Thursday's Women's Basketball Results
Eastern Michigan 54, Northern Illinois 45
Akron 98, Ohio 85
Miami 73, Kent State 39
Bowling Green 56, Buffalo 43
Ball State 67, Central Michigan 63
Toledo 75, Western Michigan 42
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Eastern Michigan 54, Northern Illinois 45
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team suffered a 54-45 setback to Eastern Michigan Thursday night in a Mid-American Conference West Division battle at the Convocation Center.
A 9-0 run by the Eagles late in the second half proved to be too much for NIU overcome as Eastern Michigan improved to 8-19 overall and 6-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies fell to 7-20 overall and 2-12 in league play.
"I don't think we can play harder, especially in the second half," NIU head coach Kathi Bennett said. "We had one offensive rebound in the first half and ended up with 13. We got some second-chance points and laid it on the line."
With the score tied 38-38 with 5:57 left to play in the game, EMU's Taylor Bird connected on a three-pointer to spark the Eagle run. The Huskies missed five shots and turned the ball over two times during the EMU rally before a layup by Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) at 1:26 ended the run and pulled NIU to within seven, 47-40.
Corral led the Huskies with 14 points, going 6-of-16 from the field, including 2-for-6 from three-point territory. She finished two rebounds shy of a double-double with eight boards. Natecia Augusta (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) also finished in double figures with 12 points and missed a double-double herself with eight boards as well.
"She kept a lot of basketballs alive, a lot of tips," said Bennett of Augusta's play Thursday night. "She really D-ed it up today."
Trailing 24-17 to open the second half, NIU came out strong in the second half. The Huskies outscored EMU, 10-4 through the first six minutes of the half. Corral tied the game at 30-30 with a three-ball at the 11:52 mark. A jumper by Augusta gave NIU its first lead since 9:37 in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, that would be their last lead of the game. NIU tied the game three times, but was unable to push past the Eagles.
EMU's Desyree Thomas led all scorers with 17 points, while Chelsea Hite also finished in double digits with 13 points.
The Huskies return to the floor Sunday when NIU welcomes Central Michigan to the Convocation Center. Tip-off for Senior Day is set for 3 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live on 1360 AM/98.9 WLBK or through Gametracker on NIUHuskies.com.
Akron 98, Ohio 85
AKRON, Ohio – Akron put all six of its scorers in double figures and Sina King notched her 11th double-double of the season as the Zips took down visiting Ohio Thursday night, 98-82.
The victory sets a new school record for wins in a single season with 19, and is also UA's fifth-straight win at James A. Rhodes Arena. The Zips' 98 points are the most points scored by an Akron team against a Mid-American Conference opponent in the history of the program.
Akron (19-8, 10-4 MAC) shot 54.7 percent from the field for the game, tying its season high, and enjoyed 20 points from the free throw line on 23 attempts.
Rachel Tecca led the scoring charge with 24 points in 25 minutes, shooting 9-of-13 from the field with seven rebounds and three steals.
King's double-double came with 22 points and 10 boards, and was followed closely by Hanna Luburgh's 17-point, eight rebound effort.
Taylor Ruper hit four 3-pointers to rack up 12 points, and Kacie Cassell hit double figures for the second game in a row with 10, fueled by a 6-for-6 showing from the charity stripe. Carly Young came off the bench to score 13 points and pull down five rebounds.
Erin Bailes had a career night for Ohio (6-20, 1-13 MAC), finishing with 33 points and seven three's.
It took some doing for Akron to fall into a rhythm and find its fast-paced game. Ohio ran out to a 12-7 lead in the first four minutes, connecting on four of its first five shots.
Neither team was able to hang on to an advantage of more than four points in the first half until a layup from Tecca at the 5:14 mark put the Zips up 35-30. A triple from Bailes and a Symone Lyles layup on consecutive possessions tied the score back up at 35, until the Zips strung together a mini 9-3 run to grow a six-point lead that carried them through the half.
Despite the slim lead, UA out-rebounded Ohio 21-12 in the opening period as Luburgh and King each grabbed six first half boards.
Akron began to pick apart the Bobcat defense in the second 20 minutes, finding a double-digit lead for the first time at 61-51 by 16:21 on a King layup.
Luburgh's layup with nearly 10 minutes to go pushed the gap to 18 and held Ohio at its furthest distance on the night.
The Bobcats would cut it to 11 with 3:48 left to play, but the Zips' 8-for-8 showing from the free throw line in the last three and a half minutes mixed in with a Ruper 3-pointer was more than enough to hold off Ohio and put a stamp on a record night at the JAR.
UA will play its last home game of the regular season Sunday when it hosts Miami (Ohio) at 2 p.m. ET. The rematch with the RedHawks will be televised live on SportsTime Ohio and ESPN3. A victory would give the Zips at least a guaranteed share of the MAC East Division title.
Sunday is also Senior Day for the Zips, who will honor their two seniors Ruper and Katie Bubna prior to tip-off.
Miami 73, Kent State 39
OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University women's basketball seniors Courtney Osborn and Kirsten Olowinski helped lead the RedHawks to a dominating 73-39 victory over Kent State on Senior Night at Millett Hall. With their third straight victory, the RedHawks improve to 17-10 overall and 9-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes fall to 3-24 overall and 1-13 in the MAC.
Osborn scored a game-high 17 points Thursday, while Olowinski had 10 points and nine rebounds. Both seniors were honored during a pregame ceremony.
"Senior Night was dominated by our seniors!" MU coach Maria Fantanarosa said after the game. "When teams are led by seniors with character, good things happen."
Fantanarosa continued, "Tonight having a game where everyone contributes, you still can't take the focus off Courtney and Kirsten. They are keeping everyone involved and it's making us a confident team."
It was an emotional night for both Osborn and Olowinski. No tears were shed, but it was a game they will never forget.
"You play four years somewhere and you give you heart and your sole," Osborn said. "I've been surrounded by great teammates and coaches. It's a lot to take in, but we know that while this may be our last game at Millett, we're not done yet and we have a long way to go."
Miami still has a chance earn a top-4 finish in the conference and a double-bye in the MAC Tournament. But for that to happen, the 'Hawks must win their final two regular-season games at East Division frontrunner Akron (19-8, 10-4 MAC) on Sunday, March 3 and at rival Ohio (6-20, 1-13) on Wednesday, March 6, along with having the tiebreakers fall their way.
"We know how important these (final) games are and tonight we came out and did what we had to do," Osborn said. "Now we turn to Akron."
The RedHawks are currently tied for second place in the East with Bowling Green. Toledo leads the West Division, while Ball State and Central Michigan are second and third, respectively.
MU defeated the Bobcats at home, 78-56, on Jan. 17, but fell to the Zips at home, 84-77, on Feb. 9.
The first round of the MAC Tournament begins Saturday, March 9. The tournament's first-round games will be hosted at the high seed's campus sites. Later rounds will be held at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, home of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
The RedHawks started slow Thursday, as they trailed 13-9 with 13:13 left in the first half. But that changed quickly.
Miami reeled off 15 straight points, as Maddie McCallie hit a three and Kelsey Simon made a layup to spark the run. Osborn then hit back-to-back threes and buckets by Olowinski and Hannah Robertson pushed the hosts lead to 24-13 with 7:19 left in the half.
The RedHawks, which led 38-20 at halftime, finished the first 20 minutes on a 29-7 run.
Miami's momentum continued after the break, as it scored the first 14 points of the second half.
Kent State, which shot 28.8 percent from the field, was held without a field goal from the 4:49 mark of the first half to the 13:24 mark of the second.
The RedHawks tied the school record for most blocks in a game with 10 and forced 14 turnovers. MU also outrebounded the Golden Flashes, 32-24.
Robertson had eight points and five assists, while Erica Almady tallied eight points and two boards. Haley Robertson, Kristin Judson and Simon all chipped in seven points apiece.
Olowinski's nine boards moved her into third place on the MAC's all-time rebounding list. She now has 1,092 career rebounds.
Osborn, who finished with four threes against Kent State, moved up to fourth place on the MAC's all-time three-point record list with 284.
MU had its best shooting night of the season, as it finished 66 percent from the field (31-of-47) and 50 percent from downtown (8-of-16).
Both of the RedHawks final regular-season games can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.
Bowling Green 56, Buffalo 43
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSU Athletic Communications)- The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team used a team effort to post a 56-43 win over the University at Buffalo on Thursday night (Feb. 28). The Mid-American Conference game was held at the Stroh Center.
The victory improves the Falcons' records to 18-9 overall and 9-5 in MAC play. The Bulls drop to 9-18 and 7-7, respectively.
All 10 BGSU players who saw action on Thursday night scored between two and 12 points. Junior Jillian Halfhill had a team-high 12 points, while senior Chrissy Steffen had a double-double, with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Falcons held a 43-33 rebounding advantage, and BG had a 25-16 edge on the boards in the second half. The Brown and Orange went 17-of-22 from the free-throw line on the night, while the Bulls shot just four charity tosses, making three.
Halfhill and fellow junior Jill Stein each had well-rounded stat lines. In addition to her 12 points, Halfhill had seven rebounds, a game-high four assists, three steals and two blocks. She tied for game honors in the steals department.
Stein had eight points and eight rebounds off the bench, and added three assists and a game-best three blocked shots.
Mackenzie Loesing had a game-high 15 points for the Bulls, while Margeaux Gupilan scored 10. The Falcons held Gupilan scoreless in the second half.
Despite getting off to a frigid start at the offensive end of the court, BGSU never trailed after the 15:28 mark of the first half. The Falcons spotted the Bulls the first three points of the game on a Gupilan three-point field goal with over two minutes gone, but Falcon fifth-year senior Danielle Havel came up with a steal and fed a trailing Halfhill for a transition three at the 16:21 mark, tying the score and beginning a 9-0 run for the home team.
Freshman Miriam Justinger fed redshirt junior Alexis Rogers for a layup that gave the Falcons the lead for good, and Justinger then was on the receiving end of a long pass by Steffen. A one-on-one move by Rogers resulted in a short jumper and a 9-3 advantage at the 13:46 mark.
Rogers, who suffered a broken nose in the Falcons' first meeting vs. Buffalo this season (Feb. 7, 2013), played just six minutes on Thursday night after being hit in the face early in the opening half.
Loesing hit a jumper with 13:13 left before halftime, but UB then went over six minutes without scoring. The Bulls were stuck on five points until only 6:46 remained in the period.
In the meantime, the Falcons went on a 10-0 run. Halfhill and Stein each got to the free-throw line and hit a pair of shots, and after a scoreless drought of more than three minutes, Steffen came off of a screen and hit a three-pointer for a 16-5 BG lead. Halfhill got back to the stripe and split her two tosses with 7:47 on the clock, and after freshman Bailey Cairnduff went to the floor to tie up a UB player and give her team the ball, junior Katrina Salinas fed senior Allison Papenfuss for a short banker and a 19-5 advantage.
Over the first 13 minutes of the game, the Bulls shot just 2-of-17 from the floor and committed 11 turnovers. Then, however, UB heated up, making three-straight shots. Loesing hit a jumper in traffic at the 6:46 mark, then stole the ball and went in for an uncontested layup. The freshman then fed Gupilan for a three-pointer, and the Bulls were within seven points, 19-12, with five minutes to go in the period.
Steffen, however, responded by driving and drawing a foul just 11 seconds later, knocking down the resulting free throws for a nine-point lead. A Gupilan jumper at the shot-clock horn, though, was followed by a Cherridy Thornton three-pointer, and suddenly, the Bulls were within four.
The Falcons responded with six-straight points to retake a double-digit lead. Halfhill assisted on layups by both Stein and Havel, and the junior point guard then got to the line and knocked down a pair of tosses with under a minute left in the half. Gupilan's jumper cut BG's lead to 27-19 at the break.
Both teams made 8-of-25 shots in the first half, and the Falcons had a slim 18-17 rebounding advantage. BGSU did, however, force the Bulls into 14 first-half turnovers, and the hosts had a 14-5 margin in points off turnovers. And, the Falcons were 9-of-12 from the free-throw line, while UB did not get to the stripe in the opening half.
At the start of the second half, Steffen's free throws were answered by a Kristen Sharkey layup. But, Stein and Justinger hit transition layups as part of a 6-0 run. First, Justinger hit an open Stein with a nifty bounce pass, and Halfhill then found Justinger for a driving layup in transition. The Falcons' lead was 33-21 as the Bulls used a timeout.
BG got the ball back, and Justinger again spotted Stein for a layup and a 14-point advantage. But, back battled Buffalo, as Sloane Walton's three-ball sparked a 9-0 run. Loesing hit two shots from the stripe, Thornton knocked down a jumper and a Loesing steal and layup got the Bulls within just five points, 35-30, with 13:04 to go.
Papenfuss grabbed an offensive rebound in traffic and converted a tough layup, though, and Stein's pass found sophomore Deborah Hoekstra swooping in from the left side for a layup and a nine-point lead. Christa Baccas hit a jumper for the visitors, but a Steffen three-pointer gave the Falcons a 42-32 advantage with 10:46 remaining.
Two Halfhill charity tosses put the hosts up by 12, as the Bulls were starting to get in some foul trouble. Both Loesing and Thornton had four fouls with over nine minutes left in the game, after Baccas had committed three fouls in the first half.
Cairnduff made two shots from the stripe, and Justinger's second-chance three gave the Brown and Orange a 49-34 lead with 5:57 to go. After Loesing answered with a trey, Salinas scored from beyond the arc, and the lead was back to 15 with 4:30 remaining.
UB battled to within nine points on a Baccas layup at the 2:04 mark, but Loesing was whistled for a flagrant two foul and ejected from the game with 1:53 left. Havel made the ensuing free throws, with BG keeping the ball, and the possession ended with a Halfhill layup with the shot clock winding down. That shot closed the scoring with 1:26 left.
For the game, the Falcons shot 32.7 percent from the floor. BGSU held UB to a 30.4% success rate for the game, including a 9-for-31 showing (29.0%) in the second half.
Justinger had seven points for the Falcons, while three players scored four points apiece. That group included Havel, who also had eight rebounds in the win.
Baccas had seven points and a team-leading nine rebounds for the Bulls, while Thornton scored five points.
The Falcons are back at home on Sunday (March 3), facing Ohio University at the Stroh. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., with 'Senior Day' festivities preceeding the game. BGSU closes the regular season on Wednesday (March 6) at Kent State University.
Ball State 67, Central Michigan 63
MOUNT PLEASANT — Despite 20 points and a career-high 21 rebounds from sophomore Crystal Bradford, Central Michigan suffered its second-straight loss Thursday night to Ball State, 67-63.
The Chippewas (16-11, 10-4 MAC) took control of the game with a 15-3 run in the first half in which they held the Cardinals (14-13, 11-3 MAC) without a field goal for a stretch of 8:14 to close the half to lead 33-32 at the break.
The stretch continued as the Maroon and Gold extended their lead to seven, 39-32, by scoring the first six points of the second half. Ball State eventually broke the drought of 12:13 without a field goal on a three by Brandy Woody with 17:01 to play in the contest.
Senior Jalisa Olive hit back-to-back threes for the Chippewas to extend the lead back to eight, 45-37, with 15:47 to play, but the Cardinals came roaring back behind hot three-point shooting. A three by Shelbie Justice tied the game at 50 and another trey, this time by Brittany Carter, again tied the game at 54.
The Chippewas reclaimed the lead on a three-point play by junior Taylor Johnson in which Bradford found her with a no-look pass underneath. Another layup by Johnson put CMU up six, 60-54, with 4:41 to play, but it would be the last field goal the Chippewas would hit down the stretch.
A layup by Nathalie Fontaine pulled Ball State within one, and then yet another three by Woody, her fourth of the game, gave the Cardinals the lead for good, 65-63.
CMU had a chance to tie the game when senior Jessica Schroll went to the basket after the Chippewas had made a defensive stop, but her attempt among three Cardinals fell short and BSU sealed the game with free throws.
The Cardinals finished the contest 11-for-22 from downtown while CMU, the MAC leader in three-point field goals, finished just 3-for-22.
Three players scored in double figures for the Chippewas, including Olive who had 13 off the bench and Johnson who finished the night with 12. Bradford's 21 rebounding effort was just the fourth 20-plus game in program history and ranks second in single-game history.
The Central Michigan women's basketball program will be back in action Sunday at Northern Illinois where it will play the first of two road games to close the regular season. CMU is currently slotted as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming FirstEnergy MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, March 13-16.
Toledo 75, Western Michigan 42
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Toledo clinched a share of the Mid-American Conference regular season title with its 75-42 win over Western Michigan Thursday. The Rockets have won 13 straight in conference play, improving to 13-1 in the MAC and 25-2 overall. WMU fell to 5-9 MAC, 9-18.
Sophomore forward Marquisha Harris had 11 points and six rebounds for Western Michigan. Senior Aurielle Anderson and freshman Miracle Woods each had 10 points and four boards. Junior Corie Buchanan chipped in eight points and eight rebounds.
Andola Dortch paced Toledo's attack with 15 points. Inma Zanogurea had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Naama Shafir added 13 points and Lecretia Smith had 10.
The Broncos scored the first two baskets in the game, but the Rockets quickly turned things to their favor, going on a 27-2 run over the next 11 minutes. UT led 44-17 at the half.
Toledo entered the game ranked No. 6 in the mid-major top 25 poll by collegeinsider.com and is receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches national polls.
WMU lost the rebounding battle, 44-27, and shot 30.8 percent from the floor to Toledo's 50.8 percent. It was Western Michigans' lowest point total in a conference game this season, and the first game in which the team didn't make a three-pointer (0-for-9).
The Broncos travel to Ball State (14-13, 11-3 MAC) Sunday for their final conference road game. WMU concludes the regular season at home against Northern Illinois Wednesday, March 6.