Women's Basketball Opens Up League Play Tonight

Updated 1/24/1996
MAC PLAY OPENS UP WEDNESDAY: League play for the 2000-01 Mid-American Conference season officially begins on Wednesday for eight of the 13 teams. All four games pair divisional opponents against one another as Akron travels to Bowling Green, Buffalo travels to Miami, Central Michigan hosts Eastern Michigan and Ohio entertains Kent State in Athens. Marshall faces Ball State on Thursday, while Northern Illinois opens up MAC play on Saturday when it hosts the Thundering Herd. Toledo, which has a non-conference tilt at home versus Detroit Wednesday, travels to Miami on Saturday to face the RedHawks, while Western Michigan will open league action Jan. 10 at home against Ball State.

VOLL STEPS DOWN AT CMU: Central Michigan head coach Fran Voll resigned as head coach of the Chippewas on Mon., Dec. 18 following the teams 90-48 loss at Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dec. 17. Voll, who was in his fifth season at CMU, left with a 43-74 mark in four-plus seasons at Central, including a 2-6 record this year at the time of his departure. Voll was also coach at Bowling Green for seven years where he compile a 144-60 ledger. Assistant coach Ina Nicosia has been named by CMU Athletics Director Herb Deromedi as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2000-01 season.

STARTS FOR TEAMS AROUND THE MAC: Ball State and Eastern Michigan are each off to the second-best starts in school history with 8-3 and 7-4 records, respectively. The mark for the Cardinals is the second-best start since the schools first womens team began the year 9-2 in the 1974-75 campaign. The Eagles, meanwhile, are off to their best start under head coach Suzy Merchant and is the best non-conference mark for EMU since it joined the MAC.

MOORMAN LIGHTS IT UP FOR OHIO: Ohio junior forward Lori Moorman has become a scoring machine for the Bobcats in her last six games, pacing the team in five of them. Moorman, who was named to the all-tournament team at the State Farm Classic, in Gainesville, Fla., tallied a career-high 37 points in the consolation game versus Tennessee State after leading the team with 18 in the opener versus then-No. 7 Rutgers. The 37 points, which is the most by a player in the MAC this season, was also the fourth-highest output in Ohio history and tied for 16th in MAC history.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY FOR BSUS KITTS: Ball State sophomore guard Laurie Kitts has scored 14 points in each of BSUs last three contests, helping the Cardinals to wins in each contest. Kitts, who set the BSU single-season record with 71 three-point field goals in 1999-2000, has nailed a three-pointer in 31 of 40 career games at Ball State, including at least one three-pointer in BSUs last eight games.

JENNINGS RETURNS IN FINE FASHION: Buffalo freshman point guard Virginia Jennings scored a career-high 11 points against Navy. Jennings started both games last week after recovering from an ankle injury suffered before the Youngstown State game on Dec. 6. Head coach Cheryl Dozier also started freshman Jessica Kochendorfer at forward in both games last week against BC and Navy.

DEPTH IS A KEY FOR HUSKIES: Throughout the last three seasons, Northern Illinois coach Carol Hammerle has faced the challenge of an injury-depleted roster. Several times last year, the NIU mentor had only seven players available for action. With the return of junior forward Mystique Adams, Hammerle now has an 11-player rotation at her disposal. Nine different Huskies played 13 or more minutes against Detroit, with only two -- Kristan Knake (35) and Jennifer Youngblood (32) -- logging more than 30. In Saturdays win over Western Illinois, which was the Huskies second consecutive victory, ten different players had at least eight minutes of action with Knake (32) and Lindsay Secrest (34) over 30.

WMU FINISHES SECOND AT MIAMI: Western Michigan landed two players on the Gatorade Holiday Classic All-Tournament team in Miami, Fla., in junior forward Karen Deurloo and senior Sarah Hurrle. Deurloo scored 15 points and grabbed 11 boards to help the Broncos defeat George Mason in the first round. She averaged 10.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the tourney. Hurrle matched Deurloo's 15 points against GMU and finished with averages of 11.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg in the two contests.

HOME HAS BEEN KIND TO MAC SCHOOLS: Six MAC teams have yet to record a loss on its home floor this year through the majority of non-conference play, and the league as a whole has posted a 34-14 mark through the first half of the season, which breaks down into a .7-8 winning percentage. Buffalo is 6-0 at home, while Kent State, Ball State and Eastern Michigan are all 4-0, while Miami and Toledo are both 3-0.

3-POINT STREAKS AROUND THE MAC: Toledo has currently made at least one three-point field goal in each of its last 149 contests, dating back to Jan. 24, 1996. While the Rockets current streak trails Western Michigans 162 consecutive games, Toledo has hit a three-pointer in 352 of its last 353 games. Below is a look at each of the teams present streak of consecutive games with a made three-point field goal. Ohio had its string of consecutive games with a made three-pointer stopped at 55 games when the Bobcats failed to make a trey versus Tennessee State Dec. 29.

Consecutive Games With A 3-Point Field Goal Made (Start of streak):
Western Michigan -- 162 (1/18/95)
Toledo -- 149 (1/24/96)
Eastern Michigan -- 113 (12/22/96)
Central Michigan -- 90 (11/29/97)
Bowling Green -- 67 (3/13/98)
Miami -- 64 (11/14/98)
Marshall -- 28 (12/29/99)
Kent State -- 27 (1/15/00)
Northern Illinois -- 26 (1/13/00)
Ball State -- 20 (2/25/00)
Buffalo -- 14 (2/25/00)
Akron -- 4 (12/8/00)
Ohio -- 0

KSUS HOME COURT STREAK IS AT 35: Kent State extended its school- and MAC-record for consecutive home wins with a 72-68 victory over then-No. 24 Boston College on Dec. 21. The Golden Flashes 35-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. The Golden Flashes will receive their next test on Saturday when Kent State hosts Eastern Michigan. The game will be a re-match of last years MAC Tournament semifinal in which KSU defeated the Eagles 96-94 in double overtime.

KEEPING IT WITHIN THE STATE: Akron, which has been idle since an 84-57 loss at home to nationally-ranked Xavier, opens up league play on Saturday versus Bowling Green. Of the Zips 11 games this season, five have been against teams from the Buckeye State. Akron is 1-2 in MAC openers under Roxanne Allen and last year lost a 72-71 decision to Miami.

A LOOK AT THE RPI: In this weeks installment of the College Basketball News Womens RPI Report (through games of Jan. 1), the Mid-American Conference was ranked No. 15 among 31 conferences. The MAC had two schools in the top-100, seven in the top-150 and nine in the top-200.

School -- CBN
Toledo -- 69
Eastern Michigan -- 89
Buffalo -- 101
Ball State -- 103
Kent State -- 136
Miami -- 142
Western Michigan -- 144
Bowling Green -- 186
Northern Illinois -- 187

WINNING IT IN THE EXTRA SESSION: Last year, the MAC had 10 games that went into overtime, including four non-conference games. Through the first half of the 2000-01 season, there have been four extra-session contests and Miami has been involved in half of them. The RedHawks, who are 2-0 in overtime this season, defeated Valparaiso 71-69 on New Years Eve behind 17 points and eight rebounds from Melanie Kozlowski. All of Kozlowskis points came in the second half. The freshman also added four steals and hit six-of-eight shots from the floor. Miamis other overtime victory was a 102-07 win over Boston University.

THE NON-CONFERENCE LOOK: The Mid-American Conference has a 65-75 record in non-conference action (.464) and is 2-9 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).

MILLER RETURNS FOR THE FALCONS: After missing five games due to injury, Bowling Green junior Francine Miller returned to the lineup on Dec. 28 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee and paced the Falcons with 11 points off the bench. In addition to the return of Miller, who is a preseason all-MAC selection, BGSU also welcomed back Angie Farmer who also missed five games due to injury. Farmer had six points in four minutes of action, going two-for-three from three-point land.

BOWIE ABOUT TO ENTER THE TOP 20: Ball State sophomore Tamara Bowie is 13 points away from the 20th spot on BSUs career scoring chart. Bowie has 643 career points, while Brenda Summers (1983-86) places 20th on BSUs list with 655 points. Bowie has scored in double figures in 10 of BSUs 11 games this season plus has been BSUs top scorer in nine of the contests. She has scored 20-or-more points in seven games, including a season-high 28 points vs. IUPUI Dec. 6. Through 11 games, Bowie is averaging a league-high 19.2 points per game and shooting 58 percent from the floor. She also leads the team in rebounding with 8.5 rebounds per game.

CARTER HELPS UT TO WIN OVER YSU: Toledo senior Kahli Carter led the Rockets with 18 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds in helping UT to a 77-71 win at Youngstown State last Saturday. In addition Courtney Risinger added 15 points, three assists and three steals, while Tia Davis pulled down a game-high 11 boards.

KSU TAMES RATTLERETTES: With her 13 points Julie Studer has hit double figures in points in 14 straight games, helping Kent State to a 79-59 win at Florida A&M and its first road win of the season. Carrie Nance tied two career highs with eight assists and four three-point field goals, while freshman Andrea Csaszar. Kent State kept an opponent under 60 points (59) for the first time this season and held the Rattlerettes to just 28 rebounds.

MASKA NETS 1,000 CAREER POINTS: Eastern Michigan junior Kristy Maska became just the ninth Eagle in history to score 1,000 points in her career, hitting the mark with a season-high 20 points at Detroit. She was 7-of-12 from the field and an impressive 4-of-7 from the three-point arc in the contest. She reached 1,000 points with a free throw with 58.6 seconds to play in the first half.

EIDSON BETTERS MARK EACH TIME OUT: Central Michigan sophomore Desiree Eidson has established a new career scoring mark in each of her last three contests, while leading the Chippewas in scoring in each of last two games. Eidson initially set a career-scoring game with 13 points at Michigan State, then bettered the mark with 14 versus Oakland before topping that total with 21 versus Lake Superior State. Eidson also had a career-best eight rebounds against LSSU.

STEVENS BACK ON TRACK FOR HERD: After getting off to a slow start, Marshalls Yashico Stevens, the Herds leading returning scorer from a year ago, has led the team in scoring in each of its last four games and has two double-doubles to her credit over that span. The senior had a team-high 20 points to lead Marshall to an 85-73 win over UNC Asheville in the consolation game of Virginia Techs tournament and was named to the all-tournament team.

DOUBLE FIGURE SCORING STREAK ALIVE: Buffalo senior Tiffany Bell scored 10 points against Navy to keep her double-figure scoring streak alive. Bell has scored in double figures in 24 straight games and in 69 of 89 career games. Also, with 12 points against Boston College on Dec. 28, Bell surpassed the 1,300-point plateau. Following the Navy game, she now has 1,311 career points (third all-time at UB).

JUST CALL HER LINDSAY THREE-CREST: Northern Illinois freshman guard Lindsay Secrest is preparing to enter the Huskie record books. Secrest nailed three more three-pointers versus Detroit, giving her 22 tri-lighters in 55 attempts (40 percent) this season. By repeating that effort against Marshall next Saturday in the MAC opener, Secrest would match the Huskie freshman record in that category -- set by Kristan Knake with 25 treys last year. Secrest is averaging 14.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in her last three appearances and brings a 10.1 ppg season scoring average into the new millennium.

ITS ALL IN THE NUMBERS FOR EMU: For Eastern Michigan, getting a good start in the game is a key. The Eagles now 5-0 when leading at halftime and a perfect 7-0 when leading with five minutes to play in the game. Also this season, Eastern is 5-1 when scoring 70 or more and 4-0 when shooting better than 45 percent from the floor.

MAC TOURNEY MOVES TO GUND: The 2001 Mid-American Conference Womens Basketball Tournament returns to Cleveland for a second consecutive year but will have a new location and a title sponsor. The MAC Womens Basketball Tournament will be held at Gund Arena, Tuesday, March 6 and Friday-Saturday, March 9-10. The league office announced in October at its media day that Kraft has signed a two-year agreement and will serve as the title sponsor of the tournament.

Five first-round games are slated for Saturday, March 3, with the two division winners and the team with the next best overall MAC record and winning percentage receiving a bye to the quarterfinals. Eight teams will convene in the Rock N Roll city for quarterfinal action on Tuesday, March 6. Two semifinal contests are set for Friday, March 9, while the championship game is slated for Saturday, March 10. Individual game tickets for action at Gund Arena will go on sale Monday, Jan. 29. General admission tickets for adults will be $10, while student general admission seating is $5.