Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Northern Illinois 63, Bradley 60
Marquette 84, Central Michigan 72
Louisville 90, Ohio 33
DeKALB, Ill. - With a strong rebounding presence and the wherewithal to sink shots when it counted, the Northern Illinois women's basketball improved to 2-0 in the NIU Convocation Center as it defeated Bradley, 63-60. The Huskies (2-2) out rebounded the Braves (2-3) in the contest, 45-43, with 19 on the offensive glass to account for 25 second chance points.
After leading by 17 in the final seven minutes of the game, the Braves clawed back to within three points with two minutes left. The Huskies were clutch as Jenna Thorp (Hinckley, Ill./Hinckley-Big Rock), in her return after suffering an injury in a preseason scrimmage, nailed a shot with 1:31 left to put NIU ahead five, 61-56, and put the pressure on Bradley.
Northern Illinois' defensive grit led to 12 turnovers for the Braves and held BU's top-scorer Michelle Young to seven points in the contest. Young went 3-of-14 from the field and entered tonight's contest averaging 22 points per game, led by a 36 point performance against Illinois in the season-opener.
"We hung on tonight. We did our work in the start of the second half and I thought we had great energy," said Head Coach Kathi Bennett. "We learned how to win down the stretch tonight. It wasn't pretty but it doesn't matter if you win by one or 20. I was happy that we stayed together and the timeouts were positive and that we had the confidence that we were going to win it."
Appearing in all 40 minutes of the game, Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) scored a game-high 17 points with with five assists and a steal, while Natecia Augusta (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) recorded her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The game moved with a lightning fast pace as both teams traded baskets for the first seven minutes of the game until the first media timeout of the half. With momentum beginning to sway in NIU's favor before the timeout, the Huskies began to take command after regrouping on the bench as the Huskies took a two possession lead, 17-13, halfway through the first half and eventually went up 24-18 with 7:41 left.
It only took a little over 12 minutes for Corral to reach double-digit scoring for the 40th time in her career in 63 career appearances. The junior guard shot 4-for-12 in the half, going 2-for-5 from behind the arc with two assists. NIU led the Braves at the half, 32-31.
Thorp came up big for Northern Illinois in the contest as she finished with 10 points off the bench and was a vocal presence on the floor to keep the Huskies offense and defense organized.
"To play 19 minutes and have that kind of productivity per minute is nice to see," said Bennett of Thorp's play, "it's nice to see Jenna back in uniform and have her out there. She really ties us together and does the things that people don't always see. She's just so smart on the floor. She even hit a big shot with under two minutes to go in the game. It's a blessing to have her back."
In the paint, Augusta and Bradley's post player Aly Spinas-Valainis battled it out for rebounds and points as the two matched up in physical battle for post position throughout the night. Augusta won the rebound battle in the contest as she out rebounded Spinas-Valainis, 12-9, while the BU forward scored 15 points to Augusta's 10.
The double-double was the Peoria, Ill., native's second of her career and in as many home games this season. Augusta played for 31 minutes in the contest.
Ball movement was another key to Northern Illinois' offensive success tonight as the Huskies dished out a season-high 16 assists with Corral pacing NIU with five.
Ashley Sneed (Harvey, Ill./Thornton) and Danny Pulliam (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) each scored eight points in the contest. Pulliam made her first start since November 30, 2012 versus Loyola after suffering a season-ending injury.
The NIU Huskies will have eight days before their next game as they head Southwest to New Mexico for the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic Nov. 29 and 30 to take on New Mexico State and Lamar, respectively.
Milwaukee, Wis. – A poor night at the free throw line proved costly for Central Michigan Thursday as the Chippewas fell to Marquette, 84-72.
The Chippewas (1-2) shot just 45.2 percent (14-for-31) from the line and were unable to convert during a key stretch in the second half in suffering their second-straight loss.
“This is a very disappointing loss,” head coach Sue Guevara said. “We lost this game on the free throw line. When you go 14-for-31, you aren’t going to win very many ball games. We made some bad decisions down the stretch and it hurt us.”
Junior Crystal Bradford poured in 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for her first double-double of the season, while fellow junior Jas’Mine Bracey scored 11 and had 11 boards for her second double-double of the season.
CMU trailed by just three, 41-38, following a jumper by Bradford with 16:41 to play, but the Golden Eagles (4-0) went on an 8-0 run over the next 2:02 to take a 49-38 lead and force a CMU timeout.
A triple by senior Taylor Johnson cut into the deficit at the 9:59 mark and the Chippewas were able to cut the lead to five, 58-53, on a layup by Johnson with 8:26 to play.
After a layup by Marquette’s Katherine Plouffe put the Golden Eagles in front by seven, 60-53, with 8:16 to play, the Chippewas held MU without a field goal for the next 3:12. However, CMU was unable to capitalize on its defensive stops and Marquette’s foul trouble, making just 3-of-12 attempts from the free throw line during the stretch.
Despite the Chippewas’ inability to convert at the stripe, they were still able to cut the lead to four, 62-58, when Bradford pulled down one of her nine offensive rebounds and scored a put back. Another jumper by Bradford kept the deficit at four, 64-60, but five straight points by Cristina Bigica put the Golden Eagles back in the driver’s seat.
Johnson knocked down her second three with 3:25 to play to cut the lead back to six, but the Chippewas were never able to get any closer as Marquette hit 13-of-15 free throws over the final 3:01 of play.
Senior Niki DiGuilio notched double digits for the third time this season with 10 points, while junior Jessica Green chipped in with nine.
Katie Young led three Golden Eagles with 28 points, while Plouffe had 21 and Bigica 13.
CMU is back in action next Thursday when it plays the first of three games at the Paradise Jam versus Kansas. The Chippewas will also take on No. 2 Duke and Xavier in the three-day tournament Nov. 28-30.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Ohio University women's basketball team (2-1) suffered its first loss of the 2013-14 season on Thursday, falling to No. 3/4 Louisville (5-0), 90-33, at the KFC Yum! Center.
"I didn't think we played real hard in the first half, but I did think we got some open looks," said first-year head coach Bob Boldon. "We missed our first 11 threes, and, I think, mentally, that got to us. We've got to get better at handling adversity. But, make no mistake about it: this Louisville team is really, really good."
Freshman guard Quiera Lampkins (Gahanna, Ohio) led the Bobcats with 13 points, reaching double figures for the first time in her career. She went 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.
"She got off to a slow start, but she did a really nice job of gaining her composure and sticking with it," said Boldon. "She was frustrated early in the first half but really hung in there and gave us some really good minutes late in the first half and throughout the second half."
Freshmen forwards Destini Cooper (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and Hannah Boesinger (Hudson, Ohio) tied for the team lead with six rebounds apiece.
Louisville shot 60.7% from the field.
Four Cardinals reached double figures in scoring, led by 15 off the bench from redshirt junior forward Shawnta' Dyer. Sophomore forward Cortnee Walton hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds.
Ohio concludes its three-game road swing through the Bluegrass State when it visits Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. The opening tip is slated for 4 p.m.