REDHAWKS MAKING SOME NOISE:
Miami made some big strides last week towards the MAC Tournament, which
begins later this month. The RedHawks, who are on a four-game winning streak,
held onto their spot in second place in the East Division with wins over a pair
of divisional foes -- Kent and Akron. The win over Kent ended the Golden Flashes
streak of 18 consecutive regular season conference wins, and also stopped their
12-game winning streak. The victories also allowed Miami to surpass last year's
win overall (11) and league (7) win totals.
MAC TV GAME OF THE WEEK:
Ohio travels to Marshall on Saturday for the league's television game of the week.
Bill Needle (play-by-play) and former Ohio head coach Amy Prichard (analyst) will call the
action from the Cam Henderson Center for the 4 p.m. game, which can be seen live on Fox Sports
THAT'S THE TICKET:
Tickets for the 2000 Mid-American Conference Women's Basketball Tournament
March 2-4 at Public Hall are now on sale and can be purchased by contacting
Ticketmaster at (216) 241-5555. Prices for an all-session ticket
(good for all seven games) are $30 for adults and $20 for students
18 and under and for seniors 55 and older for reserved seats, while
general admission seats are $25 for adults and $15 for students/seniors.
Single session tickets begin at $5 for general admission and $6 for reserved seats.
To purchase tickets for a specific school section, please contact that institution's
THE NON-CONFERENCE LOOK:
The Mid-American Conference completed the regular season with a 62-75
non-conference record, which translates into a .453 winning percentage.
That mark also includes a 1-8 record against nationally-ranked opponents.
Last year, the MAC's record in non-conference play was 59-66 (.472).
A LOOK AT THE RPI:
In the weekly installment of the College Basketball News Women's
RPI Report (through games of Feb. 6), the Mid-American Conference was
ranked No. 17 among the 31 Division I conferences and is also ranked No. 16
according to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. The MAC had four
schools in the top-125 -- Kent (No. 40), Western Michigan (No. 92), Buffalo
(No. 96) and Miami (No. 125) -- and eight of the 13 schools in the top 200
of the RPI Report.
BULLISH ON THE ROAD:
One of the league's surprise teams this year, Buffalo, has produced wins
the hard way, on the road. The Bulls on Saturday became the first MAC school to
record five league wins on the road. Buffalo, which is 5-2 in MAC play away
from home, are 10-2 overall on the road. Buffalo finishes the regular season
with four of its last five games at home, where the Bulls are 6-2. Its lone
remaining road game is a date at Kent on Feb. 23.
NEARING THE 1,000 POINT LEVEL:
So far this season, two MAC players have reached the 1,000 point plateau
for their career -- Akron's Cheryl Bowles and Central Michigan's Shelly Woods --
to go with Western Michigan's Shelsea Erving and Kent's Dawn Zerman, who topped
the barrier last year. Entering play this week, four players are within 45
points of the exclusive club. Miami's Jamie Stewart is four points shy of
becoming the 12th player in RedHawk history to accomplish the feat, while
Akron's Abby Hoy is 12 short, Buffalo's Tiffany Bell is 28 away and Western
Michigan's Danielle Mueller is 44 short.
MARSHALL NETS FIRST MAC WIN:
Last Wednesday, Marshall won its first league game of the season, defeating
Bowling Green 69-59. The win for the Thundering Herd snapped a 17-game conference
losing streak. Toni Patillo led all scorers with 16 points and added eight rebounds,
while Yashico Stevens had 12 points and 10 boards.
LET'S WAIT TO THE END TO LEAD:
Western Michigan led Eastern Michigan for just one second in its 74-72
victory over the Eagles on Thursday, but it was at the best possible time.
Sophomore Brianne Gallert's running jumper as time expired gave WMU the last-second
win over its cross-state rival and capped off a rally that saw the Broncos erase a
15-point EMU advantage.
ZERMAN IN SELECT COMPANY:
Senior Dawn Zerman collected her 1,500th career point in Kent's 74-72 loss at
Miami Feb. 2. By reaching that milestone she became the first player in Kent history
and the second MAC player ever to have 1,500 career points (1,524), 400 career
assists (422) and 250 career steals (290). The only other player to accomplish
this feat was two-time MAC Player of the Year Kim Knuth (2,509 points, 484 assists
and 368 steals) from Toledo.
MASKA IS BACK FOR EMU:
After going through a up-and-down season, Eastern Michigan junior guard Kristy
Maska has helped spark the Eagles late in the season. In the last four games, Maska
has averaged 18.8 points and hit on 45.8 percent of her shots from the floor and 39.5
percent from the three-point arc. She posted a season-high 25 points at Central Michigan
and has been in double digits in each of the last four games.
SCHOOLS JOCKEY FOR POSITION:
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, there will be plenty of
schools that will be jockeying for position for the league tournament, which begins
with first-round games on campus sites on Feb. 28. Two games currently separate
five teams for spots three through seven, should the season have ended with games
over the weekend.
PRESEASON POLL REVISITED:
Below is a comparison of the league's preseason poll, which was
released back in October, in relation to where the teams stand following games
this past weekend.
East Division Pick +/-
Kent 1st even
Miami 3rd +1
Buffalo 5th +2
Ohio 6th +2
Bowling Green 4th even
Akron 3rd -1
Marshall 7th even
West Division Pick +/-
Western Michigan 2nd +1
Toledo 1st -1
Ball State 6th +3
Central Michigan 5th +2
Eastern Michigan 3rd -2
Northern Illinois 4th -2
JONES IS DOUBLE TROUBLE:
Ball State sophomore Christy Jones recorded her ninth double-double of the
season with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Buffalo. That performance marked her
fifth straight double-double , while her nine double-doubles ranks second in the
league to Western Michigan's Kristin Koetsier.
OHIO DROPS HEARTBREAKER:
The one-point loss to Buffalo last Saturday was Ohio's second in the
last minute this season. The Bobcats lost in the last minute to Cincinnati in
its other close loss in early December. Buffalo's Sonia Ortega drove three-quarter
court for a running layup with eight tenths of a second left in the game to give UB
a 71-70 win.
LONG TIME COMING FOR NIU:
Northern Illinois broke a 13-year drought last Wednesday when the Huskies
defeated Toledo, 61-60. The last NIU victory over the Rockets came on Jan. 21,
1987 (71-56). Charbea Haller led the Huskies with 25 points, while freshman Kristan
Knake registered her first-ever double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
DIFFERENT ROLE, SAME OUTPUT:
Toledo junior Kahli Carter received her first start of the MAC campaign on
Saturday against Ball State and tallied 14 points, despite playing just 16 minutes
due to foul trouble. She is the Rockets' leading scorer in MAC games at 12.3 ppg
despite playing just over 20 minutes per contest. Ironically, the starter Carter
replaced, senior Karin Husbeck, responded with a season-high 20 points in the win
over the Cardinals.
CMU DUO IN BATTLE FOR TOP SPOT:
Central Michigan has a pair of players that are in a race for two
three-point titles this season. Jodi Culbertson set the CMU record for
three-pointers in a season two weeks ago by hitting her 56th of the year, and is
presently second in the league in treys made per game (2.67). Teammate Molli Munz
is right behind, though, in a tie for third with 51. Munz leads the MAC in
three-point percentage at .443 (51-for-115).
BENCH SUPPORT INGNITES UB:
The offensive production of Buffalo junior Tara Perrier off the bench of
late is one of the reasons why the Bulls are 17-5, and off to their best start
since they opened the 1996-97 campaign with an 18-5 mark. Perrier averaged 18.5
points last week despite averaging only 25 minutes per game. Her 22 points
against Ohio helped the Bulls win their fourth straight league game on the road.
Perrier's 37 points last week in two games are more than she totaled in each of
her first two years combined (32).
Western Michigan senior Dionne Lassila stepped into the starting lineup in
WMU's victories over EMU and CMU and made some key contributions. Lassila scored
10 points and played all 40 minutes in the triumph over Eastern Michigan Thursday.
At Central Michigan on Saturday, Lassila scored a season-high 12 points, canning a
personal-best four 3-point baskets. The senior has canned 18 3-pointers this season
after totaling 20 in her first three collegiate seasons.
KENT DOING IT WITH DEFENSE:
One big reason for Kent's success this season is its fullcourt pressure defense.
Kent is averaging 11.4 steals per game and is causing 25.0 opponent turnovers per contest
this season. Kent's plus-5.19 turnover margin also tops the league standings. In addition,
Kent is holding its opponents to an average of 68.4 points per game this season. When
Kent's foe scores 69 or fewer points the Flashes are 12-0 this season.
THE FIRST OF FOUR AT HOME:
After playing five of its last seven on the road, Bowling Green is at home
for its next four contests, beginning Monday against Northern Illinois. Of those
four opponents, three of them have sub-.500 records, while Miami is the lone school
to have a winning mark in MAC play.
HAMILTON NEARING TOP FIVE:
Miami senior AuBree Hamilton enters this week's action needing three
blocked shots to enter the top five in league history. Hamilton, who swatted
seven shots in two games last week, has 120 blocked shots in her career, which
also ranks her second all-time in Miami history. Former Western Michigan player
Melissa O'Mara presently sits fifth with 123, while Miami record holder Amy Franz
is fourth with 131.
HOME STREAKS ARE ON THE LINE:
Kent and Toledo will both have its home streaks tested again this week.
The Golden Flashes have a 28-game home winning streak entering their contest with
Central Michigan on Thursday. Toledo's 19-game MAC homecourt winning streak will
also be put to the test as the Rockets host Western Michigan on Wednesday.
CULBERTSON REMAINS PERFECT:
Central Michigan senior Jodi Culbertson remains a perfect 22-for-22 from the
free throw line this season. She has hit 24 straight dating back to last season.
Culbertson is 51-for-55 (.927) in her limited trips to the stripe during her career.