Women's Basketball Recap -- February 24

Updated 12/2/1978
  • Toledo 65, Eastern Michigan 53
  • Kent State 80, Marshall 71
  • Ball State 85, Central Michigan 50
  • Buffalo 76, Bowling Green 66
  • Miami 94, Akron 32
  • Western Michigan 67, Northern Illinois 66

    Note: Game stories are courtesy of home sports information departments

    Toledo Wins 12th Straight, Clinches Tie For MAC Regular Season Title With 65-53 Victory Over Eastern Michigan

    YPSILANTI, Mich. -- In what was a game dominated by runs, Toledo outlasted Eastern Michigan, 65-53, Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center in Mid-American Conference action. The Eagles drop to 16-10 overall with a 9-6 MAC slate, while Toledo improves to 21-5 and 14-1. With the loss, Eastern no longer has a chance to receive a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament.

    The Eagles will host a first-round contest next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Convocation Center. EMU's opponent is TBA.

    The Eagles came out of the gates strong, opening the game with a 10-2 run over the first three and a half minutes. Toledo would take their first timeout at 16:36, and over the next 8:15, the Rockets would establish a 14-1 run of their own. Toledo's biggest lead in the first half was 12 points, and they took a 29-18 lead into the lockeroom at halftime.

    Despite the runs, poor shooting was what enabled the Rockets to establish somewhat of a lead. Eastern shot 24.1% from the field and 8.3% from beyond the three-point line in the first half. "You can't go up against the MAC champions, shoot like that, and expect to win," said Eastern head coach Suzy Merchant.

    "We had them where we wanted them in point range, but we didn't put the ball in the basket," Merchant added. "It's just that simple."

    In the second half, EMU made numerous runs, but got no closer than five points. The Rockets were paced by senior Kahli Carter, who chipped in 11 second half points and pulled down eight rebounds. Carter ended the game with 17 points, 14 rebounds, (11 defensive), three assists and four steals. She was also 7-7 from the free throw line.

    "17 points, 14 boards. That's just tough," Merchant said.

    The Eagles were led by senior Kristy Maska on senior day, as she totaled 14 points in 38 minutes of action. Junior Stephanie Smiley, although going only 2-12 from the field, pulled down 12 rebounds, had seven assists and three steals. Smiley finished with nine points.

    Eastern has one remaining regular-season game. They will travel to Kalamazoo, MI for a matchup with interstate rival Western Michigan, February 28.

    "We told the kids before the game that to succeed in Cleveland, you have to earn it," Merchant said. "We have to shake this one off and start thinking about a tough game at Western."

    Kent State Wins Sixth Straight With 80-71 Win at Marshall

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    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall University's women's basketball team gave Mid-American Conference East Division Champion Kent State University all it wanted in the Thundering Herd's final home game of the season, before falling 80-71 on Saturday in Huntington.

    Marshall senior Toni Patillo, playing in her final home game in Huntington, scored a team high 22 points to lead a Thundering Herd team that stayed with Kent State throughout most of the contest. Freshman Catie Knable scored 14 points and senior Yaschico Stevens netted 13.

    The Thundering Herd (9-17, 3-12 MAC) forced 22 Kent State turnovers and hit twelve three-pointers to stay close with the Flashes who wrapped-up their fourth-consecutive MAC East crown last week. Marshall turned the ball over only 12 times.

    Kent State's size and strength proved to be the difference. KSU's six-foot-four senior center, Julie Studer, scored a game-high 23 points on perfect nine for nine shooting and grabbed nine rebounds to lead a Golden Flash attack that out-rebounded Marshall, 39-29. Carrie Nance added 15 points, Lori Krezeczowski, while Lisa Beggs grabbed eight boards to go with her eight points in the win.

    KSU (18-7, 13-2 MAC) managed to hold Marshall scoreless for a four minute stretch late in the first half to establish a 41-34 lead at the half. The Flashes then shot an impressive 62% from the floor in the second half to keep the Thundering Herd at bay. Marshall did manage to narrow the gap to as little as two early in the second half. For the game, KSU shot 59% from the floor to Marshall's 37%.

    The game, played before a Marshall season-high crowd of 863, was the final home game for Marshall seniors Toni Patillo, Yaschico Stevens, Marisa Williams and Melissa Arnold. Marshall's quartet of seniors will attempt to lead Marshall to a win in its regular-season finale Tuesday night at Ohio University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

    Kent State will close out the regular season Tuesday night at Akron.

    Ball State Closes Out Regular Season With 85-50 Win Over Central Michigan

    MUNCIE, Ind. -- Welcome back. The Ball State women's basketball team that stormed through the first half of the Mid-American Conference season appears to have returned.

    The Cardinals used a dominant performance from the opening tip and rolled to its 19th win of the season with an 85-50 victory Saturday over Central Michigan.

    Ball State ends the regular-season with a 19-8 overall record - the best in the 26-year history of the program - and finishes the MAC race with an 11-5 slate. The 11 league wins ties the 1996-97 team for the most MAC victories in school history.

    "We are very excited about this win," said BSU head coach Brenda Oldfield. "I know you have heard this before, but I just can*t say enough about this team. What a nice thing to have everyone play and score today. I think we are back. I could tell in practice yesterday and I could see that fire in their eyes again. It*s exciting to see."

    A three-pointer from CMU's Desiree Eidson opened the game, but it was all Ball State from that point. After Ball State built an early 10-7 lead behind back-to-back scores from sophomore Amy Zercher, freshman Johna Goff took over. A candidate for the MAC's Freshman of the Year, Goff drained three consecutive three-pointers to push BSU*s lead to 21-9 with 11:57 left on the clock. Goff hit her fourth three-point field goal of the first half at the 7:37 mark to bounce the Chippewas 32-16. Goff, who earned a start for BSU, finished the first 20 minutes with 17 points, while Zercher added nine points.

    In the second half, Ball State's other MAC Award Candidate Tamara Bowie stole the show. Bowie, a candidate for the MAC Player of the Year, scored 16 second-half points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the final 20 minutes as Ball State's lead expanded to a game-high 40 points.

    "I think that Johna and Tamara definitely finished the season on a high note and proved that they are two of the best," Oldfield said. "This team is so exciting to watch when we play like we did today. Everyone who dressed contributed for us today and that*s what needs to happen for us to have success. A lot of the credit can be given to the entire team because they were ready to bring our two seniors, LaTisha Tucker and Melannie Post, into the game on Senior Day. For them to get in with some playing time was great."

    Goff paced all scorers with 23 points, while Bowie finished with 18 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Freshman Jessica Reiter added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Zercher and sophomore Laurie Kitts each finished with nine points. Junior Shala Crook recorded a game-high nine assists in the win. Mandy Elwer led the Chippewas with 15 points.

    Ball State will now have to wait to learn its seed in next week's MAC Tournament. The Cardinals are still alive for the third seed and have at least clinched a first-round home game which would be played March 3 in Muncie.

    The MAC will conclude its regular season on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the outcomes of those games could determine BSU's seed. Complete coverage of the MAC Tournament will be available at www.bsu.edu/sports.

    Buffalo Defeats Bowling Green 76-66 Behind 31 Points From McClure

    BUFFALO, NY Senior Mari McClure (Rochester Hills, MI/Rochester Adams) had 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the University at Buffalo women's basketball team to a 76-66 win over Bowling Green in Alumni Arena. The win improves Buffalo's record to 19-7 overall and 10-5 in the Mid-American Conference, while Bowling Green falls to 10-16 overall and 6-9 in the conference. Buffalo's four seniors were honored prior to the last regular season home game of their careers, and McClure came out on fire, scoring 13 points, including three three-pointers, in the first six minutes of the first half. The Bulls dominated the opening half, leading by as many as 17 points, 39-22 with 3:36 left on the clock. The Falcons then outscored Buffalo by an 8-2 margin to go into the lockerroom down by 11, 41-30. The Bulls were troubled by poor shooting in the second half, hitting only eight field goals. The Falcons cut Buffalo's lead to six, 60-54, following a 12-2 run with 3:32 remaining in regulation, but McClure converted a traditional three-point play to put the Bulls back ahead by nine and they hit 11-of-14 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory. "We were getting good looks in the second half, but we just weren't knocking them down," said UB head coach Cheryl Dozier. "When your offense goes cold, you just have to keep playing defense and find a way to win. With this senior-led team, I wasn't concerned that we were going to give up our lead." Senior Tiffany Bell (Alexandria, VA/Hayfield) finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore Rachel Martin (Kenmore, NY/Kenmore West) added 10 points and five boards off the bench. The Falcons were led by Francine Miller with 14 points and four rebounds, while Angie Farmer (12 points, five rebounds) and Afra Smith (10 points, six rebounds) also finished in double figures. Buffalo now travels to Toledo for its final regular season game on Wednesday, February 28. If the Bulls win, they will finish in a tie for third place overall in the MAC standings with Ball State and will receive a first-round bye to the MAC Tournament as a result of their earlier win over the Cardinals on February 10. If the Bulls lose at Toledo, they will host a first-round MAC Tournament game on Saturday, March 3 at 7 pm.

    Miami Thumps Akron 94-32 In Home Finale

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    OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami University's women's basketball team made Senior Day ever so sweet as it defeated Akron 94-32 Saturday afternoon in Millett Hall. The margin of victory was the largest ever over Akron and the second largest in Miami's history, with the biggest win coming over Toledo on December 2, 1978, when the Red and White defeated the Rockets 104-32.

    Miami jumped out of the gates and outscored the Zips 20-2 in the first six minutes. During the spurt, Kim Lancaster tallied five points and Heather Cusick and Jana Butler added four apiece.

    After only scoring 12 points in the next nine minutes, Miami closed the half with a 21-4 run in the final five minutes to gain a 53-16 halftime advantage.

    Lancaster finished the half with 11 points, while Colleen Day drained 10 of her own.

    Miami shot 55 percent from the field in the first half, while Akron managed to hit only 32 percent of its attempts.

    In the second half, the RedHawks continued to pour it on as it stretched its lead to as many as 62 points on two occasions while holding the Zips to just 16 points again in the second half. Miami finished the game on a 20-4 run.

    For the game, Miami hit 54 percent from the field and 79 percent from the charity stripe. Akron hit only 28 percent overall, including a mere eight percent (1-of-13) from three-point land.

    Lancaster led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting and grabbed six boards. Day and Hollie Nelsen each pitched in 13 points and seven boards, while Melanie Kozlowski added 10 points. Butler added seven rebounds for the Red and White.

    Jamie Krivak led Akron with six points.

    Game Notes: Nelsen finished with a career-high seven steals for Miami ... the RedHawks scored 41 points off 33 Akron turnovers ... for the second consecutive game, Miami out-rebounded its opponent, winning the war 40-32 ... the 32 points was the lowest Miami has given up since the 1994-95 season when it held Cincinnati to a career-low 29 points ... Cusick extended her streak to consecutive games with at least one steal to 34 contests ... Miami's three freshmen (Day, Kozlowski, Lancaster) finished the game with a combined 44 points on 16-of-23 shooting ... Days 13 points tied a career high ... Miami finished with 19 assists compared to the Zips' five ... the RedHawks ended the contest shooting 19-of-24 free throws (79 percent), while Akron hit 3-of-5 (60 percent) ... Nelsen has now connected on 41 of her last 45 foul shots (91 percent) ... Miami ran its all-time record against Akron to 18-2.

    Hurrle's Last-Second Shot Lifts Western Michigan To 67-66 Win Over Northern Illinois

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Senior Sarah Hurrle's layup with one second remaining gave the Western Michigan University women's basketball team a thrilling 67-66 win over Northern Illinois Saturday at University Arena.

    Hurrle's bucket gave WMU its first and only lead of the game and improved the Broncos' Mid-American Conference record to 5-10. Western Michigan is now 8-18 overall. NIU fell to 9-6 in league play, 13-15 in all contests.

    With Saturday's triumph, WMU kept its hopes of hosting a game in the first round of the 2001 MAC Tournament alive. The Broncos need a win against rival Eastern Michigan on Wednesday (Feb. 28) at University Arena and a loss by Bowling Green against Miami.

    Hurrle finished with a game-high 21 points, 12 coming via 3-point baskets. She was 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Hurrle made 1-of-2 tries from the charity stripe with 44 seconds remaining, bringing WMU within a point at 66-65. Karen Deurloo rebounded an NIU miss with 12 ticks left, and following three timeouts, Hurrle drove the lane to put in the left-handed, game-winning layup.

    Deurloo celebrated her birthday with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Emily Samuelson added 13 points of her own, nine coming in the second half. Junior Casey Stevenson scored a personal-best 11 points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the floor. She also grabbed two boards, blocked a shot, and made a steal. Brooke Gallert finished with a season-high seven points. She dished out three assists and made three steals.

    Northern Illinois posted its biggest lead of the second half with 17:57 to play, holding a 41-30 lead over WMU. A 3-pointer by Brooke Gallert capped off a 14-4 Bronco run and brought Western Michigan within a point (45-44) with 13:34 remaining. The Huskies built the lead back up to nine points twice down the stretch and led 65-56 with 3:51 to play, only to see WMU scratch its way back into the game. Samuelson knocked down a 3-pointer to make the score 64-59 and then made a steal and layup to make the score 64-61. Hurrle tied the score at 64 with her fourth trey at the 1:31 mark in the second stanza.

    The Broncos trailed 14-2 to start the game and were down 22-10 at the nine-minute mark before finding some offensive rhythm. Hurrle keyed a 7-0 WMU run to make the score 22-17 with two free throws and a 3-pointer. NIU stretched its lead back to 11 (30-19) with 3:46 left in the first half before another Hurrle trey and baskets by Stevenson and Samuelson brought in back into single digits. Western Michigan trailed by just five points (33-28) at the break despite being outshot by the Huskies .545-.360.