Thursday's WNIT Results
Toledo 63, Butler 49
Bowling Green 76, SMU 70
Duquesne 71, Akron 66
Illinois 70, Miami 60
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Toledo 63, Butler 49
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo sent 2,546 fans home happy with a 63-49 triumph over Butler on Thursday in the first round of the WNIT in Savage Arena. With the wire-to-wire win, the Rockets (28-3) advance past the first round of the postseason for a fourth consecutive season. The 2011 WNIT champions will now host Horizon League member Youngstown State (23-9) in a second-round matchup on Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m.
Senior Naama Shafir led three Rockets in double figures with 17 points, four assists and four rebounds. She was joined in double digits by sophomore Inma Zanoguera with 16 points and three steals and senior Yolanda Richardson with 12 points, a team-high seven boards and three thefts. UT’s dynamic trio accounted for 71.4 percent of UT’s points this evening against the Bulldogs.
The Rockets shot a respectable 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the field, including 25.0 (3-of-12) from three-point range, and 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from the charity stripe to improve to 4-0 all time against BU.
UT dominated the interior and finished with a 26-14 edge in points in the paint. The 2012-13 Mid-American Conference regular-season champions also held a 39-33 advantage on the glass. Toledo has now won the battle on the boards in 13-consecutive contests.
Daress McClung paced Butler (17-14) with a game-high 18 points and eight caroms, but UT’s strong defensive effort forced her into a 6-of-17 shooting night from the field.
The Bulldogs were limited to 17 field goals (34.7 percent, 17-of-49) for the game and over half, nine, came from three-point land. The Atlantic 10 member was also guilty of 24 miscues, which UT translated into 22 points.
Toledo drew a lot of enthusiasm from the rowdy crowd and set the tone at the opening tip, jumping out to 10-2 cushion at the 13:03 mark. Three different players dropped in close-range baskets to give the home team a lead they would not surrender.
UT continued to play at a fast pace as the first half wore on, taking advantage of a jumper by senior Kyle Baumgartner with the shot clock expiring to extend its margin to 16-8 at 9:31.
With the Rockets controlling the paint, Butler turned to sharpshooter Taylor Schippers to keep the visitors within striking distance. Schippers knocked down three triples in a span of less than five minutes to close the margin to 18-17 with 5:05 remaining in the opening period.
Toledo settled down very nicely following a timeout called by head coach Tricia Cullop, utilizing a pair of late field goals from Zanoguera to spark a 9-3 burst and establish a 27-20 lead at the intermission.
UT remained red-hot shooting the basketball to begin the second half and at one point reeled off six consecutive points to build a double-digit cushion, 35-25, with 16:03 left in regulation. Richardson triggered the strong start to the period with six points in the opening three-plus minutes.
Just when the Rockets thought they had the game in total control, Butler’s Mandy McDivitt buried a pair of three-point field goals to make it a two-possession difference, 42-37, at the 11:15 mark.
The Bulldogs continued to stay close over the next four-plus minutes until Zanoguera knocked down a triple from the corner and followed it up with layup to increase the margin to 49-39 at 6:35.
Toledo put it in cruise control from there and did not let its lead slip below eight points for the remainder of regulation, settling for the impressive 14-point home triumph.
Bowling Green 76, SMU 70
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSU Athletic Communications)-The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team shot over 50 percent from the field and withstood a spirited SMU comeback bid, posting a 76-70 win over the Mustangs on Thursday night (March 21). The game, a first-round contest in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, was held at the Stroh Center.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 23-10 on the season. BGSU advances to the second round, and the Falcons will host Duquesne University on Saturday (March 23) at 5:00 p.m.
The Mustangs, the Conference USA regular-season champions, see the season come to an end with a 21-10 record.
Junior Jillian Halfhill led all players with 23 points on the night, tying her career high. Halfhill scored 17 of those points in the second half, going 5-of-7 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line after halftime.
Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers scored 16 points for BGSU, while junior Jill Stein and freshman Miriam Justinger had 10 points apiece. Stein tied for game honors with seven rebounds, as the Falcons held a 42-28 advantage on the boards.
Fifth-year senior Danielle Havel also had seven rebounds, while three Falcons -- Halfhill, Justinger and senior Chrissy Steffen -- had six apiece.
For the Mustangs, Alisha Filmore scored 22 points, including 20 in the second half. Filmore made 7-of-9 shots in the second period, hitting five of her six three-point tries after halftime.
Keena Mays, the Conference USA Player of the Year, and Akil Simpson each scored 18 points for the visitors. Mays needed 22 shots to get those 18 points, going 6-of-22 from the floor.
The Falcons overcame a 26-turnover night, hitting at least 50 percent of their shots in each half. BG shot 50.9% from the field for the night, going 13-of-26 in the first half and 15-of-29 (51.7%) in the second.
SMU, after making only 6-of-34 shots (17.6%) in the opening 20 minutes, shot a blistering 64.5% in the second period. The Mustangs hit 20 of their 31 field-goal attempts after the intermission. For the game, SMU shot an even 40 percent.
The Falcons took an early 10-3 lead, but SMU rallied to go ahead by a 16-10 count. BGSU answered that 13-0 run, however, with a 19-0 run of their own, going ahead by a 29-16 score late in the first period. The hosts held a 33-20 lead at the half.
SMU scored the first seven points of the second period, and Filmore's three-pointer with 15:25 to go cut the BG lead to just two points, at 37-35. Halfhill responded with a three-point play, and the Falcons extended the lead back out to eight.
But, back came the visitors, as a layup by Destynee Hives-McCray with 5:31 left tied the score at 57-57. BG quickly responded, as Steffen's layup just 14 seconds later gave the hosts the lead for good. That Steffen bucket began a 10-1 run that included a pair of three-point plays by Rogers, and the closest SMU could get was six points on Filmore's final triple with eight seconds to go.
BGSU took an early 4-0 lead, as the Falcons forced SMU to turn the ball over on three-straight possessions to begin the game. The Mustangs then missed shots on each of the next two trips down the floor. In the meantime, BG got a putback by Rogers and a transition layup by Halfhill.
Mays got the visitors on the board with a three-pointer at the 17:38 mark. SMU went 10-of-23 from long distance, compared to 3-of-10 by the Falcons, on the night. The home team countered that triple, however, with three consecutive layups, including a pair of fast-break buckets. Justinger took a long pass from Halfhill for a run-out, and Rogers stole the ball from Korina Baker at midcourt and sailed in uncontested. When Justinger threw the ball inside to Halfhill for a bucket, the Falcons had a 10-3 lead.
But, the visitors responded in a big way. Simpson's jumper began a 13-0 run, as the Mustangs held the Falcons scoreless for a six-and-a-half-minute span. Mays scored five-straight points, and a Filmore jumper was followed by two free throws from Simpson. Ferrin Bell's layup with exactly nine minutes gone gave SMU a six-point lead, their largest of the game, at 16-10.
After that Bell bucket, however, the Falcons held SMU without a point for 8:04 and without a field goal for a span of 10:11. After scoring those 16 points in the first nine minutes, the Mustangs were held to just four points in the last 11 minutes of the half.
The Falcons proceeded to score 19 points in a row. Junior Katrina Salinas snapped BG's lengthy scoring drought with a three-pointer at the 10:01 mark, and Stein's layup was followed by a Havel free throw that tied the score out of the eight-minute media timeout.
Halfhill got to the line and hit a pair of shots, and freshman Bailey Cairnduff banked home a shot after a nifty shot-fake, giving the hosts a 20-16 lead. Rogers hit a layup, then stole the ball for her second uncontested layup of the game, and BG's lead was eight points.
Out of the final media break of the period, Steffen knocked down a long two-pointer, and Stein's triple try was on target with 3:12 left before halftime, giving BGSU a 29-16 lead.
Simpson broke SMU's scoreless slump with two charity tosses at the 2:56 mark, but Justinger answered with a pair of shots of her own from the stripe. Simpson's putback with 49 seconds on the clock was answered by a Justinger laup 30 seconds later, giving the Falcons that 33-20 halftime lead.
The Mustangs held the Falcons off the scoreboard for the first 3:28 of the second half, however, and Filmore's first triple of the period cut BG's lead to 33-27. Justinger's right-side drive and layup gave BG an eight-point lead, but Mays quickly answered with a drive and an 'and-one' layup, and her free throw put SMU within five points, 35-30.
After a Halfhill jumper, the Mustangs scored the next five points, including a pull-up three from Filmore in transition, but, Halfhill converted a three-point play around the media timeout, giving BG a 40-35 lead with 15:04 remaining.
Mays hit a back-door layup, but BG got four-straight points on layups by Stein and Steffen. Stein's bucket came after she rebounded a teammate's miss, and Steffen's hoop came off of a long Halfhill pass with the Falcons out and running. BG's lead was 44-37 with 14 minutes left.
Back battled the visitors, as another Filmore three cut her team's deficit to 46-42, but Rogers got a defensive rebound and dribbled all the way downcourt for a layup. Then, Halfhill scored inside for an eight-point BG margin with 10:47 left.
Simpson's jumper was followed by Baker's straightaway trey, however, and the lead was cut to three. Steffen doubled that advantage, taking a pass from Rogers and knocking down a three-ball from the left corner for a 53-47 lead. But, after Halfhill's free throws gave BG a 55-50 cushion, SMU came all the way back, tying the game on the Hives-McCray hoop with 5:31 to go.
On the next Falcon possession, a three-point try would not drop, but Justinger rebounded the ball and hit Steffen for the go-ahead layup with 5:17 on the clock. Stein stole the ball on the next possession, and after a BG miss, the junior got the offensive board and hit a layup for a 61-57 advantage.
After Filmore split a pair of free throws, back-to-back three-point plays by Rogers gave the Falcons a nine-point advantage. Her first 'and-one' bucket came with 3:16 remaining, and after an offensive foul on Simpson, Rogers boarded a teammate's miss and laid the ball back up and in with 2:55 to go. Her free throw gave BG a 67-58 lead with 2:55 left.
The teams traded buckets, and SMU then got to the line but missed both shots. BG turned the ball over, and Mays missed a three-point try, and Stein split a pair of shots from the line with 42 seconds remaining.
After a Filmore trey, Halfhill knocked down two shots from the stripe with 35.4 seconds remaining. Then, a technical foul was called on the SMU bench, and Cairnduff hit both tosses for a 74-63 BG lead. The Mustangs scored seven points in the last half-minute, but Filmore's triple with eight seconds left could only get the visitors within six points, and the Falcons inbounded the ball and closed out the win.
Steffen scored nine points in addition to her six rebounds, while Cairnduff had four for the Falcons. Stein had a team-leading (and career-high) four steals to go along with her 10-point, seven-rebound night. Despite BG's turning the ball over 26 times, SMU had just a narrow 24-20 edge in points off turnovers, as the Falcons forced the Mustangs into 18 turnovers of their own.
BG went 17-of-22 (77.3%) from the free-throw line, led by a 9-of-10 effort from Halfhill, while SMU was 8-of-11 from the stripe. The Falcons got 17 points from the bench to just four from the SMU subs.
Tickets for the BGSU-Duquesne game can be purchased at the BGSU Athletics Ticket Office in the Stroh Center during business hours on Friday, or on Saturday prior to tipoff.
Duquesne 71, Akron 66
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Sina King surpassed 1,000 career points and the University of Akron shot 47.1 percent from behind the 3-point arc, but neither was enough to carry the Zips to their first postseason victory in a 71-66 loss at Duquesne Thursday night in the first round of the Women's NIT.
UA finishes the season 23-10 overall, while Duquesne improves to 24-7 and will take on Bowling Green in the tournament's second round on Saturday.
Hanna Luburgh led all Akron scorers with 19 points and was one rebound short of a double-double with nine. Rachel Tecca was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line en route to 16 points and eight boards, and Taylor Ruper drained 4-of-6 from long range to finish with 14 points.
King ended the night with 15 points, and hit her career milestone with two free throws at the 8:14 mark of the first half. She was 9-for-10 from the line, also grabbing eight rebounds.
The contest was a wild one that featured 17 lead changes and seven ties in 40 minutes. The Zips put together a 9-0 run over the last two minutes of the first half to build a six-point lead at halftime at 37-31.
UA was a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe and out-rebounded the Dukes 26-18 in the first period. Luburgh scored 11 of her points and collected seven of her rebounds during that time.
The second half started off slow for both teams, until Tecca put in a soft jump hook at the 15:33 mark to break the scoreless drought. The Zips held their largest lead of the night at 11 with 13:16 left on the clock after Ruper knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers and forced a Duquesne timeout.
The Dukes slowly started to chip away over the next several minutes, making the most of Akron's 26 turnovers in all. Trailing by five with 45 seconds to go, Luburgh achieved the improbable and converted a 4-point play to make it a one-point game at 67-66 in Duquesne's favor with 35 seconds to play.
Akron put on its pressure defense but could not capitalize on a key steal from Cassell as Duquesne knocked down four-straight free throws down the stretch to secure the game.
Tecca finishes the year as Akron's single-season scoring leader with 609 points, and Cassell, with seven assists against Duquesne, is the school's single-season assists leader with 259.
Illinois 70, Miami 60
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Miami University women’s basketball team was able to cut an 18-point deficit down to only three points in the second half, but could not complete the comeback as it fell to Illinois, 73-60, in the first round of the WNIT on Sunday. The RedHawks finish the season at 19-13, while the Fighting Illini improve to 17-13 and advance to the second round.
Seniors Courtney Osborn and Kirsten Olowinski each had strong performances in their final game in a Miami uniform. Osborn finished with a team-high 19 points, while also dishing out five assists and bringing in seven rebounds. Olowinski just missed a double-double, finishing with eight points and a team-high 14 rebounds.
The RedHawks kept themselves in the game by outrebounding the Fighting Illini, 42-31. That included 14 offensive caroms. Illinois used its athleticism and aggressive defense to force Miami into 26 turnovers, which it turned into 25 points.
It could not have started better for the RedHawks as Osborn found Haley Robertson for a three-point basket to start the scoring. A jumper from Olowinski and another three-pointer from Haley Robertson would give Miami an 8-0 lead and force an early Illinois timeout at the 17:24 mark.
The Illini came out of the break using their aggressive “buzz” defense that is designed to force the opponent into turnovers that they can convert into easy points. While the RedHawks held tough, the defense forced them to miss several shots. Illinois got hot from behind the arc and went on an 18-2 run that gave it an 18-10 advantage with 12:03 remaining in the half.
Jumpers from Hannah Robertson and Hannah McCue cut the advantage to four at 18-14. The Illini responded with a 13-0 run that gave them a 31-14 lead with 4:08 to go.
A three-pointer from McCue stopped the bleeding and started the ‘Hawks on an 8-4 run of their own that was capped by an Olowinski three-point play. Illinois All-Big Ten forward Karisma Penn hit a jumper in the final minute to send Illinois into the break in front, 37-22.
Miami shot 30.0 percent (9-for-30) during the first half, while the Fighting Illini shot 48.4 percent (15-for-31). McCue led the RedHawks with seven points in the period.
Similar to the beginning of the game, Miami came out the aggressors to start the second half. A 9-0 run to begin things cut the Illini lead to 37-31 with 16:59 to go. Osborn scored five points during the stretch, while Olowinski and Hannah Robertson also had baskets.
Illinois ended the run with a three-point basket from Amber Moore. The RedHawks kept fighting as jumpers from Jessica Rupright and Haley Robertson helped make it a four-point contest at 42-38 with 13:52 remaining in the game.
The Illini pushed the lead back to eight at 48-40 at the 13:13 mark. Miami had one last run in it, as jumpers from Hannah Robertson and Osborn would cut the deficit to only three at 51-48 with 10:37 to go. The ‘Hawks shot would go cold as Illinois went on a 14-4 run that would make it 65-52 at the 6:29 mark. Osborn would try to keep Miami in it as she hit eight consecutive free throws down the stretch, but the Illini would not let the score go back under double-digits as they finished off the 73-60 win.
Miami outscored Illinois, 38-36, in the second half. Haley Robertson joined Osborn in double figures with 12 points. The RedHawks shot 33.9 percent (20-for-59) for the game, while the Fighting Illini shot 44.3 percent (27-for-61). Moore led Illinois with 25 points, while Penn contributed 20.