Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Bowling Green 81, Akron 65
Central Michigan 82, Buffalo 68
Northern Illinois 77, Eastern Michigan 54
Ball State 55, Kent State 31
Toledo 68, Miami 52
Ohio 70, Western Michigan 53
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team took an early lead and withstood several runs by the University of Akron en route to an 81-65 win Sunday afternoon (Jan. 12). The Mid-American Conference East Division game was held at the Stroh Center.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 13-2 overall and 3-0 in MAC play. The Zips drop to 7-7 and 1-2, respectively.
The Zips were picked to win the MAC's East Division in the preseason coaches' poll, with the Falcons tabbed for second.
Sunday's win gives the Falcons a 50-3 lead in the all-time series between the teams. BGSU is a perfect 27-0 in home games vs. the Zips, including a 3-0 mark at the Stroh Center.
Senior Jillian Halfhill led the Falcons with 18 points, as BG had five double-figure scorers on the day. Fellow senior Alexis Rogers had 14 points, while a trio of Falcons scored 12 apiece. That group included senior Jill Stein, junior Jasmine Matthews and redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan.
Donovan had a double-double, with a game-high 10 rebounds as BGSU had a slim 40-38 advantage on the boards.
Rachel Tecca led the Zips with 22 points and nine rebounds.
The Falcons hit 10-of-18 shots from three-point range, with Halfhill making four of her six long-distance tries. Both Donovan and Matthews hit a pair of shots from beyond the arc.
Additionally, BGSU went 23-of-27 (85.2%) from the free-throw line. The Falcons went 1-of-3 from the stripe, both at the beginning and at the end of the game. In between, however, BGSU made 21 consecutive free-throw tries.
The game started at a frenetic pace, as there were five possessions in the first minute alone. Neither the Falcons nor the Zips scored, however, until the game's sixth possession, when Donovan found Stein for a three-pointer and an early BG lead.
The Zips came back with the next four points, on jumpers by Hanna Luburgh and Tecca, and the next few minutes featured all four of the game's lead changes. Stein hit a jumper for a 5-4 BG lead, and after another Luburgh bucket, Halfhill dribbled around the arc and knocked down a three-point try for an 8-6 Falcon advantage at the 15:51 mark.
Moments later, Donovan's trey gave the Falcons an 11-6 lead, and after UA's Carly Young answered with a three-pointer, sophomore Miriam Justinger's steal and layup put BG up by four. The Zips then turned the ball over for the eighth time in the game's first seven minutes, and a Rogers jumper put BG on top by a 15-9 score.
Tecca split a pair of free throws, but junior Deborah Hoekstra fed Stein for a jumper, giving the Falcons a 17-10 lead.
Akron used a timeout with 12:23 left in the period. After that break, however, the Falcons forced a miss by Tecca, and on the ensuing possession, Halfhill fired the ball ahead to Hoekstra for a three-pointer and a 10-point advantage. The Zips used their second timeout in a 15-second span.
UA battled back to within seven, as an Anita Brown putback made the score 22-15 with 8:53 left in the half. But, Donovan scored on a putback of her own, and the redshirt sophomore then split a pair of free throws to restore the 10-point lead. After another Akron miss, Rogers scored inside for a 27-15 advantage with under seven minutes left in the period.
Again, the Zips rallied, as BG began to experience some foul trouble. Stein was whistled for her third foul of the game with 6:20 left in the period, and both Rogers and Donovan picked up their second foul within the next minute. UA crept back within seven points on a Kacie Cassell bucket with four and a half minutes left before intermission.
Halfhill responded with a three-pointer, but Tecca answered with a long-range shot at the other end. Then, Luburgh's back-door layup brought the Zips to within five points of the Brown and Orange, 32-27.
The teams traded buckets, with Matthews scoring in the paint after a nifty shot fake, but Tecca answering. Then, in the final minute of the period, Matthews got to the line and sank a pair of charity tosses, and after a missed layup by the Zips, Justinger found Halfhill for a three-ball and a 39-29 lead with 18 seconds left in the half.
Halfhill had the hot hand as the second half began as well, knocking down another long-range shot for the first three points of the half. Tecca hit a layup, but Stein ran the floor, took a Rogers outlet pass and scored in transition for a 44-31 BG lead.
Then, Rogers got an offensive rebound and a layup, and the Falcons' advantage was 15 points as the Zips used a timeout at the 17:18 mark.
Stein, however, was called for her fourth foul less than a minute later, and Rogers picked up her third at the 16:05 mark. Cassell converted a three-point play, and Tecca's layup cut BG's lead to eight points, 46-39, with 15:10 to go.
With the lead still at eight, Halfhill found Donovan for a left-win triple and a 51-40 lead. After a Cassell jumper, a Halfhill layup was followed by a long two-pointer from Hoekstra, and BG had a 55-42 lead midway through the period.
The lead fluctuated between 11 and 13 points over the next few minutes, before Hoekstra found Matthews for a right-elbow three-pointer and a 62-48 lead with 7:16 remaining. Luburgh hit a jumper, but Rogers responded with a layup. The teams again traded successful scoring possessions until Matthews hit another key three.
This time, Donovan provided the assist, driving across the middle and finding Matthews in the right corner. From in front of the BG bench, Matthews rose and hit a triple that gave the Brown and Orange a 15-point lead, 69-54, with 4:57 to go. The BG lead would not drop below 14 points the rest of the way.
Two Matthews free throws made it a 17-point game, and a pair of tosses from Halfhill gave BG a game-high 18-point advantage with 4:05 left. The Falcons' final 12 points of the day would come at the charity stripe.
Tecca had 11 points in each half for the Zips, while Rogers had 10 points and six rebounds in the second period. For the game, Rogers had eight boards -- including four at the offensive end -- to go along with her 14 points.
Halfhill had four assists to lead the Falcons, while Hoekstra scored seven points and dished out three assists in the win.
Akron's total of 65 points in Sunday's game is the highest point total BGSU has ever allowed against a MAC team in the Stroh Center. At the other end of the court, the Falcons have scored more than 65 points 10 times in 19 games vs. MAC opponents at the Stroh.
BGSU hits the road for a pair of tough cross-divisional matchups next week. The Falcons play at Ball State on Wednesday night (Jan. 15), before facing preseason MAC favorite Central Michigan on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 18). Both games are part of the MAC's television schedule, and are slated to be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel as well as ESPN3.
BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo women's basketball team opened its longest homestand of the season Sunday afternoon, hosting defending Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan. Backed by a triple-double from guard Crystal Bradford, the Chippewas (7-8, 3-0 MAC) ran out with an 82-68 win. Kristen Sharkey and Christa Baccas each had double-doubles for UB (7-7, 0-3 MAC), but the Bulls could not keep pace with one of the nation's top offenses.
Strong rebounding early on from Baccas and Sharkey would help the Bulls earn an 11-7 lead just four minutes in, with that stretch capitalized by a three-point play from Sharkey. Much of the first half was close, but a 12-2 run from CMU helped it take a 41-30 lead into the break. Sharkey had almost half of the team's points, with 13 in the half to go with eight rebounds, and 10 offensive rebounds for UB turned into 11 second-chance points.
Just three minutes into the second half, Buffalo drew within eight (44-36), but another Central Michigan run would put the game away. Over a four-minute stretch, the Chips would score 11 straight points and would ultimately lead by as much as 23 points in the second half. While the CMU defense focused on Sharkey, Baccas would step up to have a solid half with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and no turnovers. That would give her a game total of 13 points and ten rebounds for her third double-double of 2013-14. Sharkey would have seven points and six rebounds in the second half to total 20 and 14 for the game, her team-leading fifth double-double of the season.
After the final media timeout of the game, a quick hot streak from deep would cut into the 23 point CMU lead. A pair of threes from Karin Moss and a step-back three from Cherridy Thornton helped to lead a 12-3 run for the Bulls in the final four minutes, cutting the lead to 14 points.
Coming into today's game, Central Michigan was ranked sixth in the nation in three pointers made per game, and that would prove to be the biggest difference today. The visitors would attempt 30 in the game, and hit 12 of them. The UB interior defense would improve after Tuesday's loss at Western Michigan, allowing just 34 points in the paint to a Chippewa offense that scored 51 in the paint in a recent blowout of Akron.
The challenging open to the conference season continues Wednesday night at Alumni Arena, with the Bulls hosting Toledo. The game will tip off at 7 pm.
DeKALB, Ill. - From start to finish, Northern Illinois led Eastern Michigan at the NIU Convocation Center as the Huskies defeated the Eagles, 77-54, led by a career-high scoring effort from Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind./Hobart), who finished the game with 30 points, six rebounds four assists. NIU (5-7, 2-1 MAC) earned its first victory over EMU (11-3, 1-2 MAC) since January 17, 2009, also at the Convocation Center.
"It's great to win at home. I thought we played really well against a team with a winning-record and held our home court and we're excited about the direction that we're going," said Head Coach Kathi Bennett in the post game press conference. "Being 2-1 in the MAC, before heading out on the road for two straight games is where we need to be."
The Huskies defense only surrendered 19 points in the first half, tying its lowest mark set earlier this season at Illinois State (December 5). Eastern Michigan, who entered the game with a scoring average of 84.9 points per game, was held to a season-low 19 points in the period and 54 points in the game, also a season-low for EMU. Offensively NIU delivered 36 points in the opening frame.
NIU opened the game on a 11-2 run at the first media timeout and went on another 11-3 run later in the half. The Huskies would finish the first period 15-of-32 (.469) from the field with a 36-19 lead. The Eagles were only 7-of-32 (.219) from the field.
Eastern Michigan had no answer for Corral as she reached double-figures 12 minutes into the first half and finished with 13 points in the half. Northern Illinois found success against Eastern Michigan's full court press, moving the ball quickly down the court with poise and working it inside, then back out.
Corral became the first Huskie since Marke Freeman in 2011 versus Ball State to score 30-or-more points in a game. The junior guard was 10-of-16 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. She exited the court after two made free throws with a standing ovation from the NIU fans with 2:20 left on the clock.
"She's playing really well right now," said Bennett of Corral, "she's playing with a lot of poise and she's making the right decisions on the floor, using her explosiveness off the ball to create chances. To score 30 and defend the way she does, that's what I like. She's a complete player."
The Hobart, Ind. native averaged 25.0 points per game this week, shooting .633 from the field (19-of-30) and .846 from the charity stripe (11-of-13). She also averaged 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and one steal per game during the week.
Jazmine Harris (West Allis, Wis./Heritage Christian) showed off her athleticism down low as she worked her way to eight points in the first half and 14 points total off the bench. Harris was 5-of-8 from the field and a flawless 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
Eastern Michigan rallied back in the second half as it displayed its impressive shooting ability. The Eagles worked with a rapid pace down the court and fired at their first open look, as they were an improved 11-of-29 (.379). However, NIU rest behind its laurels as it continued to score, shooting 14-for-28 (.500) in the frame. It was the third straight game that the Huskies scored 40-or-more points in the second stanza.
Northern Illinois finished with 38 points in the paint, 26 more than the Eagles, who finished with 12. The aforementioned Harris and Natecia Augusta (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) were a large part of the Huskies success in the post as Augusta finished with 11 points and was perfect 5-for-5 scoring.
The Huskies outrebounded the Eagles in the game, 45-37, with 13 of those coming from Jenna Thorp (Hinckley, Ill./Hickley-Big Rock), who set a new career-high. She finished with four points, two assists and a steal.
NIU's 77-point performance was two shy of a season-high, set versus Mississippi Valley State and against Lamar. It was the fifth time this season the Huskies scored 70-or-more points.
Northern Illinois will return to action Wednesday, January 15 at defending MAC Tournament Champion Central Michigan. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Central. Listen live on NIUHuskies.com.
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State women’s basketball team improved to 2-1 in Mid-American Conference play with a dominating 55-31 home court victory over Kent State Sunday afternoon.
Both teams started off slow in the first half, as the game was tied 2-2 for over a four minute stretch. The Cardinals finally pulled away from the Golden Flashes, ending the half with a 19-8 run, to give Ball State the 21-10 edge over Kent State at intermission. The Cardinals scored 11 points off of the Golden Flashes 16 turnovers in the first half alone. Ball State’s defense limited the Golden Flashes to a .227 field goal shooting percentage in the first half.
The Cardinals opened the second half with a 15-4 run to go up by 22 (36-14) off of free throws from Nathalie Fontaine and Brandy Woody along with a fast break layup from Shelbie Justice and back-to-back three pointers from Jill Morrison.
Ball State held Kent State to only five points up until the 7:24 mark of the second half, when the Golden Flashes Rachel Mendelson hit a three point basket to make it a 41-18 ball game.
Kent State came to within 16 (45-29) with 3:10 remaining, but that was as close as the Golden Flashes could get to the Cardinals.
Fontaine led Ball State’s scoring with 11 points, while Woody added 10. Woody led the Cardinals with eight rebounds, while Justice tallied seven in the contest. Woody and Brittany Carter added three assists apiece and Woody had a team-high two steals.
The Cardinals remain home when they host MAC leader Bowling Green Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Worthen Arena. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Ohio and ESPN3.
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo posted a dominating 68-52 victory over Miami on Sunday in Mid-American Conference action before a season-high 4,328 fans in Savage Arena. With the win, UT improves to 7-7 overall, 2-1 in the league.
Despite the cold temperature and blustery conditions outside, the Rockets’ defensive effort against the RedHawks (4-10, 0-3 MAC) was scorching hot. The four-time reigning MAC West Division champions limited Miami to 30.4 percent (14-of-46) from the field and forced 20 turnovers, helping them win back-to-back games for the first time since the end of November.
The 30.4 percent marked Toledo’s best defensive effort this season while the 52 points allowed was its second-best total, trailing only 48 points by Mississippi Valley State in the consolation round of the Glass City Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 10.
UT also took advantage of a strong performance on the glass and finished with 15 offensive boards, resulting in a season-high 24 second-chance points to tally the wire-to-wire triumph.
Offensively, junior Inma Zanoguera paced the victors with a game-high 18 points, a contest-best nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, while sophomore Ana Capotosto contributed 10 points. The Rockets also received nine points each from senior Janelle Reed-Lewis, freshman Janice Monakana and freshman Sophie Reecher to extend their win streak to 20-consecutive games against MAC East Division opponents.
Senior Andola Dortch also posted a strong effort in the double-digit victory, registering six points, a game-high five dimes and a contest-best five thefts.
As a team, Toledo connected on a respectable 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the floor and 60.0 percent (18-of-30) from the charity stripe to win its sixth-straight decision versus the RedHawks.
Zanoguera started the onslaught by scoring seven points in the opening four-plus minutes to help the Rockets race out to a 12-5 lead at the 16:05 mark.
UT’s advantage quickly grew to double figures, 15-5, at 14:09 on the strength of a layup and one of two free throws by Monakana.
Toledo continued to play with a sizable lead as the first half wore on, taking advantage of six straight points from Capotosto to make the difference 27-11 at the 5:11 mark.
The Midnight Blue & Gold did not take its foot the accelerator in the waning moments of the opening stanza, benefitting from a three-point play by Dortch to assume a 37-21 lead at the intermission.
Unlike Thursday’s game when Toledo allowed Northern Illinois to erase a double-digit halftime margin, the Rockets maintained their intensity and poise throughout and put the away early in the second half. UT utilized strong play inside from Monakana and outside from Zanoguera to extend the margin to 20 points, 50-27, at the 12:38 mark. Toledo's lead remained at least 20 points until the final minutes of regulation when the outcome was all but determined.
The Rockets will look to continue their recent string of strong play when they travel to Buffalo on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The opening tip against the Bulls is slated for 7:00 p.m. in Alumni Arena.
ATHENS, Ohio -- The stingiest defensive effort of the season to date allowed the Ohio University women’s basketball team (7-7, 2-1 MAC) to topple Mid-American Conference West Division leader Western Michigan University (6-8, 2-1 MAC), 70-53, and win its second conference game in a row on Sunday (Jan. 12) at the Convocation Center.
Ohio has already surpassed its overall and conference win total from the 2012-13 campaign and has opened the 20013-14 season with a perfect 4-0 mark at the friendly confines of the Convo -- the best start to a home slate for the Bobcats since beginning 4-0 in 2006-07.
“I think there’s just more attention to detail,” said first-year head coach Bob Boldon of his team’s turnaround. “I think, defensively, there’s more pride in guarding. They’re starting to understand what we’re trying to do offensively. They’re starting to work together a little bit better and understand where people can score the basketball from and what players are good at what basketball skills, so to speak, and put each other in positions to be successful.”
The Bobcats forced the Broncos to turn the ball over 17 times while only giving up the rock seven times at the other end of the floor. Ohio converted Western Michigan’s miscues into 17 points. The Bobcats also dominated the battle of the paint, outscoring the Broncos by a 30-20 count.
“Defensively, that’s as good as we’ve played,” said Boldon. “For 30-35 minutes, I thought we were real solid defensively. To stay with it defensively on a night where you don’t shoot the ball real well was clearly the difference in the game.”
Making her first start of the season, sophomore guard Kiyanna Black (Columbus, Ohio) knocked down four treys and went a perfect seven-for-seven from the free throw line to compile a game-high 29 points. The contest marked a team-high sixth time Black has led the Bobcats in scoring as well as the sixth time she has finished in double figures. She has scored 20 or more points four times this season.
Freshman guard Quiera Lampkins (Gahanna, Ohio) racked up 19 points to finish in double digits for the third straight game and sixth time this season. She also tallied a game-high four steals.
Two Bobcats piled up double-digit rebounds, as freshman forward Hannah Boesinger (Hudson, Ohio) hauled in a career-high 13 to lead the game. Sophomore forward Lexie Baldwin (Hattiesburg, Miss.) matched her season high with 10 boards.
Four-straight points from Black helped propel Ohio in front by four five minutes into the contest. Buckets on consecutive possessions from Lampkins extended the Bobcats’ edge to eight with nine minutes to play in the half, but WMU responded with a 6-1 run to pull within three at 19-16 at the 7:01 mark of the stanza.
From there, the Bobcats answered right back to take control of the game. Ohio held WMU without a field goal for the remainder of the half and closed the period on a 11-1 run to enter the break ahead by 13, 30-17.
After the Broncos cut the Ohio edge to nine at 33-24, the ‘Cats responded with a 7-2 surge to go back up by 14 with 13 minutes to go in the second half. The Broncos moved back within nine, 40-31, with 11 minutes to play, but a combined nine points from Black and Lampkins gave Ohio a 17-point edge with nine minutes left in the game.
The Bobcats extended their edge to 22 on a 3-pointer from Black and another triple from the sophomore put the ‘Cats up by 26 65-39.
Ohio takes to the road to battle MAC East Division rival Kent State University on Wednesday (Jan. 15). The opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.