Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Ball State 85, WKU 77
Akron 88, George Mason 70
Eastern Michigan 75, UMKC 66
Miami 76, Northern Kentucky 66
Valpo 63, Toledo 61
Siena 64, Buffalo 60
MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State’s women’s basketball team improved to 3-4 on the season with an 85-77 win over Western Kentucky Saturday afternoon in Worthen Arena.
After racing out to a 40-22 halftime advantage, the Cardinals allowed the Lady Toppers to go on a 39-15 run to open the second half in a span of 11 minutes to give WKU their first lead of the game at 61-55 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The Cardinals then answered with a 20-7 scoring surge to give Ball State a 75-68 edge over the Lady Toppers with 4:02 left on the clock. A pair of three pointers from Jill Morrison and Shelby Merder along with free throws from Nathalie Fontaine, Shelbie Justice and Brandy Woody helped the Cardinals regain the advantage.
Morrison was the key to the Cardinals first half splurge as she connected on 5-of-6 three pointers and made 4-of-4 free throws for a 19-point first half. Ball State’s defense limited Western Kentucky to a .265 shooting percentage in the first half to help gain the 18-point lead.
Ball State eventually broke out to an 81-75 advantage at the 1:52 mark after a layup from freshman center Renee Bennett. After that, Bianca McGee hit two from the charity stripe to bring the Lady Toppers back to within four at 81-77, but Woody and Merder would knock down free throws down the stretch for the Cardinals win.
Morrison led Ball State with a career-high 26 points in the game plus added four rebounds and two assists. Fontaine managed 23 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal for the Cardinals. Woody also scored in double figures with 15 points plus added a team-high eight assists with only one turnover and two steals.
The Cardinals head back on the road to Wyoming, Dec. 14, and then will return to Worthen Arena to take on No. 7 Louisville, Dec. 17, in Worthen Arena at 7 p.m.
AKRON, Ohio -- Backed by a career performance from Carly Young, the University of Akron women's basketball team returned to its winning ways Saturday afternoon as the Zips methodically took down George Mason, 88-70, at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The victory snapped a two-game skid for Akron and was the Zips' ninth-straight win on their home floor.
Young led the way for UA (4-4), posting a career-high 26 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in 28 minutes for her third double-double of the season. The senior connected on 9-of-15 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers, and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Hanna Luburgh and Rachel Tecca supported Young with 22 and 18 points, respectively. Kacie Cassell kept the offense rolling with eight assists and seven points of her own.
George Mason (5-5) put four players in double figures, led by Taylor Brown's 15 points.
The Zips and the Patriots played an evenly-matched first half from the opening tip as the two teams traded baskets and neither side was really able to build much of an advantage. GMU went ahead by five points on a pair of free throws from Kyana Jacobs at the 9:21 mark, but Akron countered with a triple from Young and a Cassell driving layup to tie the score at 23 apiece.
Mason's defense collapsed on Tecca early and she did not find her first points of the game until 7:36 left in the first half, when her layup put Akron back on top 25-23. Hannah Plybon came through and converted a three-point play to extend the Zips' lead to six with just under five minutes to go in the half.
After a GMU 3-pointer made it a four-point game, Anita Brown dropped a smooth reverse layup on the Patriots with 1:32 remaining in the period to give Akron a 34-29 cushion at the break.
UA sprinted out to an 8-0 run at the hands of Young and Tecca to start the second half, an offensive burst that was enough to all but leave George Mason in the dust. The Zips quickly grew their lead to double digits on a layup from Young when the second half was barely two minutes old.
Akron continued to attack the basket and mix in some daggers from long range, an aspect of its game that had been eluding the Blue and Gold for its last several outings. As a team, UA shot 50.0 percent from the field and drained nine 3-pointers.
A layup in transition from Luburgh with 3:09 left in the game gave the Zips their largest lead of the day at 84-59, as UA went on to hand Mason its third straight loss.
Akron will have a break for finals week before stepping away from the JAR for a weekday game at Cincinnati on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at UC's Fifth Third Arena.
LIVONIA, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — Eastern Michigan University's women's basketball team remains undefeated on the 2013-14 campaign with its win over the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Dec. 7, at the Activities Center on the campus of Madonna University. The Green and White's 75-66 victory improves its record to 6-0 overall on the season, while the Kangaroos fall to 2-7 overall. The team's 6-0 start to the season is the first time the Eagles have gone undefeated during six their first six games since the 2004-05 campaign.
The Eagles were led by Janay Morton (Brooklyn Park, Minn.-Osseo) and Desyree Thomas (Waterford, Mich.-Mott), who contributed 18 and 17 points for the afternoon, respectively. The duo made a combined five shots from behind the arc and shot 8-of-10 from behind the charity stripe. Thomas paced both teams in assists, dishing out six dimes while also coming away with a game-high three steals. Jamaica Bucknor (New Haven, Conn.-Weaver (ASA College)) also landed in double-digit scoring figures with a career-high 11 points. On the boards, Olivia Fouty (Toledo, Ohio-Sylvania Northview) had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Eagles.
The team was 24-of-66 from the field, good for 36.4 percent, and 18-of-26 from the free throw line, a 69.2 percent success rate. The first half was loaded with three-pointers as the Eagles made 8-of-21, but they were held to just 1-of-16 in the second half. Though the Kangaroos were slightly more successful with a 37.3 shooting percentage, their 23 turnovers proved to be detrimental. UMKC also turned out a stronger performance in rebounding, as they pulled down 50 boards over EMU's 40.
The contest remained scoreless for the first minute and a half, until Fouty grabbed a rebound under the UMKC basket and found Thomas down-court for a fastbreak layup. The Eagles missed a series of shots, but were aggressive on offensive rebounding and were able to finally score off a Morton bucket inside the paint. The Roos found their first points of the matchup after Taylor Strickland spun in under the rim for a shot off the glass as the Eagles led, 4-2 with 16:38 remaining.
A handful of EMU turnovers gave the Roos enough scoring opportunities to flop the score to the UMKC advantage, as they scored six-straight points in a minute span to take a four-point lead over the Green and White.
The Eagles broke their three-minute scoring jinx when a Haley Moore (Milford, Neb.-Milford) shot from beyond the arc brought Eastern's count within three. Shortly after, a triple from Bucknor followed by a forced turnover and another long shot by Thomas quickly gave the Eagles command of the board again. Moore drained the team's fourth-straight three-point shot to bring the count to 16-12 and force a UMKC timeout.
Hot shooting from three-point range continued to grace the Eagles, as Thomas faked a drive and pulled back to hit her second triple of the afternoon. In three and a half minutes, the Eagles went a flawless five-for-five from behind the arc. Morton moved into the key to score the next points for the Eagles, giving the Green and White a 21-16 edge.
The Roos continued to move the ball in an attempt to keep pace with the recently-sparked Green and White offense, as a jumper, a three and a layup put the matchup within two points. Taylor Strickland was able to knot the score at 26 apiece with six minutes remaining in the half, but a deep three from Morton gave EMU command of the board once more.
Action remained stagnant for nearly two minutes as neither team was able to find a way to score, but the score was brought up to 34-26 after Fouty hit a pair from behind the charity stripe and Denaya Brazzle (Portland, Ore.-Jefferson) contributed her first points of the game with a three-pointer.
Following a handful of UMKC points from inside the paint, Morton converted on a triple and Fouty scored in the low post to bring the count to 39-30 with 46 seconds remaining for the period. The Roos were the last to score in the first half, as a drive from the elbow to the basket from Calli White found the glass and dropped in, closing out the first half with a 39-32 Eagle edge.
Heading into the locker rooms, the Eagles were led by Morton with 11 points and three rebounds. Morton, along with Thomas and Moore each nailed a pair of three-point shots. Despite turning over the rock seven times and shooting just 38.2 percent from the field, the Green and White was able to retain its lead over UMKC as it forced 10 Kangaroo turnovers and held the opposing squad to a 33.3 shooting percentage, including an 18.2 percentage from three-point range. The Roos were only able to find the net on two shots, while the Eagles finished the half with eight successful long shots.
Morton opened up the floor for scoring in the second half with a pair of free throws and UMKC's White answered back with a mid-range jumper. The two teams traded baskets once more as a putback by Fouty was followed up by a Kelsey Barnwell jumper. The Eagles gained a 10-point lead, the most of the afternoon to that point, after Phillis Webb (Brooklyn Park, Minn.-Osseo) capitalized on a foul off a made layup to nail the accompanying free throw and keep the Green and white on top, 48-38.
UMKC rallied together and hit back-to-back-to-back threes to bring the contest within one point before Fouty ended the run with a shot under the hoop. A shot by Cha Sweeney (Toledo, Ohio-Rogers) increased the lead to five points, but a left side underhand layup by Barnwell kept the battle alive. Aggressive pressing forced a turnover from a ten-second violation, and a sideline jump shot from Natachia Watkins (South Euclid, Ohio-Brush) kept the Eagles up, 56-52, with 7:52 on the clock.
The Eagles and the Roos traded blows with inside layups, but the Green and White chipped away at the UMKC defense as Thomas hit a jump shot off a short drive and later found the lane to Bucknor under the basket, whose and-one play increased the lead to nine points as the score stood at 64-56 with just under five minutes remaining. The Roos were able to put an additional four points on the board, but Thomas hit a sideline triple to silence their effort.
Quick feet under the Kangaroo's basket allowed Sweeney to draw a charge off of UMKC's second-leading scorer, Eilise O'Connor, causing her to foul out with 3:27 remaining. The Roos continued to foul and Morton was able to add three to the count with a handful of free throws.
With one minute remaining in regulation time, the score stood at 70-66 and remained scoreless until Sara Stone (Plymouth, Mich.-Salem) made a free throw with 18 seconds on the clock. Following a UMKC defensive rebound, Barnwell attempted to launch the ball down-court to a teammate but was picked off by Thomas, who was fouled and made her pair of free throws to bring the score to 73-66.
Watkins added an additional pair of free throws to close out the game, bringing the winning score to 75-66.
The Eagles' next game will be the "Battle of Washtenaw County," as the Green and White will square off against the University of Michigan, Wed. Dec 11 at 7 p.m. at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Miami University women’s basketball team had its best offense output of the season as junior guard Kindsay Brandt’s career-high 23 points led the RedHawks to a 76-66 victory over Northern Kentucky on Saturday. Miami improves to 3-5 after its second consecutive victory. The Norse fall to 4-4.
Brandt was 6-for-9 from the field, including 5-for-7 from behind the arc. She also had three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 28 minutes of action. She led a RedHawk bench that scored 46 of the team’s 76 points.
Freshman forward Nicole Anderson had a strong game down low for Miami. She recorded her second career double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
As a team, Miami drained a season-high 11 three-pointers, finishing 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from behind the arc. NKU also made 11 three-pointers, but they needed 32 attempts to get them.
The three-pointers were dropping early for both teams. Senior guard Hannah Robertson and senior guard Haley Robertson each hit one for the ‘Hawks, but NKU hit three triples to take a 9-8 lead. Brandt followed with three straight from behind the arc to Miami on a 9-4 run and put it in front 17-13 with 10:46 left in the half. The Norse answered with two more three-pointers of their own take a 19-18 advantage at the 9:52 mark.
The teams continued to trade the lead throughout the period as neither team could build an advantage of more than four points. Tied at 28, Northern Kentucky’s seventh 3-pointer of the half put it ahead 31-28 with 4:53 to go. After two free throws by Brandt, a three-pointer by sophomore forward Hannah McCue and back-to-back layups by sophomore Jessica Rupright gave the RedHawks the advantage right back. NKU hit a jumper in the final minute to send the game into the break with Miami in front, 37-35.
Miami shot 13-for-29 from the field (44.8 percent), including an impressive 6-for-8 (75.0 percent) from behind the arc. The Norse were 14-for-31 from the field (45.2 percent) and 7-for-15 (46.7 percent) from three-point range. There were five ties and 11 lead changes in the half. Brandt led the RedHawks with 13 points.
Anderson led the second half off with a layup to put Miami up four, but Northern Kentucky answered with an 8-3 run that gave it a 43-42 lead with 15:22 remaining in the game. Brandt followed with back-to-back three pointers to put the Red and White back in front, 48-43, at the 13:47 mark. It was a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
Layups by Hannah Robertson and freshman guard Jillian Spurlock, followed by a jumper from senior forward Erica Almady gave Miami an 11-point lead at 56-45. NKU fought back with a 7-0 run to pull within four at 56-52 with 8:23 to go. Hannah Robertson ended the Norse run with a layup and a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions. Rupright contributed her own three-pointer to give MU its largest lead at 64-52 with 6:16 remaining in the game.
Miami went on a scoring drought over the next five minutes, only managing layups by Rupright and Spurlock. The Norse took advantage, going on a 12-4 run to pull with four at 68-64 with 59 seconds to go. NKU needed to commit four straight fouls on the next possession in order to put the RedHawks in the bonus and force them to win the game at the line. Miami proceeded to do just that, going 8-for-9 from the charity stripe in the final minute and gaining the offensive rebound on its only miss to secure the 76-66 win.
The RedHawks finished the game shooting 26-for-58 (44.8 percent) from the field and 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from the three-point line. Miami held NKU to 25-for-64 (39.1 percent) shooting from the field and an 11-for-32 (34.4 percent) performance from behind the arc. The Norse were 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from three-point land in the second half.
In addition to Brandt’s 23 points and Anderson’s 11, Hannah Robertson and Rupright each scored 10 for the ‘Hawks. Miami outrebounded Northern Kentucky, 45-31. The RedHawks had 19 offensive rebounds, while the Norse had only 16 defensive rebounds. That means Miami rebounded the majority of its missed shots. NKU was led by Melody Doss with 20 points.
The RedHawks will be off for the next week due to final exams. When they return to action a trip to sunny California awaits. Miami travels to Long Beach State on Tuesday, Dec. 17 for a 10 p.m. (EST) tip.
TOLEDO, OH – Sharon Karungi scored on an offensive rebound with 3.1 seconds left to give Valparaiso a 63-61 victory over Toledo on Saturday in the final game of the second-annual Toledo Invite in Savage Arena. With the tough loss, the Rockets fall to 4-4 on the season.
UT senior Andola Dortch’s desperation shot from the free throw line at the buzzer banged off the backboard.
Toledo had a chance to take a three-point lead with 14 seconds left but freshman Elena de Alfredo’s three-pointer from the left corner hit the rim twice before falling out. The missed shot was tied up, with the possession arrow giving the ball to the Crusaders (2-7). Following a timeout, Valpo's Lexi Miller drove the length of the floor and missed on the drive, which was grabbed by Karungi in the paint and banked in.
Toledo, which shot 36.5 percent (23-of-63) from the field and hit 21.4 percent (6-of-28) from three-point range, was led by senior Janelle Reed-Lewis with 12 points. Freshman Lindsay Baker added 11 points and senior Briana Jones chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds. Junior Inma Zanoguera paced the Midnight Blue & Gold with 13 rebounds.
For their efforts this weekend, Zanoguera (team-high 12.5 ppg, squad-best 12.0 rpg, 3.5 spg) and Jones (11.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 68.8% from field) were named to the all-tourney squad.
The Rockets got out of the gate slowly, missing their first five shots before de Alfredo made a three-pointer at the 17:21 mark. UT pulled out to a 13-9 lead on a triple by Baker at the 14:09 mark, and extended the margin to five, 22-17 on a pair of free throws by de Alfredo at 8:44.
The Crusaders countered with a 13-2 run that gave them a 30-24 edge with 3:10 to play in the first half. Valpo extended the lead to eight, 35-27, on a pair of free throws by Jessi Wiedemann with 1:20 left. Zanoguera came right back with a three-pointer and Dortch finished the half with a steal and a bucket at the buzzer to cut the lead to three at the break, 35-32.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair. Five times the score was tied and neither team built a lead larger than three points in the final 17 minutes. Toledo took a three-point lead, 59-56, with 5:18 left on a steal and layup by Zanoguera. Valpo answered with a bucket by Wiedemann and a three-point play Karungi to assume a 61-59 advantage with 4:20 to play. Toledo tied it up, 61-61, with 3:43 left on a jumper by Reed-Lewis that turned out to be the final points of the game until Karungi’s game-winning put-back. Toledo missed its final five shots, the first four from three-point range.
Karungi topped the Crusaders with 15 points and a contest-best 14 caroms, en route to earning tourney MVP accolades. Valpo also received 15 points from all-tournament honoree Wiedemann to secure their second victory of the season.
The Rockets have next week to prepare for final exams, then return to action on Dec. 15 at St. Bonaventure. The opening tip against the Atlantic 10 member Bonnies is slated for 1:00 p.m. in the Reilly Center.
LOUDONVILLE, NY – The Buffalo women's basketball team fell on the road Saturday afternoon, losing to Siena (4-3) 64-60. It was thanks in part to a big run to start the second half, and issues breaking a persistent Siena full-court press. Kristen Sharkey led all scorers with 23, and Christa Baccas added 13 rebounds for the Bulls (5-3).
In the first half, another strong start put UB ahead 9-0 off the tip, with Siena not hitting a field goal until the 14:29 mark. Loesing was a main reason why, scoring seven of the team's first 13 points, but foul trouble would limit her to just seven minutes on the court in the first half. A key factor in the opening half would be free throw shooting, with Buffalo making 13-15 while the Saints would make just 3-11. The Bulls would take a 35-25 lead into the break, with Sharkey scoring 14 points on a perfect 7-7 half from the field.
The second half would be dictated by Siena, who forced a Buffalo timeout at the 15:29 mark thanks to a 15-4 outburst that would put the Bulls behind for the first time all day, 40-39. The teams would trade leads back and forth throughout the half, with seven lead changes and another tie for the rest of the game. Foul trouble quickly became an issue for UB, who was already playing without starting point guard Margeaux Gupilan. The Bulls would lose Karin Moss to a foul out with well over 10 minutes left in the half, and Loesing would bow out soon after with just 16 minutes of playing time.
With depleted depth at the guard position, the Siena full court pressure would prove to be even tougher, as it would ultimately force 28 turnovers and score 24 points off of them. Another factor would be on the glass, with Siena able to pull down 19 offensive rebounds and out-boarded UB 50-42 for the game. Baccas would be the lone player in double figures for rebounding, and the Saints countered with seven different players pulling down four rebounds or more.
At the 3:22 mark, the game saw its second tie of the game, and the Saints would take the lead for good thanks to a 6-0 burst that was capped by a three pointer as the shot clock expired with 32 seconds to go that put the host school up by six. Jenna Rickan would get it back with a three on UB's next time down, and a steal off the ensuing inbounds pass would lead to a Baccas layup and a one point game with 17 seconds left. Siena would hit its free throws to go back up three, and a deep three from Cherridy Thornton would fall short.
Rickan would be a critical body off the bench for Buffalo, as she set a new career high with seven points in just 10 minutes of playing time. Sharkey would miss just one field goal attempt in the entire game, going 10-11, but UB would score just 12 points in the paint in the second half.
Next up for the team will be back-to-back rivalry games, starting Tuesday against St. Bonaventure. It will be a 7 pm tip time in Olean, with UB looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Bonnies.