall victories and is one victory shy of recording the team's 11th 20-win season in the last 13 years. The only other times that Toledo failed to reach 20 wins in that span was in 1993 (18-10) and last year (14-15).

Toledo has currently made at least one three-point field goal in each of its last 163 contests, dating back to Jan. 24, 1996. While the Rockets' current streak trails Western Michigans 175 consecutive games, Toledo has hit a three-pointer in 366 of its last 367 games.

Below is a look at each of the teams present streak of consecutive games with a made three-point field goal.

Consecutive Games With A 3-Point Field Goal Made (Start of streak):
Western Michigan -- 175 (1/18/95)
Toledo -- 163 (1/24/96)
Eastern Michigan -- 126 (12/22/96)
Central Michigan -- 104 (11/29/97)
Bowling Green -- 80 (3/13/98)
Miami -- 78 (11/14/98)
Marshall -- 42 (12/29/99)
Kent State -- 41 (1/15/00)
Ball State -- 34 (2/5/00)
Buffalo -- 27 (2/25/00)
Akron -- 17 (12/8/00)
Ohio -- 14 (1/3/01)
Northern Illinois -- 10 (1/13/01)

Marshall ended a seven-game losing streak last Wednesday with a 70-60 win at home over Akron. The Thundering Herd had five players reach double digits in scoring, paced by Au'Yana Fergusons 14 points. Toni Patillo added 13 points and five steals in the contest for the Thundering Herd, who picked up their ninth win of the season -- the teams most since the Herd joined the MAC. Patillo later led the team with 17 points and added seven boards in a road loss to Bowling Green.

The Mid-American Conference finished the regular season with a 67-76 record in non-conference action (.468), including a 2-9 slate versus nationally-ranked opponents. The MAC completed the 1999-00 season with a 62-77 non-conference record, which translated into a .446 winning percentage. That mark also included a 1-9 record against nationally-ranked opponents. In 1998-99, the MACs record in non-conference play was 59-66 (.472).

Kent State started the season 3-5 but have won 15 of its last 17 games. They had a season-best seven game winning streak start Dec. 21 when they defeated Boston College 72-68 at home.

During the current five-game streak, senior Julie Studer is averaging 21.2 points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting 64 percent (45-of-70) from the floor. Senior guard Carrie Nance is averaging 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

As a team Kent State is averaging 79.2 points while giving up just 60.6 (+18.6) per game. They are shooting 48.0 percent (143-of-298) from the field while holding the opponents to 37.5 percent (104-of-277).

After an early period of struggle at its new home, Eastern Michigan has found its rhythm and confidence inside the Convocation Center. In almost three years since the home court was opened, EMU is 18-14 overall. However, Eastern has won 13 of its last 15, including an 8-2 mark this season. The Eagles had a Convo record nine-game home winning streak snapped with the loss to Northern Illinois, Jan. 9. EMU, winners of three straight and five of its last six, end the regular season with four of its final six regular games at home. Having defeated Marshall and Central Michigan in the first two, the Eagles host Bowling Green and Toledo this week before completing the regular season schedule at Western Michigan on Feb. 28.

The Ball State women's basketball team, under the direction of second-year head coach Brenda Oldfield, will receive national attention for the remainder of the basketball season on ESPN.com. Sophomores Amy Zercher and Tamara Bowie will provide an inside look to BSU women's basketball every week by submitting a diary which will be posted on the front page of the womens college basketball site on ESPN.com.

The 2001 Mid-American Conference Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Cleveland for a second consecutive year but will have a new location and a title sponsor. The MAC Womens Basketball Tournament will be held at Gund Arena, Tuesday, March 6 and Friday-Saturday, March 9-10. The league office announced in October at its media day that Kraft has signed a two-year agreement and will serve as the title sponsor of the tournament.

Five first-round games are slated for Saturday, March 3, with the two division winners and the team with the next best overall MAC record and winning percentage receiving a bye to the quarterfinals. Eight teams will convene in the Rock N Roll city for quarterfinal action on Tuesday, March 6. Two semifinal contests are set for Friday, March 9, while the championship game is slated for Saturday, March 10.

Individual game tickets for action at Gund Arena went on sale Monday, Jan. 29. General admission tickets for adults will be $10, while student general admission seating is $5.