KENT REMAINS ON FIRE:
Kent continues its stretch as the league's hottest team, increasing its winning streak to nine games following Monday's win at home over Bowling Green, 106-84. The Golden Flashes, who reached the century mark for the second time this season, also improved their consecutive home winning streak to 26 games. That streak is tied for the second-longest active streak in Division I, trailing only Grambling's 61 straight.
TOP DIVISIONAL TEAMS TO MEET:
With the league's divisions starting to take shape, the two divisional leaders will meet this Saturday. East-leading Kent will travel to West-leading Western Michigan in a 2 p.m. battle, which will feature two of the MAC's leading scorers in Western Michigan's Kristin Koetsier (21.1) and Kent's Dawn Zerman (18.9).
THE NON-CONFERENCE LOOK:
After the first nine weeks of the season, the Mid-American Conference has posted a 60-73 non-conference record, which translates into a .451 winning percentage. That mark also includes an 0-8 record against nationally-ranked opponents. Last year, the MAC's record in non-conference play was 59-66 (.472).
A LOOK AT THE RPI:
In the weekly installment of the College Basketball News Women's RPI Report (through games of Jan. 17), the Mid-American Conference was ranked No. 17 among the 31 Division I conferences and is also ranked No. 16 according to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. The MAC had three schools in the top-150 -- Kent (No. 47), Western Michigan (No. 93) and Buffalo (No. 132) -- and eight of the 13 schools in the top 200 of the RPI Report.
WMU ROLLING OVER FOES:
Western Michigan evened its record at 7-7 following an 87-47 win at home against Buffalo. At 4-0 in league play, the Broncos are off to their best start since the 1994-95 season. During WMU's win streak, the team is averaging 73.6 points per game and is allowing only 57.6 points per contest. Two of the main reasons for the Broncos success has been the tandem of Kristin Koetsier and Shelsea Erving, who have combined for 44 points per game. In addition, WMU is shooting 47 percent from the floor over that span.
HOY NEARING ASSIST MARK:
Akron senior guard Abby Hoy is closing in on the Zips career mark for assists. Entering Wednesday's game at Toledo, Hoy, who has 389 career assists, is three assists shy of tying the mark and four away from breaking the record. The mark is presently held by Diane Hollish, who dished out 392 assists from 1984-88.
PILING UP THE POINTS QUICKLY:
Bowling Green's Angie Farmer poured in a career-high 24 points in the Falcons' 79-74 win at Ohio. The junior netted 21 of those 24 in the second half, including 11 straight in a span of 1:20. Inside of that time frame, Farmer drained three consecutive three-pointers in fifty seconds.
BSU'S FRESHMAN FIRE POWER:
Through 15 games, Ball State's freshman class of Tamara Bowie, Laurie Kitts and Amy Zercher is accounting for nearly half of the Cardinals' offense. Bowie is averaging 12.5 points per game, while Zercher is at 9.6 points per contest. Kitts is averaging 8.9 points per outing. As a team, Ball State is netting 72.9 points per game, and the trio is scoring 43 percent of the team's points.
Buffalo freshman Katie Blazewski enjoyed perhaps one of her best games as a collegian last Saturday when the Bulls hosted Kent. Blazewski registered a career-high 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor, while also pulling down nine rebounds and recording five steals.
ROZAK SPARKS CMU OFFENSE:
Central Michigan sophomore Alicia Rozak was a spark plug off the bench for the Chippewas all last season, and she's been providing a spark for the Chippewas as a starter during CMU's recent run of success. Rozak has led CMU in scoring in three straight games and has raised her average to 9.6 points per game. Rozak has averaged 17.0 points over the last three games.
HOME ISN'T KIND TO EAGLES:
So much for the theory of a home-court advantage. Eastern Michigan is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, with all of those losses coming at home. During that span, the Eagles have only averaged 52 points per game, while allowing almost 71 points a game.
ZERMAN, THE POINT PRODUCER:
Known for her stellar defensive play, Kent's Dawn Zerman is putting up some big numbers on the offensive end. Entering her senior year, Zerman averaged 12.8 points per game, and this year she is scoring more than six points higher than her career average (18.9). In each of her last two contests, the senior guard has set career highs in points -- 31 at Buffalo last Saturday and 33 versus Bowling Green on Monday.
LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT MIX:
Marshall has used eight different starting lineups this season, including four in as many games. Toni Patillo and Brandy Robertson are the only two Herd players to start each of the last four contests. Georgina German has started three times in the last four games. Yashico Stevens would have been the second player to start every Herd game this season (Patillo), but came off the bench versus Western Michigan because of an illness.
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION:
After an up and down end to the latter part of December and the first part of January, Miami has won consecutive games for the first time since it won a pair from Dec. 11-20. With a 9-6 mark after their first 15 games, the RedHawks are off to their best start after 15 games since the 1996-97 campaign, when Miami started 10-5.
SZALL REMAINS A DEEP THREAT:
Sophomore Cathy Szall in a short period of time has emerged into one of the MAC's long-range threats. After canning 47 three-pointers last year as a freshman, Szall has already nailed 36 this season and ranks third in the league in three-point field goals made per game (2.40). Last week, Szall moved into second-place on the Bobcats career list, trailing only Marlene Stalling's 113.
LIGHT WEEK FOR THE HUSKIES:
After dropping a pair of league games last week on the road to Miami and Ball State, Northern Illinois is idle this week until Saturday when it hosts Ohio for the first of two straight home games. Two of NIU's three wins this year have come at home, while the third was a victory on the road at Marshall.
PLAYMAKER PRODUCES FOR UT:
Senior Adriane Bryant has stepped up her game considerably since Toledo opened MAC play on Jan. 5. The Rocket point guard has registered career highs in points in three of her last four games. She tallied 15 points in an overtime loss at Western Michigan (Jan. 5), 16 points vs. Miami (Jan. 8) and 21 points vs. Bowling Green (Jan. 11).
KOETSIER REMAINS ON PACE:
Western Michigan's Kristin Koetsier's current 21.5 ppg average entering the week has her on pace to score a WMU single-season record 579 points in her first-ever collegiate season. Teammate Shelsea Erving established the program standard by scoring 553 points last season.
SHOWDOWN IN CLEVELAND:
Two of the league's teams of the 1990's will face one another next Saturday, Jan. 29 when Toledo and Kent meet at Gund Arena in Cleveland in the Women's College Basketball Classic. The tripleheader begins with Kent-Toledo at 12 p.m., followed by Tennessee-North Carolina State at 2:30 p.m. and concludes with John Carroll-Baldwin Wallace at 5 p.m.
GLOVER HAS A HAND IN ZIPS WIN:
Akron's Erica Glover used a second-half scoring surge to give the Zips their first league win of the season, a 72-53 win at Eastern Michigan. Glover, who had 14 of her 15 points in the second half, helped ignite a 15-7 start to the second stanza with eight points.
NEXT IN LINE FOR 1,000 POINTS:
Central Michigan senior Shelly Woods is 31 points away from the lofty 1,000-career point mark, and would become the fourth active MAC player to reach the feat and the 12th in Chippewa annals. Woods is averaging 14.3 points per game this season and if she hits just above her average this week, she could hit the mark at CMU's home game Saturday versus Marshall.
IT'S RAINING TREYS FOR BG:
With only one player taller than six-foot on its squad, Bowling Green has used the long ball against the opposition this season. The Falcons lead the MAC and the nation in three-point field goals made per game (8.8) and have hit 10 or more treys in a game six different times, including each of their last two games. Bowling Green has dropped in a school-record 141 three-pointers to date, and are chasing the league's single season mark of 234, set by Kent and Ball State in the 1993-94 campaign.
PASS AND SCORE SUITS CUSICK:
While she may only be a freshman, Miami's Heather Cusick is quickly adapting to the college game, and is putting up numbers to back that up. Cusick leads the team in assists per game (4.6) and is second in scoring (11.9) and rebounds (4.7). The rookie guard, who is this week's Offensive Player of the Week, is the only player to capture the honor more than one time this year.
TWO MORE TO GO FOR 200:
Entering this weekend's battle at Western Michigan, Kent head coach Bob Lindsay is closing in on a personal and a conference milestone. Lindsay, who is in his 11th season with the Golden Flashes, needs two wins to reach the 200 plateau for his career. He would become the first women's coach to reach the mark and the fifth overall in league history.