Results From The Opening Day In Women's Basketball

Updated 11/9/2012

 

Friday's Opening Day Results
Central Michigan 73, Bradley 58
Miami 63, Eastern Kentucky 73
Toledo 56, Arkansas State 34
Buffalo 57, Canisius 73
Ball State 45, Evansville 54
Northern Illinois 40, Iowa 63
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Central Michigan 73, Bradley 58
PEORIA, Ill. - A pair of milestones highlighted the Central Michigan women's basketball season opener Friday, as the Chippewas defeated Bradley, 73-58.
 
Head Coach Sue Guevara earned her 200th career win in the process, while senior Brandie Baker became the 21st player in program history to go over the 1,000-point mark in her career.
 
"Reaching 200 wins just means I've been coaching a long time," Guevara said. "To me we are 1-0 and that is the most important thing. We are running a marathon and the first mile is out of the way. We had a few cramps out there today, but I liked the pace."
 
Poor shooting and turnovers in the first half plagued the Chippewas as they shot just 28 percent from the floor and gave the ball away nine times. The defense however was just as menacing to the Braves' offense, forcing 11 turnovers.
 
The Chippewas jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and eventually built their lead to seven, 13-6, on a jumper by Jessica Green at the 10:43 mark of the first half. The Braves responded with a 12-3 run over the next three-plus minutes and took their first lead of the game on a three by Kelly Frings, 18-16.
 
Baker's first bucket of the game came with 2:20 left in the first half and gave CMU a 25-21 advantage and after the Braves reclaimed the lead, 26-25, the senior hit a jumper in the lane with 21 seconds left to go over the 1,000-point plateau and give the Chippewas' a halftime lead of 27-26.
 
The Maroon and Gold's sensational sophomore trio of Crystal Bradford, Jessica Green and Jas'Mine Bracey took over in the second half as the three All-MAC Freshman team selections from a year ago picked up right where they left off.
 
The three players combined to score 32 of the Chippewas' 46 points - with Bracey scoring each of her 12 points in the final 20 minutes - as the team shot 54.5 percent from the floor in the second half.
 
"This game was a tale of two halves," Guevara said. "We came out and really struggled to score in the first half. Although we went in with the lead at the half, we really wanted to focus on working inside out and be more patient in the second half. We shot 54 percent in the second half because we were able to get the ball inside and we finished."
 
With the Chippewas holding a slim 38-34 lead after a trey from junior Niki DiGuilio with 15:46 to play, Bradford, Bracey and Green combined to score the next 16 points for CMU to extend the lead to 10, 54-44, with 8:48 to go.
 
A jumper by Bradford pushed the lead to 13, 60-47, at the 7:12 mark and a layup by Baker with 4:28 remaining gave CMU its largest lead of the game, 66-50.
 
Bradford led the way for the Chippewas, recording her 12th career double-double with a team-high 16 points and 13 rebounds, while also chipping in with four assists and four blocks. Green finished with 15 points and DiGuilio gave CMU four players in double figures with 10.
 
Baker finished the afternoon with nine points and a team-high five assists and now has 1,006 points in her career. Bracey just missed a double-double, pulling down nine boards to go with her 12 points.
 
The Chippewas will continue its opening weekend Sunday afternoon when they take on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. The game has been pushed back to a 4 p.m. EST start after originally being slated for 2 p.m. and will be aired live on the BTN.com. 
 
 
Miami 63, Eastern Kentucky 73
RICHMOND, Ky. – Kirsten Olowinski banked in a three-pointer with eight minutes remaining to send the game into overtime, but the Miami University women’s basketball team’s shot went cold during the extra frame as it fell to Eastern Kentucky, 73-63. It was the season opening game for both teams.
 
Courtney Osborn led three RedHawks with double-doubles as she finished with a team-high 22 points and brought in 10 rebounds. Erica Almady had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Olowinski had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
 
After EKU scored off the opening tip, Osborn got Miami’s first basket of the season off a nice pass from the top of the key by Erica Almady. With the score tied at four, the RedHawks would go on a 7-0 run capped by an Almady three-point play and a Kirsten Olowinski layup. The Colonels would cut the lead to three at 13-10 with 9:06 remaining in the half before back-to-back jumpers by Kelsey Simon and Osborn, followed a three-point play from Olowinski gave Miami its largest lead of the game at 20-10.
 
Eastern Kentucky answered with a 10-0 run over the next three and a half minute to tie the score at 20. Osborn would find Almady for a fast break layup to end the drought, while a three-pointer from Osborn and Jessica Rupright’s first career basket would put Miami 27-21. The Colonels would drain a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into the break with the RedHawks up, 27-24.
 
Osborn led Miami with 11 points in the first half. The RedHawks shot 37.5 percent (12-for-32) for the period, while holding EKU to 25.8 percent (8-for-31) shooting).
 
Eastern Kentucky opened the second half on a 17-6 run to take a 42-33 lead with 14:20 remaining. Osborn drained a three-pointer to the bleeding, while the RedHawk defense would stiffen to keep the Colonels to only one basket over the next four minutes. Miami used the period to hit a series of free throws that would eventually give it a 45-44 lead at the 8:50 mark.
 
Marie Carpenter answered right back with a layup and a three-pointer to put EKU back up, 49-45. The speedy guard had her shot working all night as she finished with a game-high 27 points.
 
Back-to-back layups from Almady would tie the score once again at 49 with 7:24 to go. Trailing 53-51, Osborn hit her third three-pointer of the night to give Miami a 54-51 lead. The lead changed hands twice more before the teams found themselves tied at 57 with 2:43 remaining. Osborn would hit one free throw to put the RedHawks ahead, but a layup from Jade Barber and a jumper from Carpenter made it 61-58 with 27 seconds to go. Miami worked the ball around the perimeter until Osborn found Olowinski at the top of the key for the banked-in three-pointer. The ‘Hawks played strong defense as they forced EKU into a wild layup that missed the rim completely at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
 
The Colonels hit a layup to begin the extra frame. Miami answered right back when Osborn found Hannah McCue for a layup to tie the score at 63 with 4:04 remaining. Unfortunately for the RedHawks it would be the only basket they would hit as Eastern Kentucky scored three straight buckets to take a six point lead. The Colonels then hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the 73-63 victory.
 
The RedHawks finished the game shooting 33.8 percent (22-for-65), while Eastern Kentucky shot 38.0 percent (27-for-71). After finishing ranked 10th in the nation in free throw percentage the past two seasons, Miami had a rare off day from the line, hitting only 50 percent (15-for-30). The Colonels had a 57-45 rebounding advantage, as they brought in 22 offensive boards. Osborn led the ‘Hawks with seven assists, while Haley Robertson had four steals.
 
Miami will look to get into the win column when it hosts Northern Kentucky on Monday at 7 p.m. Tim Bray has the call and it will be aired live on Miami All-Access.
 
 
Toledo 56, Arkansas State 34
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo held Arkansas State to only 14 field goals and coasted to a 56-34 season-opening victory on Friday before 3,701 fans in Savage Arena.
 
UT's smoothering defense limited the Red Wolves to 27.5 percent (14-of-51) from the field, including an even more impressive 9.1 percent (1-of-11) from three-point land, to avenge last year's 64-56 setback in Jonesboro. The 34 points is tied for the eighth-fewest points allowed in school history and marked the eighth time the Midnight Blue & Gold has held an opponent under 40 points under fifth-year head coach Tricia Cullop.
 
Junior Janelle Reed-Lewis paced the three-time reigning Mid-American Conference West Division champions with a career-high 13 points off the bench, followed by senior Naama Shafir and sophomore Inma Zanoguera with 12 points each. Zanoguera added a collegiate-best 10 rebounds with five steals to post her first career double-double. UT also received eight points from senior Yolanda Richardson to help the Rockets improve to 21-18 all-time in season openers, including 4-1 under coach Cullop.
 
 
Buffalo 57, Canisius 73
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team dropped a 73-57 decision to Canisius in the first game of the Felisha Legette-Jack era at the Koessler Center on Friday night.
 
Canisius used a 20-1 second-half scoring run to turn a 44-42 lead into a 64-43 advantage with 4:40 left in the game.
 
Kristen Sharkey registered her first career double-double, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds – both career highs. Sharkey missed all of last season recovering from knee surgery.
 
Legette-Jack had three freshmen in the starting lineup and all three fared well. Rachel Gregory finished with 11 points, Mackenzie Loesing had eight points and Karin Moss had five points.
 
Buffalo jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a layup by Rachel Bantelman and a three-pointer by Moss. But the Griffs responded with an 8-0 scoring run to take an 8-5 lead.  The Bulls battled back and tied the contest at 17. But a Canisius three-pointer regained the lead for the Griffs. They held a 31-24 advantage at halftime.
 
The Bulls dialed up the aggressiveness early in the second half, taking the ball hard to the basket. Gregory and Nytor Longar each showed strong moves on the paint. UB managed to cut the lead to two points on several occasions, but couldn't get over the hump.
 
"This is the first day of a long journey with this young group," Legette-Jack said. "I'm not waiting until next year to try to coach these guys up. We're going to coach them every single minute, every possession, every practice. We believe in these young ladies. Once you give them enough love and enough confidence one day it's going to snap in. We just have to keep fighting to push them to that place, but we will get them there."
 
Buffalo will next host Youngstown State at Alumni Arena on Tuesday afternoon at noon.
 
 
Ball State 45, Evansville 54
MUNCIE, Ind. -  The Ball State women's basketball team (0-1) fell to Evansville 54-45 Friday night in Worthen Arena in the first game of head coach's Brady Sallee's tenure with the Cardinals.
 
Ball State pulled within four at 46-42 with 2:11 left in the contest on a pair of free throws from freshman Nathalie Fontaine, but Evansville hit a three pointer to go back up 52-43 with 36 seconds left to secure the victory for the Purple Aces.
 
Fontaine led all Ball State scorers with 14 points plus added five rebounds and two steals.  Shelbie Justice added eight points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals for the Cardinals.  Brandy Woody managed seven points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for Ball State.
 
The Cardinals were able to hold Evansville to 37.5 percent shooting from the field in the second half and 40 percent for the game, but Ball State could only shoot 28.3 percent from the field for the game.
 
Ball State trailed by five (32-27) after a layup from freshman guard Taylor Miller with 11:24 left to play in the game.  Evansville put together a 5-0 run to go up by 10 (37-27) at the 8:10 mark.  The Cardinals tried to fight back cutting the Purple Aces lead to seven (37-30) after junior guard Lindsey Wellman hit a three pointer. 
 
It was a low scoring game to start the first half, with the game being tied 9-9 at the 8:11 mark.  Evansville orchestrated a 6-1 run to give them a 15-10 advantage over Ball State at the 6:15 mark.  Fontaine then single handedly put together a 4-0 run of her own after back-to-back baskets to close the gap to 15-14. 
 
Evansville continued to hold on to its lead but a layup from freshman guard Taylor Miller knotted the game 20-20 with 1:04 left for the third time in the half.  The Purple Aces Chelsea Falkenstein nailed a three pointer with 52 seconds on the clock, Fontain then answered with a layup but Evansville would hold on to a 23-22 lead over the Cardinals to end the half.
 
The Ball State University women's basketball team continues non-conference action at Worthen Arena Tuesday when it hosts in-state rival Butler at 7 p.m.
 
 
Northern Illinois 40, Iowa 63
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Against an Iowa team that received votes in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Preseason Top 25 polls and in a tough environment at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Friday evening, the Northern Illinois women's basketball team battled hard in the second half but could not overcome a 34-13 first half deficit in a 63-40 season-opening loss.
 
"Our defense was pretty steady," said NIU Head Coach Kathi Bennett of her team that is one of four since 2011-12 to hold Iowa under 65 points at home. "It's pretty good to hold Iowa to 63 points. We had too many mental errors, though. We were a jump-shooting team and we needed to get the ball into the post more. This experience is something to learn from. We played a very good team in a tough environment. We got down and battled. We will learn a lot from this and it will help us down the road."
 
Improving to 13-0 in season openers under Head Coach Lisa Bluder and coming off its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, Iowa felt the wrath of NIU's defense early on as the Hawkeyes (1-0) scored just two points on their first six possessions. The Huskies (0-1) forced three missed shots and two turnovers by the Hawkeyes. Meanwhile, Satavia Taylor (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook/Loyola) hit her first three jumpers to score all six of NIU's points to start the game.
 
However, eight minutes into the first half, NIU started to struggle with Iowa's size - mainly Preseason All-Big Ten selection Morgan Johnson, who stands at 6'5" and scored a team-high 11 points. Iowa blocked four shots during the first eight minutes, forced five NIU turnovers and held an 8-2 edge in points in the paint - themes that continued the entire game - to grab a 10-6 lead.
 
By the next media timeout, the Hawkeyes were up 18-10 with eight minutes left in the half and had 12 points off seven NIU turnovers as the Huskies struggled to handle Iowa's pressure defense and lenky defenders. Iowa then finished the final 11:42 of the half on a 16-3 run to hold a commanding 34-13 lead.
 
The Hawkeyes held NIU to a 17.4 shooting percentage, while Iowa shot 50 percent and went 4-for-5 on three-pointers. Conversely, the Huskies missed all seven of their threes and held a 10-1 edge in free throw attempts but only converted five. Iowa also had advantages in turnovers (10-5), points off turnovers (16-2) and points in the paint (16-4).
 
Needing a huge second half, NIU outscored Iowa 9-6 in the first four minutes but the Huskies couldn't keep it up. Despite shooting 40 percent in the second half and holding Iowa to 29.6 percent, and having a 44-34 rebounding edge for the game, NIU was outscored by two points in the second stanza, 29-27.
 
For the game, Iowa forced 22 turnovers and only turned the ball over 10 times. The discrepancy in ball care led to a 26-6 Iowa edge in points off turnovers. The Hawkeyes ended up with a 24-10 advantage in points in the paint and even shot 60 percent on threes, going 6-for-10 with nearly each ending any momentum NIU had built up. Iowa's 60 percent mark on threes is just the second time NIU had given up a 60 percent three-point rate under Bennett (at Illinois State, Nov. 26, 2011).
 
Taylor was NIU's lone scorer in double figures and led all scorers in the game with 12 points. She also added a career-high 11 rebounds for her first double double.
 
"Tay (Satavia Taylor) played hard," Bennett said. "That's the hardest I've seen Tay play. She got a little gassed at the end but she played really well tonight."
 
The Huskies continue the Preseason WNIT next weekend as they will play at one site for two games, one on Friday and one on Saturday. The game times and opponents will be announced early next week. Stay tuned to NIUHuskies.com for updates.