MAC Pepsi Players of the Week
ROUGH START FOR THE MAC:
The opening week of competition was a tough one for the Mid-American Conference, as league teams won only three of 12 games. Of the nine losses, two came against a pair of nationally-ranked teams -- Illinois and Notre Dame.
Ball State picked up two of the MAC's victories at Minnesota's Regal Classic, including one against the host school. The win over the Golden Gophers was the school's first win over a Big Ten school since 1981, when the Cardinals defeated Illinois.
FIRST GAME JITTERS FOR ROOKIE?:
Western Michigan freshman Kristin Koetsier lived up to her billing as Michigan Miss Basketball in WMU's loss at No. 12 Illinois in the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament Nov. 15. The rookie scored 29 points in 31 minutes of action against the Illini. Koetsier was 11-17 from the field , 7-11 from the free throw line, and she also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. In addition, she blocked two shots, made two steals, and handed out two assists in her first appearance in Brown and Gold.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN AND AGAIN:
The Kent Golden Flashes open the 1999-2000 season with a month of games on the road, playing seven contests in four weeks. In fact, the seven road games is the longest season-opening stretch away from Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in program history. The Flashes will not open their home season until Monday, Dec. 20 against Kansas State University.
SEARCHING FOR A TOURNEY TITLE:
When Bowling Green makes a trek to the state of Montana this weekend, the Falcons will attempt to win their first in-season tournament in nearly 11 years. The last time BG won a tournament during the regular season was Dec. 2-3, 1988, when it claimed the Illini Classic. Since that last tournament title, the Falcons, however, have claimed three MAC Tournament championships.
CULBERTSON DIALS LONG RANGE:
Coming into this season, Central Michigan's Jodi Culbertson averaged only 2.2 points per game in her career. The guard responded in the Chippewas' season opener by tying a career high with 14 points. She hit four three-pointers in the game and also dished out three assists.
WHAT'S RYAN SAVING FOR THIS WEEK?
Northern Illinois senior guard Kelli Ryan wasted little time establishing a career-high with her 17 points in the opener at Northwestern. The total was four better than her previous high of 13, set last year against Ohio and matched three days later at Ball State. But scoring wasn't Ryan's only contribution as the senior also registered five rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes.
WOODS LEADS AS EXPECTED:
Much of CMU's offensive load is on the shoulders of senior Shelly Woods this season following the departure of the team's leading scorers, Joni Daniels (14.3) and Sally Sedlar (14.0). Woods, who averaged nearly 11 points per game as a junior, led the Chippewas with 16 points in the opener against Detroit. Woods began the season with 740 career points and is looking to become the 12th player in CMU history to reach the lofty plateau.
A LOOK AT THE NEW COACHES:
The MAC's two newest coaches made their debuts over the weekend, with Ball State's Brenda Oldfield and Ohio's Lynn Bria have opposite results. Oldfield won both of her contests at Minnesota for Ball State's first 2-0 start since 1994, while Bria suffered a defeat at the hands of Evansville (93-63), the Missouri Valley Conference's tournament champion a year ago. Bria became the third Bobcat head coach in a row to lose in their first game. The last Ohio coach to win their debut was Becky DeStefano in 1981.
TOUGH OPENER FOR THE ROCKETS:
Toledo lost its home season opener to then-No. 7 Notre Dame, 68-52, but did draw a crowd of 4,207. The loss for Toledo also snapped a 14-game winning streak on its home court, which began the year tied for the ninth longest streak in the nation.
Jennifer Markwood paced the Rockets with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Karin Husbeck chipped in 11 points against the Irish. UT then lost to Cleveland State on Monday, marking the first time since the 1989-90 season that the Rockets have dropped their first two games of the season.
KENT PLACES SECOND IN VERMONT:
Two Golden Flashes earned all-tournament team honors at the Howard Bank Classic in Burlington, Vt., where Kent finished second to the host school, Vermont. Senior Dawn Zerman led Kent in scoring in both games, averaging 18.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest. She also collected eight steals and made 75.0 percent (12-16) of her free-throw attempts. Sophomore power forward Jamie Rubis averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, recording her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Vermont. She also shot 75.0 percent from the free-throw line (9-12).
SAME OPENER, SAME RESULT:
For the second straight season Eastern Michigan opened with St. Peter's, and the end result was the same as the Eagles lost by nine (84-75), despite shooting 51 percent from the floor. Kris Kachaturoff came off the bench for Eastern Michigan and led all scorers with 20 points. Jessica Henry added 15 points before fouling out, while Lauren Gedonius added 10. The big blow for the Eagles was the 63 percent shooting performance from the floor by St. Peter's.
IT'S MILLER TIME AT BG:
Bowling Green sophomore Francine Miller led the Falcons with 21 points in the team's season-opener at Youngstown State, a 83-68 loss, on a 6-of-13 effort from the field. Miller, a member of last year's MAC All-Freshman team, also added a career-best 12 rebounds, 10 of them on the defensive end.
ORTEGA DOES IT ALL FOR UB:
Sonia Ortega's all-around effort was almost enough to pull out a win in the Bulls' season-opener against Niagara, with Buffalo coning out on the short end of a 66-61 decision. The guard had 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals in 30 minutes of action. Buffalo was paced by Tiffany Bell's game-high 24 points