Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Miami 79, Akron 76
Central Michigan 65, Northern Illinois 60
Buffalo 51, Toledo 46
Eastern Michigan 83, Western Michigan 77
Bowling Green 72, Ball State 61
Ohio 76, Kent State 58
OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University women’s basketball team had its offense working throughout the game, and it came up with the timely stops when it counted as it downed Akron, 79-76, Wednesday evening at Millett Hall. The RedHawks improve to 5-10 overall and 1-3 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips fall to 7-8 overall and 1-3 in the MAC.
Senior Hannah Robertson led a balanced Miami attack that saw four players reach double figures. She finished with a game-high 18 points. Senior forward Erica Almady recorded a season-high 14 points, while sophomore forward Jessica Rupright contributed a career-high 13 points. Freshman forward Nicole Anderson also scored in double figures, finishing with 11.
Contributing mightily to the RedHawks’ win on Wednesday was their performance from the free throw line. Miami shot 23-for-27 (85.2 percent) from the charity stripe, led by Hannah Robertson finishing 6-for-6. By comparison, Akron was only 14-for-21 (66.7 percent) from the free throw line.
Defensively, the key for the RedHawks was keeping the ball out of Rachel Tecca’s hands. The defending MAC Player of the Year came into the game as the nation’s fifth leading scorer at 24.1 points per game, but Miami was able to hold her to only 15 points and eight total shots.
With both teams looking to score on the fast break, Akron jumped out to a 5-0 lead. A three-pointer by Hannah Robertson and a bucket from senior guard Haley Robertson quickly tied the score. The Zips pushed the advantage back to five, but back-to-back three pointers from Hannah Robertson and sophomore forward Hannah McCue gave Miami its first lead at 13-12 with 13:21 remaining in the first half.
Almady had a layup, while Anderson followed with two of her own. Rupright drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 24-14 at the 8:16 mark. That completed a 17-2 run for the ‘Hawks over a six-minute period.
The Zips responded with a 15-0 run of their own over the next five minutes to take a 29-24 lead with 2:53 remaining in the half. Rupright and Hannah Robertson ended the bleeding for the Red and White with back-to-back buckets. Trailing 33-28, Rupright and Hannah Robertson each drained a pair of free throws to send the game into the halftime break with Akron up by only one at 33-32.
Miami was 11-for-34 (32.4 percent) during the fast-paced first half, while it held the Zips to a 13-for-32 (40.6 percent) shooting performance. Rupright led the ‘Hawks with 11 points during the period, while Hannah Robertson contributed 10.
Haley Robertson opened the second half up with a layup to give Miami a 34-33 lead. After a pair of free throws and a bucket from the Zips put them in front, 37-36, an old-fashioned three-point play put the ‘Hawks back up, 39-37. While Akron would tie the score a couple of times, and the game would remained tight, the RedHawks would not fall behind the rest of the contest.
Tied at 39, Almady went to work down low. She hit a pair of layups to put Miami up three. A layup from McCue, followed by a three-pointer from Haley Robertson and a layup from Rupright gave the RedHawks a 51-43 advantage with 12:08 to go. Another layup from Almady made it 55-45 at the 11:01 mark. Akron fought back, answering with an 15-5 run that made it 60-59 with 7:13 remaining in the game.
Junior guard Courtney Larson ended the run with a three-point make. The Zips answered with four straight points to tie the score at 63 with 6:06 to go. On the next possession, Almady was fouled. She hit both free throws to put the ‘Hawks back on top. After forcing the Zips to miss, Anderson also was fouled on a layup attempt. She calmly drained both of her freebies to give Miami a 67-63 lead at the 5:01 mark.
The scoring hit a lull for a bit until Tecca hit a pair of free throws to pull the Zips to within two at 69-67 with 2:19 to go. Hannah Robertson answered with a layup to put the ‘Hawks back up four, while McCue stole the ball away from Hanna Luburgh on Akron’s next possession. With the Zips forced to foul, Miami hit all of its free throws to build a 77-71 advantage with 25 seconds remaining. Akron was able to hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to three, but Larson and McCue each hit a free throw to put the contest away. The RedHawks earned the 79-76 win after Akron’s desperation shot from half court fell short.
For the game Miami shot 25-for-65 (38.8 percent), while Akron was 27-for-59 (45.8 percent). The Zips had a slight, 40-39, advantage in rebounding. McCue led a balanced RedHawk rebounding performance with six. Larson finished with a team-high four assists, while Hannah Robertson and McCue each had two steals.
The RedHawks return to action on Saturday when they host Northern Illinois at 2 p.m. Bill Douglas has the call and it can be seen live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – On a night that the Central Michigan women’s basketball program couldn’t quite find its groove offensively, the Chippewas clamped down on the other side of the court to grind out a Mid-American Conference win over Northern Illinois, 65-60.
The Chippewas (8-8, 4-0 MAC) were held under 70 points for just the third time this season, but were able to secure their fourth-straight victory by giving up a season-low 60 points to the Huskies (6-8, 2-2 MAC).
CMU was held to just 29 points in the first half, 20 of which came from juniors Crystal Bradford and Jessica Green, to trail at half for the second-straight home contest, 32-29.
The Huskies continued to hold on and took a 44-43 advantage with 14:23 to play on a three by Danny Pulliam, but it was then that the Chippewas’ defense clamped down to take control.
The Chippewas held the Huskies to just one field goal over the next 8:41 of the contest, allowing them to go on a 10-3 run to take the lead, 53-47, with 7:56 to play. Redshirt freshman Jewel Cotton started the run with a step-back jumper in the paint with 13:52 to play and Bradford and Green scored four each during the run. Pulliam ended the scoring drought for the Huskies with a three with 5:42 to play to cut CMU's lead to four, 53-49.
A triple by NIU’s Amanda Corral cut the CMU lead to one, 53-52, with 4:29 to go, but Bradford the Chippewas next eight points to assure the Huskies could not pull off a comeback of their own.
NIU pulled within four again, 59-55, with 1:38 to play and had a chance to cut it to a one-possession game, but a Bradford came up with a big block on Jenna Thorp with just under a minute to go.
NIU was forced to foul the Chippewas with 28 seconds remaining, but senior Niki DiGuilio missed the front end of a one-and-one only to see Bradford fight for an offensive rebound and knock down both her attempts from the charity stripe to extend the lead to 61-55.
Despite the fact DiGuilio had a rare off night from the floor, shooting just 1-for-9, the senior came up with a key defensive stop with 13 seconds left in the game, stepping in front of Pulliam to draw a charge on a layup that would have again cut the Chippewas’ lead to just two points.
Junior Jas'Mine Bracey, who finished with her fifth double-double of the season on 10 points and 14 rebounds, knocked down four-straight free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
Bradford posted her 10th double-double of the season in the first half with 12 points and 10 boards and finished with a game-high 27 points and 15 rebounds. The junior also had five steals and three blocks on the defensive end.
Green finished with 12 points and a pair of steals to give CMU three in double figures, while sophomore Da'Jourie Turner scored eight key points 4-of-5 shooting.
Natecia Augusta led the Huskies, scoring 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Pulliam had 18 points. Corral, NIU’s leading scorer finished the evening with 10 points.
The Chippewas are off to their second-straight 4-0 start in MAC play and will host Bowling Green Saturday at noon. The Falcons are also undefeated at 4-0 in league play and have a 14-2 record overall on the season.
The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports, ESPN3, Comcast Michigan, ESPN Full Court and BCSN.
BUFFALO, NY - In a game dictated throughout by the defense, a small offensive outburst late helped to push the Bulls to a victory in a must-win situation Wednesday night at Alumni Arena, beating Toledo 51-46. Freshman Alexus Malone scored four of her 13 points in the final minute of the game broke a 44-44 tie and then put the game away, allowing the Bulls (8-7, 1-3 MAC) to claim victory over the Rockets (7-8, 2-2) for just the third time in the 20 games between the two programs all-time.
After a half that saw the lead swing back and forth, the Bulls trailed 44-42 with less than two minutes to play in the game. Christa Baccas pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back in to tie the game back up. Toledo had possession when the one-minute mark rolled around, and Malone was drawn out of the post to guard Inma Zanoguera. After dribbling to the left side at the top of the key, she went up for a shot. Malone would meet her perfectly on the way up, a knocked the shot away and into the backcourt. She would pick up the loose ball on a 1-on-2 fast break, and would get to the basket. After collecting herself under the hoop, she put the team ahead with a layup.
Following a Toledo turnover, Malone would draw the foul and went to the line for a pair of free throw with just 25 seconds left. She cooly sank both to give UB a four-point lead, and the Bulls never looked back.
"It was all about the defense, we were calm and switching everything, and it just came," Malone said about her late-game heroics. "And when it did I knew the game was on the line and I had to be patient. In practice we were put in these positions and so I went back to that mindset to calm down."
The team started out the game cold, starting 0-4 from the field with three turnovers to put Toledo ahead 12-2 just six minutes in.
"We didn't talk a lot about Toledo in the locker room, we talked about us standing for something, head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "At first our starter were so high that we had to bring in different energy, and that came from Ayana Bradley and Karin Moss. We were too high early on, but once our starters were able to sit down and reflect they were able to come back out and play defense."
The Bulls would rally back thanks to the defense in the opening half, ending it on a 22-5 run to take a 24-17 lead into the break. Buffalo's zone gave the Rockets fits, holding them to just 19.7 percent shooting while forcing 12 turnovers and making nine steals.
The savy Rockets would not go away, however, and tied the game up at 32 with just 12 minutes left before going ahead for the next seven minutes of action. The Bulls would fight back to tie it up thanks to yeoman's work in the post, as Kristen Sharkey, Baccas and Malone would earn high-percentage shots to set up the dramatic finish.
Baccas would finish with her second double-double in as many games, while Malone would join her for her second career double-double thanks to 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"Alexus is a kid that you need to tell her what you want, as passionate as you want, but tell her what you want because she'll go out and get it," coach Jack said. "Today, she proved to me that I can be a little bit tougher on her because she's going to respond."
Toledo would shoot just 25.7 percent from the floor, marking the ninth time under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack that UB held an opponent to under 30 percent from the field in a game. The Rockets dominated the glass for a 51-40 rebounding advantage that included 27 offensive rebounds, but the Buffalo defense was suffocating. The team forced 20 turnovers and had 12 steals with seven blocked shots. While it was the team's second-lowest scoring output of the season, the defense yielded the lowest output of the season for opponent scoring, besting the season-opening 47 points from Binghamton.
Mackenzie Loesing returned to form against Toledo, scoring a team-high 15 points while rounding out her game well with three assists, four steals and five rebounds. Her two free throws with four seconds to play would make it a two-possession game and officially clinch the win.
Buffalo will wrap up its longest homestand of the season on Saturday, welcoming another tough opponent in Eastern Michigan. The game against the Eagles will tip at 2:30, as part of a double header with men's basketball.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University women's basketball snapped a two-game losing skid with an 83-77 victory over in-state rival Western Michigan University in a Mid-American Conference battle at the Convocation Center Wednesday night, Jan. 15. The victory brings the Eagles back to .500 in conference play with a 2-2 mark and a 12-3 record overall. Meanwhile, the Broncos fall to 6-9, including a 2-2 tally MAC contests.
Five Eagles reached double figures, led by 20 points from freshman Cha Sweeney (Toledo, Ohio-Rogers). Fellow Toledo native Olivia Fouty (Toledo, Ohio-Sylvania Northview) followed with 14 points, while Desyree Thomas (Waterford, Mich.-Mott) and Janay Morton (Brooklyn, Minn.-Osseo) each contributed 11. In addition to Thomas' 11 points, she added six first-half steals, and Natachia Watkins (South Euclid, Ohio-Brush) recorded a double-double with 10 points and a team-best 13 rebounds. As a team, the Green and White shot 45.1 percent from the floor (32-of-71), making seven three-pointers that included a 6-of-10 clip from long range in the second half. The Eagles sank 12-of-20 from the free throw line and controlled the rebounds, 45-42. Eastern also forced 17 turnovers, leading to 21 points.
Western Michigan also had balanced scoring throughout the night, led by Miracle Woods' 14 points as the forward converted 10-of-10 from the stripe. Marquisha Harris collected 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while A.J. Johnson and Alex Morton scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Broncos made 27 of their 70 field goals (38.6 percent), while they struggled from beyond the arc (5-of-17), they found success at the line by sinking 18-of-20. Nearly half of WMU's points came from inside the paint, mustering 38 from inside the area.
Fouty began the scoring by taking advantage of her own offensive rebound. The redshirt junior drove baseline, sinking the bucket while drawing a foul. The old-fashioned three point play was successful, and Thomas added a jumper on the next possession to give EMU the early, 5-0, lead. However, the Broncos finally got on the board two minutes into the game, taking advantage of a steal to cut the margin to three. Going into the first media timeout with a 9-6 lead, Eastern made twice as many shots as WMU, shooting 4-of-6 while the Broncos made just 2-of-6.
The EMU defense caused problems for Western early on in the contest, forcing six turnovers in the first eight minutes and holding the opposition to 3-of-11 from the floor. Making back-to-back baskets along with a pair of free throws, the Broncos caught up to the Eagles to even the game at 16 apiece. Both teams seemed to only be able to score in four-point stretches as four were notched EMU then answered by Western. The Eagles regained the lead with back-to-back scores to increase the advantage to four; nonetheless, WMU broke the trend with a 7-0 run for its first and only lead of the game, 27-24, prompting EMU Head Coach Tory Verdi to call timeout with 6:12 remaining in the opening half.
The timeout paid off as the Eagles captured the lead with eight straight points in two minutes, giving them their biggest lead at that point and causing WMU Head Coach and former EMU assistant Shane Clipfell to ask for a break in the action. Unlike Coach Verdi's timeout, the Broncos could not score on their next possession to break the momentum. Watkins increased the run to 10-0 with her third field goal in-a-row, but Western ended the streak with a three-point play on the other end of the floor. Nonetheless, Watkins continued to have the hot hand, adding a jumper to keep the difference at seven points. The Broncos close the gap going into the half, as EMU held a soft cushion, 39-36.
Balanced scoring in the opening 20 minutes proved to be a key factor in the Eagles' success. Fouty led the way with nine points while Sweeney, Thomas and Watkins all chipped in with eight points each. Thomas not only provided offensive output, but she also led the EMU defensive effort with six of the team's nine steals in the first half. As a team, EMU shot 17-of-37 from the floor for a 45.9 percent clip. While Eastern made 4-of-5 from the charity stripe, they struggled from beyond the arc, sinking just one of their 12 attempts.
Western Michigan shot 43.3 percent in the first half on 13-of-30 shooting. Woods tallied eight points to lead the visiting team, including 6-of-6 from the foul line. As a team, the Broncos made all eight of their free throw attempts, while shooting just 2-of-8 from three-point land. WMU also coughed up the basketball 13 times throughout the first half.
The Eagles crashed the offensive boards coming out of the locker room, corralling six in the first four minutes of the second half to help increase their lead to six. Sweeney scored to get herself into double digits making it an eight point game, 48-40. After each team making a deuce, a Jamaica Bucknor (New Haven, Conn.-Weaver (ASA College)) free throw and a Fouty three brought the lead to double figures for the first time at a dozen, 54-42. Western answered with a three of its own to bring it back to single digits, with 11:48 left in the game.
Western continued to try and cut the margin, but with every basket the Broncos scored, the Eagles answered with a three. First, Bucknor nailed a long range jumper from the corner, and then Morton added a trey of her own to keep the difference at 12 points. The freshman continued her hot shooting, scoring the Eastern's next five points to increase the lead, 69-54, with six minutes remaining.
Western used an 8-2 run to get back within nine, but once again Morton responded for her team with a three. However, another 8-2 streak by the Broncos brought the game to a five-point difference, 76-71, with under one minute to go. With WMU forced to foul, Thomas sank both free throws to push the lead to seven. However, a technical foul on Fouty gave the Broncos a chance to make two free throws and score a bucket, which they did, making the contest just a three point difference, 78-75 with 42 seconds left. Despite WMU threatening, the Eagles sank 5-of-8 in the final seconds while forcing tough shots on the other end of the floor, taking the conference victory, 83-77.
Coach Verdi's Eagles will return to the mighty MAC road for a pair of cross-divisional showdowns. EMU will venture east to upstate New York to match up against the University at Buffalo, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. Five days later, the Eagles flock south to battle the Falcons of Bowling Green State University, Jan. 23.
MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State’s women’s basketball team fell to 7-8 overall and evened its record at 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference after suffering a 72-61 home loss to Bowling Green Wednesday night.
Ball State had one of its best scoring performances in the paint with 36 points while Bowling Green only scored eight. The Cardinals also out-rebounded the Falcons 31-to-29 while shooting 42.6 percent from the field.
The Cardinals managed to take a 31-28 lead at the half after limiting Bowling Green to 28 percent shooting from the field, but the Falcons opened the second half with a 14-4 run to take a 42-35 lead with 13:24 remaining. The Falcons held the Cardinals without a field goal for over five minutes during that stretch. Nathalie Fontaine would break the streak with a layup at the 12:23 mark.
With 7:54 remaining in the game, the Falcons had built a 12 point (55-43) lead over the Cardinals. Ball State would answer with a 9-2 run which was sparked by a layup from Fontaine. During that run, Brittany Carter had back-to-back layups, one of which was off a steal to help bring the Cardinal to within four (61-57) with 4:25 remaining
After that, Bowling Green went on a 9-4 scoring surge in the last few minutes of the game, sealing the victory for the Falcons.
Fontaine led all scorers in the contest with 20 points, while Carter added 15 for Ball State. Fontaine and Carter were the rebounding leaders for the Cardinals with five apiece. Carter also chipped in four assists and four steals in the contest.
The Ball State women’s basketball team begins a two-game road swing when it travels to Ohio for a MAC game at 2 p.m. in the Convocation Center Saturday. The Cardinals will then face MAC West Division foe Toledo at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena next Wednesday.
KENT, Ohio – Kent State (3-12, 0-4) played a great first half, leading 32-28, but couldn't hold off Ohio (8-7, 3-1), falling 59-76 Wednesday night (Jan. 15).
Despite the loss, senior Amber Dunlap netted her career-high with 19 points, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance at the free-throw line.
In the first, the Golden Flashes shot 50% from the floor and dominated on the boards with 25 rebounds compared to the Bobcats' 13 to lead 32-28.
However, Ohio came out with a 16-2 run after halftime to jump to a lead they would not relinquish to end up with the 59-76.
In the game, Kent State outrebounded Ohio 44-27, including 22 on the offensive glass that resulted in 16 Golden Flashes points.
Ashley Evans followed Dunlap in scoring with 12 points. Montia Johnson led the team in rebounds with eight. Mikell Chinn finished the night with four assists.
The PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge comes back in to play for Kent State this Saturday when the Golden Flashes take the short trip to Akron to take on the Zips at 1:30pm.