Wednesday's Women's Basketball Results

Updated 3/6/2013


Wednesday's Women's Basketball Results
Akron 77, Buffalo 60
Toledo 63, Ball State 38
Bowling Green 51, Kent State 43
Central Michigan 63, Eastern Michigan 56
Miami 66, Ohio 61
Western Michigan 58, Northern Illinois 50
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 77, Buffalo 60
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was outscored 45-24 in the first half on Wednesday night and lost its regular season finale to Akron, 77-60, at Alumni Arena.  The Bulls finished conference play with an 8-8 record, good enough for the #7 seed in the upcoming conference tournament.  Buffalo has secured a first round home game, which it will play Saturday afternoon against #10 Northern Illinois at 2:00 pm.
The Zips led wire-to-wire as they forced the Bulls into three early turnovers and scored the first eight points of the contest.  Akron got its lead up to 24-6 early when Buffalo went on a 16-9 run, capped off on a three pointer from senior Nicki Hopkins with 5:17 left in the opening half.  Buffalo continued to trail by just 11 with 3:49 left when Akron closed the half on a 10-0 run.
Akron extended its lead to 28 with 14:30 left in regulation when the Bulls tried to creep back into the contest.  The Bulls went on a 13-3 run to pull within 58-40 following a three from sophomore Sloane Walton, but the Zips again built a 22-point advantage.  A quick 8-3 run to end the game put Buffalo down 17, which was the final margin of defeat for the Bulls.
"We have to play better than that.  We've come too far to perform like we did tonight," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.  "Akron is a very good basketball team, however we didn't let them beat us, we helped them beat us and we've come too far to accept that."
Freshman Mackenzie Loesing led Buffalo with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting.  She added three rebounds and four steals.  She paced three UB players in double figures as redshirt junior Cherridy Thornton had 15 points and three assists and Kristen Sharkey added 11 points and two blocks.
Walton finished with eight points and a career-high six rebounds, while Christa Baccas had four points, seven rebounds, a block and three steals.
Akron, which claimed the MAC East Division crown, finishes the regular season 21-8 and 12-4 in the MAC.  The Zips were led by 24 points from Hanna Luburgh, who added nine rebounds.  Sina King finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds and Rachel Tecca had 17 points.
The Bulls will be hosting a first-round playoff game for just the second time in the last seven years.  The winner of the UB-NIU game will play the winner of Miami-Ohio on Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland, OH.
Toledo 63, Ball State 38
TOLEDO, OH - No. 25 Toledo closed out its regular season in fine fashion with a resounding 63-39 victory over Ball State on "Senior Night" on Wednesday before 4,542 fans in Savage Arena. With the dominating win, the nationally ranked Rockets push their win streak to 15 consecutive games and improve to 27-2 overall, 15-1 in the league. UT's 15-1 MAC ledger marks the third time in school history it has posted a .938 league win percentage (2000-01, 1991-92)
Senior Naama Shafir and senior Yolanda Richardson led the 2012-13 MAC regular-season champions with 14 points each to snap BSU's four-game win streak. Richardson added a career high 16 rebounds to post her second double-double of the season.
UT also received nine points from sophomore Inma Zanoguera and eight points each from senior Kyle Baumgartner and junior Andola Dortch to sweep the regular-season series from the Cardinals (15-14, 12-4 MAC) for a fourth-straight year.
The four-time reigning MAC West Division champion Rockets raced out to a 10-0 lead at the 17:51 mark, forcing Ball State into an early timeout. The home team hit four of their first five shots from the floor to build an early double-digit cushion, including a pair of triples from Baumgartner and Shafir.
The Cardinals benefitted from the stoppage of play and scored the next 10 points to draw the teams' even at 10-10 with 13:34 remaining in the first stanza. Five different BSU players scored in the burst, prompting UT to call a timeout.
Toledo did not help its own cause during this stretch, as the home team went five minutes with scoring. The Rockets finally ended the drought when Shafir knocked her second triple of the contest with just under 12 minutes remaining in the opening half.
Shafir three-point field goal lit a fire under the Rockets and sparked a game-changing 26-4 burst to end the period, giving the home team a 36-14 lead at the intermission. Zanoguera did a bulk of the damage in the run contributing seven points, including a trey as the first half clock expired, while Richardson tallied six points and Dortch and Baumgartner had five points each.
Toledo did not relax to start the second half despite holding a sizable advantage, but rather kept its foot on the accelerator and grew its lead to as many as 31 points, before settling for the impressive 24-point home victory.
BSU was paced by All-MAC candidate Nathalie Fontaine with 18 points and Shelbie Justice added nine points in the losing effort. The Cardinals were guilty of 19 turnovers, which Toledo translated into 17 points.
The Rockets' defense smothered the BSU shooters, holding their division rival to 27.1 percent (13-of-48) from the field for their lowest scoring output of the season. Tonight's dominating defensive performance by UT signified the 19th time it has held an opponent to 42 points or less under fifth-year head coach Tricia Cullop, including nine occasions in 2012-13.
UT will now take the No. 1 seed into the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, OH, which starts at campus sites on Saturday, March 9. The Rockets have earned a bye through the first three rounds of the tourney and will advance to the ‘Final Four' on Friday, March 15 at Noon in Quicken Loans Arena.
Bowling Green 51, Kent State 43
Kent, Ohio – A strong opening effort by Kent State (3-26, 1-15) could not extend through the full 40 minutes, allowing Bowling Green (20-9, 11-5) to earn the 51-43 victory and spoil the Flashes' last home game of the season.
Kent State allowed just 16 points in the first half, while scoring 14 of their own.  The game went back and forth in the opening 20 minutes, with three ties and two lead changes.  Bowling Green was able to take the two-point lead at the half by capitalizing on 11 Kent State turnovers that the Falcons converted into 11 points.  Neither team shot more than 30% in the first half, with only a combined 13 turnovers.
The Golden Flashes' bench helped out with 24 points in the game.  They also nine assists on 15 made field goals.  Bowling Green scored 14 second chance points and finished with 13 points off of 16 Kent State turnovers.
Diamon Beckford led the team in scoring with 14 points.  Trisha Krewson followed her with eight.  Ashley Evans had a career-high eight rebounds while Jamie Hutcheson matched a career-high with four steals.
Bowling Green's Chrissy Steffen led the Falcons with 13 points and eight rebounds.
After a coin flip falling in favor of Ohio, Kent State will be the No. 12 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.  The Flashes will face No. 5 Bowling Green on the road on Saturday (Mar. 9) at 1:00 pm.
Central Michigan 63, Eastern Michigan 56
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( – The Eastern Michigan University women's basketball team fell, 63-56, in its final regular-season game to Central Michigan University, Wednesday evening, March 6, at the Convocation Center.
Wednesday's tilt was the final home game for seniors Taylor Bird (Lawrence, Kan.-Lawrence (JCCC)),  India Hairston (Flint, Mich.-Hamady) and Chelsea Hite (Ligonier, Ind.- West Noble).
Eastern Michigan (8-21; 6-10 MAC), shooting 24-for-60 (40 percent), was led by junior Natachia Watkins(South Euclid, Ohio.-Brush) with 18 points. Hite chipped in 13 to tie a career- high and Desyree Thomas (Waterford, Mich.-Mott) added 12 points and five steals. Sara Stone (Plymouth, Mich.-Salem) grabbed 10 rebounds, while Hairston pulled down five off the glass.
Central (18-11; 12-4 MAC), shooting 21-for-57(36.8 percent), was led by Crystal Bradford, who notched a double-double with14 points and 17 boards.
The two teams traded buckets back and forth during the first six minutes of the game before Eastern Michigan put together a 7-2 run to pull ahead by six, 16-10, with 10:40 left. After trading baskets, the Chippewas put up eight unanswered points over the next 1:29 to take the lead, 20-18. A jumper by Thomas stopped the Chippewas' momentum and knotted the score at 20.
Central put up another five points before Hairston fired back with a bucket of her own. After alternating shots, Hite scored back-to-back baskets to pull the Eagles within two, 30-28, heading into the half.  
Continuing her offensive surge of the first half, Watkins evened the score at 30 after grabbing the rebound off of a missed jumper. The Eagles took a one-point lead on a free throw by Stone, but Central responded and went up by six, 39-33, with 13:26 remaining in the game.
The Green and White would close the gap to two, 42-40, on a Watkins bucket, but the visitors would string together a 12-5 run over the next 4:48 to take a nine-point lead, 54-45, with 4:12 remaining. Thomas answered with back -to-back layups to pull within five, 54-49.
Buckets by Watkins, Thomas and Hite in the final minutes were not enough, as the Chippewas held onto the lead to take the seven-point win.   
The Eagles will open up MAC tournament play Saturday, March 9, as they play host to No.9 Western Michigan University at 2:30 p.m. at the Convo. 
Miami 66, Ohio 61
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University Women's Basketball Team ended its 2012-13 regular season at home on Wednesday night, falling by a final score of 66-61 to the visiting Miami RedHawks in the 76th edition of the Battle of Bricks.
The loss on Wednesday combined with the result of a coin toss against Kent State has the Bobcats ranked as the No. 11 seed heading into the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament. Ohio will play at Miami at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the tournament.
Courtney Osborn led all scorers on Wednesday, scoring 21 points on 6-15 shooting. She was joined in double figures by 14 points from Hannah Robertson. Shavon Robinson (Canton, Ohio) led the way for the Bobcats, scoring 16 points on 5-9 shooting. She was joined in double figures by 14 points from Mariah Byard and 10 from Erin Bailes (Huntington, W.Va.).
Ohio (6-22, 1-15 MAC) shot 21-55 (38.2 percent) from the field in the loss. The Bobcats got to the free-throw line 17 times, hitting 13 of their attempts. Ohio won the points-off-turnovers battle, scoring 19 to Miami's 18. The Bobcats also doubled up the RedHawks (18-11, 10-6 MAC) on fast-break points, 4-2. Miami ended the game shooting 22-53 (41.5 percent) including a 10-18 (55.6 percent) mark from three-point distance.
The teams played a spirited first half which saw two lead changes in the first 20 minutes. Miami leapt out to an early eight-point lead (21-13) when Osborn hit a jumper with 9:20 remaining. The `Cats would battle back, however, pulling within five points (30-25) when Tina Fisher (Cottage Grove, Minn.) grabbed an offensive rebound and laid one in with 3:20 to play in the frame. Byard (Mannington, W.Va.) then caught fire, hitting back-to-back threes to give the `Cats their first lead of the game, 31-30, with 2:09 remaining in the game.
Byard tied for a half high with 11 points in the first 20 minutes of play. The sophomore shot 4-5 from the field including a blistering 3-4 from three-point distance. She was joined in double figures by Miami's Osborn, who scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting from the field.
The RedHawks shot 13-29 (44.8 percent) from the field in the first half while the Bobcats went 11-29 (37.9 percent). Each team shot well from three-point range, as Miami went 5-9 from distance while the Bobcats hit a similar mark, going 4-9. Kirsten Olowinski led all rebounders with seven boards in the first 20 minutes, two of which were on the offensive end. She would finish with a game-high 15 boards.
Trailing by eight points (57-49) with 6:01 to play, Ohio went on a 10-3 run over the next five minutes to pull within one point at the 1:01 mark. Byard hit a crucial three-pointer during this run and Robinson played a big role as well, scoring four points down the stretch.
With the game tied at 59-59, Osborn hit a deep three-pointer with 43 seconds remaining to give the RedHawks their final lead. Bailes would score a layup to pull within one point with 22 seconds to play, but Miami hit four free throws to close out the win. 
Ohio will next be in action on Saturday at Miami. The Bobcats and RedHawks will rematch in Oxford in the first round of the MAC Tournament. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
Western Michigan 58, Northern Illinois 50
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan sent senior Aurielle Anderson off with a win on Senior Night, defeating Northern Illinois, 58-50.
The victory improved the Bronco women's basketball team to 10-19 on the season, its most wins as a program since the 2007-08 season. Head coach Shane Clipfell also set a new mark for most overall wins and Mid-American Conference wins (6) as a first-year head coach at WMU.
Western Michigan closed out with a 6-10 MAC record and will be the No. 9 seed in the conference tournament. The Brown & Gold travel to No. 8 seeded Eastern Michigan Saturday for a first round matchup at 2:30 p.m. The winner of that contest advances to Cleveland to take on the winner of the No. 5 Bowling Green vs. No. 12 Kent State first round game.
WMU committed a season-low eight turnovers Wednesday and got a big boost from its bench, which out-scored Northern Illinois, 33-13.
Sophomore Jazmine Windham had a big hand in that statistic, tying career-highs with 18 points and four three-pointers. She missed just one shot from the floor, a contested three that was just short, and went 6-for-7 for the game.
Also providing a spark off the bench was junior Corie Buchanan who had 12 points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Julia Henson totaled 11 points and dialed in for three long balls in her second start of the season. Anderson had six points, four rebounds and five assists in her final game at University Arena.
Northern Illinois led by nine with 5:56 left in the first half, but WMU managed to knot the score at halftime, 25-all. The Huskies went up by five in the early minutes of the second half and the Broncos came back to take the lead for good on a tip-in by Buchanan with 9:14 remaining.
Windham netted 12 of her 18 points in the second half.
The Broncos shot 43.4 percent overall and held the Huskies to 34.7 percent. WMU also forced NIU into five more turnovers.
Western Michigan swept this year's series with Northern Illinois (7-22, 2-14 MAC). Amanda Corrall led the Huskies with 18 points and 12 rebounds.