MAC Women's Basketball Notebook -- December 18

Updated 1/24/1996
BEST START EVER FOR BUFFALO: With Buffalo's 55-48 win at St. Johns on Sunday, the Bulls set a new school record for best start in school history with an 8-0 record. UBs mark bettered the old record of 7-0, which was originally set in the 1969-70 season and matched earlier this year.

TWENTY-PLUS OUTINGS AID MIAMI: Miami's Kim Lancaster and Hollie Nelsen each netted 20-plus points in the RedHawks 89-76 win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday. Lancaster connected on 10-of-15 shots from the floor for a team-high 23 points, while Nelsen added 22 points, including five three-pointers. Lancaster also contributed eight rebounds and five steals, while Nelsen pulled down nine boards, passed out three assists and had three steals.

CARTER IS A SCORING MACHINE: For the first three years of her career at Toledo, Kahli Carter averaged 7.9 points per game while her career best was 23 points. This year, however, the senior has been a scoring machine of late as Carter is averaging just under 17 points per contest (16.8). The Rocket forward tied her career high of 29 points against Michigan on Saturday, equaling the mark she established 11 days prior versus Indiana State. In eight games this year, Carter has three contests of 25 or more points and is averaging 21 points in each of her last four games.

SMITH TO THE RESCUE FOR FALCONS: Bowling Green senior Afra Smith led the Falcons in scoring in each of the teams games last week, but it was her career-tying 20 points against Wright State that proved to be the difference maker in the win over the Raiders on Saturday. Smith, who scored 11 of her 20 points in the second half, sank a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining to clinch the Falcons 56-52 win.

DEFENSE IS THE KEY FOR BUFFALO: Buffalo has yielded fewer than 60 points in each of its last six games and has outscored its opponents by an average of 17.7 points per game. In Sundays game with St. John's, the Bulls limited the Red Storm to 19 first half points on 29 percent field goal shooting.

3-POINT STREAKS AROUND THE MAC: Toledo has currently made at least one three-point field goal in each of its last 147 contests, dating back to Jan. 24, 1996. While the Rockets current streak trails Western Michigans 158 consecutive games, Toledo has hit a three-pointer in 350 of its last 351 games. Below is a look at each of the teams present streak of consecutive games with a made three-point field goal.

Consecutive Games With A 3-Point Field Goal Made (Start of streak):
Akron -- 2 (12/8/00)
Ball State -- 17 (2/25/00)
Bowling Green -- 66 (3/13/98)
Buffalo -- 11 (2/25/00)
Central Michigan -- 87 (11/29/97)
Eastern Michigan -- 110 (12/22/96)
Kent State -- 25 (1/15/00)
Marshall -- 26 (12/29/99)
Miami -- 62 (11/14/98)
Northern Illinois -- 22 (1/13/00)
Ohio -- 52 (12/20/98)
Toledo -- 147 (1/24/96)
Western Michigan -- 158 (1/18/95)

MAKING THE MOST OF HER STARTS: Akron's Sandy Martin has made the most of her last three games for the Zips, which she has started all three. The sophomore is averaging 14.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in each of her last three starts. In the six games prior, she made just two starts and averaged 2.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

THE MAC FACES STIFF FOES THIS WEEK: Several Mid-American Conference schools will have their hand full this week facing some stiff competition. Western Michigan dives right in Monday evening when the Broncos face third-ranked Notre Dame on the road. Akron hits the road Tuesday to face Ohio State, then hosts nationally-ranked Xavier Friday, while Kent State entertains nationally-ranked Boston College Thursday. Also, Buffalo puts its unblemished record on the line when it faces the BIG EASTs Seton Hall on Friday, while Eastern Michigan battles Oklahoma State and either Alabama or Creighton in the Bahamas in the middle of the week.

BIG GAME FOR KSU'S NANCE: Kent States Carrie Nance equaled her career high of 25 points in the Golden Flashes 74-68 loss to Rhode Island on Sunday. The senior, who moved past the 900-point plateau for her career in the contest, also added six steals and five assists in 34 minutes of action. Twenty-three of Nance's 25 points came in the second half

BOMBS AWAY IN HUNTINGTON: Saturday's game between Marshall and Division II's West Virginia Tech was a three-point attempt shootout, though the Herd was not the team that did most of the shooting. West Virginia Tech tied a Division II record with 52 three-point attempts, while Marshall added 17. The two-team total of 69 falls short of the Division I record of 75, which was set last year between Mississippi (41 attempts) and Bowling Green (34 attempts). The Herd's Yashico Stevens came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points while also adding 11 boards. Marshalls 108 point effort against West Virginia Tech, marks the first time the Herd women have broken the century mark since a 102-82 win over Georgia Southern in the second-round of the 1996 Southern Conference Tournament. It is also the most points scored in a game by a MAC school this year.

JOHNSON MOVING UP THE CHARTS: Northern Illinois senior center Michelle Johnson could reach the 900-point plateau this week, bringing 887 career markers into Monday's game versus Santa Clara. She needs 113 to become the 18th member of NIUs 1,000-point club, while 13 more rebounds would make Johnson the 13th Huskie with 600. In the long-term future, Johnson also needs nine blocked shots for 100. Only five players in Northern Illinois history have reached that mark.

A LOOK AT THE RPI: In this week's installment of the College Basketball News Womens RPI Report (through games of Dec. 17), the Mid-American Conference was ranked No. 17 among 31 conferences. The MAC had two schools in the top-75 and four schools in the top-150. Eight of the MAC school are in the top-200 of the Womens RPI Report.

School - CBN
Toledo - 71
Buffalo - 75
Ball State - 105
Eastern Michigan - 108
Bowling Green - 162
Miami - 165
Western Michigan - 170
Kent State - 193

ZERCHER DOESNT MISS A BEAT: Amy Zercher has started all 37 games in her career at Ball State to date. She managed the third double-double of her career with 18 points and 10 rebounds versus. IUPUI Dec. 6. She followed that effort with eight points and 10 rebounds at Indiana State. For the season, Zercher is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.0 points per game and third in rebounding at 6.3 rebounds per outing.

THE NON-CONFERENCE LOOK: The Mid-American Conference has a 47-56 record in non-conference action (.456) and is 1-6 versus nationally-ranked opponents. The MAC completed the 1999-00 season with a 62-77 non-conference record, which translated into a .446 winning percentage. That mark also included a 1-9 record against nationally-ranked opponents. In 1998-99, the MACs record in non-conference play was 59-66 (.472).

BEGGS APPEARS IN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: For the second time in six weeks, a MAC student-athlete has been profiled in Sports Illustrated's Faces In The Crowd. Kent States Liz Beggs was featured in the Dec. 18 edition for her 20-for-20 performance from the free throw line against St. Bonaventure. Ball State volleyball player Emily Sallee was in the Nov. 6 edition after becoming the leagues career leader in assists.

KSU'S HOME COURT STREAK IS AT 34: Kent State extended its school- and MAC-record for consecutive home wins with a 100-63 victory over Youngstown State Dec. 9. The Golden Flashes 34-game home winning streak is the nations second-longest current streak. Division I Grambling presently has a 66-game winning streak, which is the third longest in the history of Division I, and is chasing Tennessees record of 69 straight home wins.

CMU IS COMING HOME FOR A WHILE: After playing eight of its first nine games on the road, Central Michigan will come home for an extended four-game homestand that will span two weeks. First, the Chippewas must travel to Michigan State on Wednesday, before beginning the homestand Saturday versus Oakland. CMU is then idle until a Dec. 29 contest with Lake Superior State.