Thursday's WNIT Results
Kansas State 60, Ball State 48
Drexel 50, Bowling Green 47
Illinois 63, Toledo 55
Recaps Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Kansas State 60, Ball State 48
MANHATTAN, Kansas – Senior guard Shanee' Jackson ended her career on a high note scoring 16 points in the Cardinals 60-48 loss at Kansas State (18-17) Thursday night in the Bramlage Coliseum.
Despite the loss the Ball State women’s basketball team (17-16) advanced to the final 16 of the WNIT for the first time in program history with a 53-48 victory over Northern Iowa and a 54-51 first round upset at Big Ten foe Minnesota. The Cardinals also ended their Mid-American Conference season with a 12-4 record earning Ball State the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament.
For the game Brittany Chambers led all scorers with 23 points. Ball State freshman guard Nathalie Fontaine was the lone double-double of the contest with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Wildcats shot 44.2 percent from the field while the Cardinals were held to a 32.1 shooting percentage. Offensive rebounds hurt Ball State as the Cardinals only had eight to Kansas State’s 15. The Wildcats would score 11 second chance points off those offensive boards.
Both teams went scoreless for over two minutes at the start of the second half. Fontaine would score the first basket at the 17:30 mark. Ball State continued to fight but couldn’t get closer than four (39-35) with 10:55 remaining which came after Jacksons free throws. If the Cardinals got close the Wildcats would answer with a three pointer making 12 treys for the game.
Ball State took an early 12-4 lead in the first five minutes of the contest after Fontaine got the Cardinals off to quick start winning the tip then scoring back-to-back baskets. The Cardinals biggest advantage came at the 14:34 mark after a free throw from junior guard Brandy Woody which put Ball State up 13-4 over the Wildcats.
After that, Kansas State went on an 11-2 run taking their first lead of the ball game (16-15) after a layup from Chambers. Ball State would knot the game 17-17 but the Wildcats strong offense from behind the arc put Kansas State up 31-22 over the Cardinals at the half.
Drexel 50, Bowling Green 47
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSU Athletic Communications) - Hollie Mershon took over down the stretch, leading her Drexel University team to a 50-47 win over the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team Thursday night (March 28). The game, a third-round contest in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), was held at the Stroh Center.
With the win, the Dragons improve to 25-10 on the season, and Drexel advances to the WNIT's quarterfinal round to face Auburn. The Falcons see the season come to an end with a 24-11 record.
Mershon scored a game-high 19 points, including her team's last nine points of the night. She had 12 of the Dragons' final 15 points of the game, and assisted on the other three.
Seniori Chrissy Stefffen acored a team-leading 14 points in her last game as a Falcon. Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers had 12 points, while true junior Jill Stein had nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The game featured seven ties and six lead changes, and the lead changed hands three times in a 43-second span with under four minutes to go.
A driving layup by Mershon knotted the score at 43-all with 3:10 left, and she was fouled on the play. The DU senior completed the three-point play to give the Dragons the lead.
BGSU quickly responded when Rogers leaped high over a Drexel defender to grab a lob from junior Jillian Halfhill, and Rogers quickly banked the ball home for a 45-44 Falcon advantage. But, Mershon responded with a layup in traffic, giving her team the lead for good with 2:27 remaining.
The Falcons missed a three-point try on the next possession, and BG was called for a foul with 2:01 on the clock. Rogers stole the ball from Mershon, but BG could not capitalize, as a shot by Halfhill would not drop. Mershon rebounded the ball and the Dragons called a timeout with 1:03 left.
After another DU timeout with 44.1 seconds left, Mershon missed a layup try with the shot clock nearing zero, and the ball went out of bounds to BG with 38.6 seconds on the clock.
The next possession saw the Falcons get the ball to Steffen in the left corner, but her three-point shot did not go down. Drexel's Renee Johnson-Allen rebounded the ball and was fouled. The foul, however, was just BG's sixth of the half.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Steffen very nearly tied Mershon up for a jump ball with 20.9 seconds left. However, the BG senior was whistled for a foul, and Mershon went to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. She hit both shots for a 48-47 lead.
BG's next possession resulted in a driving layup by freshman Miriam Justinger with 5.3 seconds remaining, and BGSU coach Jennifer Roos quickly called a timeout. Drexel could not inbound the ball, and the Dragons used a timeout as well. Out of the latter timeout, BGSU was called for a foul, and Mershon went back to the line. She sank both free-throw tries for a three-point lead, and Halfhill's contested three-point try fell short as the final buzzer sounded.
Illinois 63, Toledo 55
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo’s run in the WNIT came to an end with a 63-55 loss to Illinois on Thursday in the ‘Sweet 16’ before 3,410 fans in Savage Arena. The 2012-13 Mid-American Conference regular-season champion Rockets tied the school record with a 29-4 overall mark and closed out the home campaign with an impressive 15-2 ledger.
In a battle between two of the nation’s top defenses, the Illini (19-13) were able to convert key field goals down the stretch, including a three-pointer from Amber Brown that banked of the glass as the guard was falling backwards with 3:16 left in regulation. That trey gave the visitors a 55-49 lead and momentum that resulted in a 12-4 run to close the game.
Sophomore guard Inma Zanoguera scored two field goals in the final minute of regulation to trim the deficit to five, but that was the closest UT could get.
The two teams exchanged the lead four times and tied the score on seven occasions. The Rockets fell victim to 23 turnovers that were converted into 20 points for the Illini.
The Midnight Blue & Gold shot 35.3 percent (24-of-68) from the field, including 21.1 percent (4-of-19) from three-point range, and 75.0 percent (3-of-4) from the free throw line to fall to 0-3 vs. Big Ten schools in the WNIT.
Zanoguera paced the Rockets’ attack with 13 points, six boards, three steals and three assists in a career-high 40 minutes. Senior Yolanda Richardson notched 12 points after a perfect 6-of-6 shooting effort and grabbed four boards. The MAC leader in overall field goal percentage ended the season shooting 58.6 percent (146-of-249), tied for fifth best in school history.
Senior Naama Shafir and junior Andola Dortch chipped in 10 points each, but UT’s top scorers went a combined 8-of-33 (24.2%) from the field and could not find their rhythm. Shafir added a season-tying best eight rebounds and a team-high six dimes. Dortch finished with five helpers and a rebound shy of a double-double with nine caroms.
UT out-muscled the visitors on the glass, 47-40, led by senior Lecretia Smith’s contest-tying best 11 rebounds. Junior Brianna Jones also ended with three points and five rebounds against her former team.
Illinois shot 33.3 percent (20-of-60) for the game, led by Karisma Penn’s double-double performance with a game-high 23 points and 11 boards. Brown contributed 18 points and torched the Rockets with five treys on 50.0 percent (5-of-10) shooting from beyond the arc.
With the completion of tonight’s game, the collegiate careers of seniors Kyle Baumgartner, Riley McCormick, Richardson, Shafir and Smith came to an end. The Rockets’ dynamic group helped the Midnight Blue & Gold post a school-record 107-31 (.775) overall ledger and an even better 54-10 (.844) MAC mark during the last four years, winning a WNIT championship, two conference regular-season title, four division crowns and advancing to the postseason on four occasions.