Three Upsets Highlight First Day Of 2001 Kraft MAC Women's Basketball Tournament

Updated 12/2/1976
  • #12 Akron 65, #5 Buffalo 64
  • #9 Bowling Green 78, #8 Western Michigan 75
  • #6 Miami 87, #11 Marshall 58
  • #10 Ohio 80, #7 Eastern Michigan 75
  • #4 Northern Illinois 57, #13 Central Michigan 35

    Note: Game stories are courtesy of home sports information departments


    Bowles' Last Second Trey Send Akron To Upset And A 65-64 Win At Buffalo

    BUFFALO, NY ­ A three-pointer by Cheryl Bowles at the buzzer sent the Akron Zips to a 65-64 win over the University at Buffalo women's basketball team in Mid-American Conference Tournament first-round action at Alumni Arena. The 12th-seeded Zips (6-22) advance to the quarterfinal round where they will meet fourth-seeded Northern Illinois, a 57-35 winner over No. 13 Central Michigan.

    The Bulls (19-9) entered the game as the tournament's fifth seed, but were challenged by the Zips throughout a first half where there were nine lead changes. Akron held a 24-23 lead with just under a minute remaining in the half before senior Mari McClure (Rochester Hills, MI/Rochester Adams) and freshman Virginia Jennings (Nashville, MI/Hastings) hit back-to-back layups to send the Bulls to the lockerroom with a 27-24 edge. The Bulls started the second half with a 10-2 run to take a 37-26 lead with 16:43 left in the game, but the Zips turned around and strung together a 13-2 run to tie the score at 39-39 with 11:38 on the clock. A three-pointer by Jennings gave the Bulls the lead back, and they held it right up until the final buzzer. Buffalo led by as many as seven points in the closing minutes of the game, but the Zips kept things tight thanks to clutch three-point shooting. Of the Zips' final 19 points of the game, 15 of them came off of five three-point shots, three by Jamie Krivak and two by Bowles.

    Krivak's final three of the game with 1:57 left on the clock got Akron within one, 60-59, but Buffalo answered with four straight points to extend its lead to five, 64-59 with 46 seconds remaining. Senior Tiffany Bell (Alexandria, VA/Hayfield) converted a three-point play after drawing a foul on a layup, and freshman Jessica Kochendorfer (Allen, MI/Quincy) missed her first free throw and made her second after being fouled while grabbing a rebound of a missed three-point shot by Akron's Erica Caranfa. Bowles then hit her second three-pointer of the game with 35 seconds on the clock to close the gap to two, 64-62, and Buffalo turned the ball over on its next possession. Akron's Julie McDivitt inbounded the ball to Bowles from in front of the Akron bench with two seconds left in the game, and Bowles dribbled to her right and threw up a shot from well behind the three-point arc that bounced off the rim as time expired and then went up and through the net for the gamewinner.

    "We obviously didn't shoot the ball very well tonight,," said UB head coach Cheryl Dozier. "We were 5-of-17 from three-point range, and when teams zone you, you have to knock down more of those shots. I give a lot of credit to Akron. It's hard to beat a team three times in one season, and they really came ready to go tonight."

    Jennings led all scorers with a career-high 20 points, including a career-high five three-pointers. Senior Sonia Ortega (Chihuahua, Mexico/Cobach) recorded a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and McClure added 17 points to the Bulls' effort. Bell finished the night with 14 points en route to setting a school record for single-season scoring with 517 points. Bowles and Krivak both finished with 19 points to lead the Zips' attack, while Sandy Martin scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The Zips hit eight three-pointers in the game, seven in the second half, and they shot 44.6 percent (25-for-56) from the floor compared to Buffalo's 37.5 percent (24-for-64).


    Bowling Green Advances To Quarterfinals With 78-75 Win At Western Michigan; Falcons Face Top Seed Toledo Next

    The Western Michigan University women's basketball team's 2000-01 season came to an end with a 78-75 loss to Bowling Green in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament Saturday (March 3) at University Arena.

    WMU finished the year 9-19 overall, 6-10 in the Mid-American Conference. Bowling Green improved to 11-17. BGSU will face No. 1 seed Toledo on Tuesday (March 6) at Gund Arena in Cleveland.

    Senior Sarah Hurrle tied her own WMU record with seven 3-pointers in her final collegiate game. Hurrle scored a game-high 26 points, her personal best at University Arena this season, and nearly single-handedly won the game for the Broncos in the second half. Hurrle canned four of her seven treys in a four-minute span in the second half, cutting Bowling Green's 14-point advantage to five points (65-60) with 7:37 left.

    MAC Freshman of the Year candidate Emily Samuelson wrapped up her first season as a Bronco with 12 points and four steals. Karen Deurloo and Lori Crisman each scored 11. Crisman continued her strong play off the bench, grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds to post the double-double. She averaged 13.5 ppg. and 11.5 rpg. in WMU's last two games.

    "She was really the player in there tonight," WMU head coach Ron Stewart said. "She really hasn't had the opportunity to learn this year - she's been thrust into it but she finished it tough. Fifteen rebounds - that's a huge statement by her. The last two games, she's played more like we thought she was capable of."

    The Broncos controlled the game early, building a 23-13 lead at the 8:55 mark in the first half. Western Michigan then saw Bowling Green close out the half on a 29-7 run to give them a 42-30 lead at halftime. BGSU would stretch that lead to as many as 14 (55-41) in the second half. WMU cut the lead to two points (57-55) with 9:29 remaining and was within a point (76-75) with 15 ticks to play. The Falcons iced the game with free throws down the stretch.

    Western Michigan nearly posted its biggest rally of the season after trailing by 12 at halftime, but could not close the gap. The Broncos shot .484 (15-31) from the field in the second half after shooting just .296 (8-27) from the field in the first half. WMU struggled at the free throw line, hitting 20-of-31 (.645) its attempts from the line.


    Miami's Cusick Leads RedHawks To 87-58 Win Over Marshall; Advance To Face Ball State In Quarters

    OXFORD, Ohio – Heather Cusick poured in 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting as Miami University’s women’s basketball team surged past Marshall in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament Saturday evening in Millett Hall. With the win, the RedHawks move into the quarterfinals on Tuesday night at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, playing No. 3 seed Ball State at 9:30 p.m.

    Miami raced out to an early 24-3 lead in the first nine minutes as Marshall missed their first 11 shots from the field. On the other hand, the RedHawks connected on nine of their first 12 shots. Kim Lancaster and Cusick each hit for eight points during the spurt.

    The Red and White eventually stretched its lead to as many as 27 points and ended the half with a 47-22 advantage.

    For the half, Miami shot an impressive 67 percent from the field, including hitting 4-of-7 three-pointers. The Thundering Herd managed to shoot a mere 22 percent from the floor. The RedHawks took advantage of Marshall’s 10 first-half turnovers and turned them into 17 points.

    In the second half, the Green and White cut the lead to 18 points on two different occasions, but could not mount a comeback.

    Miami shot 55 percent from the field in the game, while the Thundering Herd mustered only 28 percent of their shots. The RedHawks also drained 11-of-15 three-pointers and held Marshall to just 3-of-18 from behind the arc.

    Besides her 22 points, Cusick snagged seven rebounds and dished out four assists. Jana Butler added 15 points and nine boards for Miami and Lancaster pitched in 15 markers on 5-of-9 shooting.

    Yaschico Stevens led all scorers with 23 points for Marshall.

    Game Notes: With the win, Miami finished the season 10-2 in Millett Hall. The 10 wins are the most at home since the 1996-97 season, when Miami sported a 12-1 record in Oxford … Cusick had two steals and extended her streak to consecutive games with at least one steal to 36 contests … the RedHawks’ 17 wins this year are the most in head coach Maria Fantanarosa’s three years at Miami … Miami’s bench outscored Marshall’s 25-3.


    Tenth-Seeded Ohio Upsets Seventh-Seed Eastern Michigan, 80-75, Behind Szall's 22 Points

    YPSILANTI Mich. -- In the opening round of the Kraft Mid-American Conference Tournament, #10 Ohio surprised #7 Eastern Michigan University by handing it a 80-75 loss at the EMU Convocation Center, March 3.

    EMU jumped on the scoreboard first, with a Stephanie Smiley lay-up, only to be answered by a three-pointer by Ohio's Heather Laughlin. However, the Eagles quickly struck back and held on to the lead for the first part of the game, as they built up a 5-point advantage, 15-10, at 15:14 in the first half. The Bobcats would tie the game at 11:27, and would take as much as a 5 point lead, 20-25, at the 7:59 mark. EMU would fight back, and eventually regain a 1-point lead, 27-26, at 5:43. Ohio jumped back quickly however, and ended the half with a 14-7 run to enter the locker room with a 40-34 halftime spread.

    Ohio would get a quick bucket to begin the second-half, but EMU would fight back and tie the game 48-48, at the 14:53 mark. The Eagles then took a 2-point advantage on a pair of Kendra Yeo free-throws, only to be answered Ohio's Latreece Bagley hitting a quick lay-up. However, Lauren Gedonius struck right back for Eastern Michigan by hitting a three-pointer to give EMU a 53-50 lead, at 12:38.

    That would be the last lead EMU would hold as Ohio went onto a 10-3 run to take a 60-53 lead. EMU would bring the game back to within one point twice, 64-63 and 66-65, but Ohio would go on a 7-0 run to buildup a 72-65 lead with 1:52 remaining. In the closing stretch of the game the Eagles would outscore the Bobcats 10-8, but it would not be enough as Ohio claimed a 80-75 victory.

    Ohio's Cathy Szall would lead all scorers with 22 points. Smiley posted a double-double for the Eagles, scoring 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. With the loss, Eastern Michigan ends the season with a 16-12 record. Ohio improves to 9-19, and will move on to face #2 Kent State in the Kraft MAC Tournament Ouarterfinals at Gund Arena on March 6, at 7 p.m.


    Northern Illinois Advances To Cleveland With 57-35 Win Over Central Michigan

    DeKALB, IL---Northern Illinois University women's basketball coach Carol Hammerle has always relied on defense. The veteran mentor's team outdid itself Saturday (Mar. 3) in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. The Huskies held Central Michigan to 25.5 percent (12-of-47) shooting to post a 57-35 victory and advance to the MAC quarterfinals in Cleveland's Gund Arena. Fourth-seeded Northern Illinois leveled its overall record at 15-15 while Central Michigan---the tourney's 13th seed---ended its season at 4-24.

    Lindsay Secrest (Bloomfield, IN) came off the bench to score a game-high 11 points, including six in a two-minute span as NIU built a 46-29 lead with 6:24 remaining. Her 15-footer with 8:54 left stopped a five-minute scoring drought and extended the Huskies' cushion to 38-27. Central Michigan had trimmed a 17-point deficit to nine before Secrest's jumper as Northern Illinois scored only four points in the first 11 minutes of the second half.

    "I concentrated really hard on playing defense. Tonight I wanted to be a spark off the bench and give the team a little momentum," Secrest said.

    The Huskies used a 14-3 run to build a 22-11 lead on Kristan Knake's (Marengo) steal and lay-up with seven minutes left in the half.

    Northern Illinois sustained the lead in double digits. Taking a 32-17 advantage to the locker room after limiting CMU to just 27 percent (six-of-22) shooting. Knake had nine points at the break with Jennifer Youngblood (Rock Island) adding eight.

    Kim Boeding (Fort Madison, IA) opened the second half with a jumper but NIU did not score in the next six minutes as the Chippewas scored ten unanswered points to climb within 34-27 at the 14:11 mark. Michelle Johnson (Oak Park / Oak Park-River Forest) hit a jumper to end the drought but both teams remained scoreless over the next five minutes until Secrest pulled the lid off the basket with her scoring flurry.

    "Thank God for defense," Northern Illinois coach Carol Hammerle said. "Early on, everyone was a little tense and a little nervous, but we concentrated and worked hard at the defensive end. That definitely helped." Secrest canned two three-point field goals, becoming only the fourth player in Huskie history to hit 50 tri-lighters in a single season. She joined Denise Dove, E.C. Hill and Charbea Haller in that elite group.

    CMU's 35 points marked the fewest ever scored in a MAC tournament game, eclipsing the 39 by Ball State versus Bowling Green St. in 1993. The teams' combined total of 92 points tied the tournament mark for fewest points, matching the 92 of Central Michigan (47) and Western Michigan (45) in 1982. The Chippewas' futility also represented the lowest output by an NIU opponent since Valparaiso tallied 18 on Dec. 2, 1976. None of the Huskies were born when that game was played.

    Youngblood scored ten points for the Huskies with Knake finishing at nine. Mandy Elwer posted a double-double for the Chippewas with ten points plus 12 rebounds while Beth Kindel scored nine points. CMU's Molli Munz---the team's second-leading scorer---was scoreless on 0-for-11 shooting. The visitors also committed 27 turnovers.

    The Huskies defeated CMU for the third time this season, including the second in five days. Northern Illinois registered a 68-51 win in Mt. Pleasant, MI, on Tuesday (Feb. 27). This victory came despite 43 percent (24-of-55) shooting by the hosts. Johnson augmented her six-point output with nine rebounds.

    "It's great to finally be at .500 (after a 2-9 start)," Hammerle added. "It's a credit to the players. They really took the time to learn the system, and they believe in it now."

    Northern Illinois advances to the quarterfinals against a surprise opponent, as 12th-seeded Akron upset fifth seed Buffalo 65-64 in first-round action. NIU and the Zips meet at 4:30 p.m. (EST) at Gund Arena for a berth in Friday's (Mar. 9) semifinals. NIU and Akron did not play during the regular season.

    "We have our work cut out for us, as far as trying to evaluate (Akron)," Hammerle said. "They haven't played against our defense yet. That's something they haven't seen, so I hope that's our ace in the hole."