Saturday's MAC Results
Northern Illinois 64, Davidson 61
Central Michigan 48, Green Bay 75
Ball State 45, Marshall 70
Ohio 40, Minnesota 85
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Northern Illinois 64, Davidson 61
MOREHEAD, Ky. – Holding on to a one point lead with under 10 seconds left, the Northern Illinois (1-1) defense stifled So-Con preseason favorite Davidson (0-2) to force a turnover and seal their victory in the consolation round of the WNIT, 64-61. NIU led by as much as 18 in the contest. The Huskies will take on host Morehead State tomorrow at 4 p.m. Central in the final match of the consolation round.
“It felt good to get a win, especially with how the first half went down,” said Head Coach Kathi Bennett in the post-game radio interview, “I loved how we played in that first half but we just lost a little composure down the stretch. It was good to get a win and be in that (game) situation tonight.”
Sophomore guard Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind.) shot and slashed her way to 12 points in the first half, including nine of those in the first 10 minutes of the first tilt. While the Huskies and the Wildcats traded leads in the first part of the half, NIU extended its lead in the latter minutes of the first stanza, started on a fast break layup by Danny Pulliam (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike), extending the NIU lead to three points, 17-14.
Following a DU missed jumper by Sophia Alexandravicius, the So-Con’s reigning Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, senior Shaakira Haywood (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) further improved the NIU lead, driving from the baseline to underneath the basket, gaining a five point advantage.
The Northern Illinois defense was impressive throughout the game, forcing the Wildcats to shoot a dismal 25 percent on 6-of-24 attempts in the first half and 34 percent through 40 minutes. The collapsing Huskie defense swarmed Davidson’s 6-4 center Alexandravicius, double teaming her and still managing to pressure on the dump passes to behind the arc, the Wildcats strength a week ago in a 70-59 loss to Preseason WNIT finalist North Carolina.
With seven seconds left in the first half, Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) stole the ball from DU’s Shannon Eriksson, and dumped to Natecia Augusta (Peoria/Limestone) with time expiring. The sophomore worked under the basket and scored a statement layup before the red lamps lit and buzzers blaring, to give the Huskies a 13-point lead at the half, 35-22.
Northern Illinois matched Davidson’s energy at the start of the second half, not allowing the Wildcats a fast start and their position back into the game. With every Wildcat basket, the Huskies answered with their respective shot.
With 12 minutes remaining in the second half, sophomore Jenna Thorp (Hinckley/Hinckley-Big Rock) cut to the lane, attempting a layup and was fouled as soon as she threw the ball up. She completed the three-point play with a made free throw to give NIU its then-biggest lead of the day at 15, 46-31.
Thorp continued her strong play for NIU, adding another three points on an and-one chance 1:05 later and added another layup with 9:28 left. She finished the game with 10 points, all in the second half.
“I thought Jenna did a really good job for us the in the second half,” added Bennett, “She really got us rolling in a lot of tough looks and tough shots.”
The Wildcats surged back with six minutes left in the stanza, cutting their deficit to a single digit for the first time in 16 minutes. Augusta followed up with a layup to send the lead back to double-digits, but a pair of DU field goals and a free throw put the Wildcats to within six at 56-50 with 4:53 left.
Northern Illinois was flustered by the Davidson defense when it shifted to a full court press in the final minutes of the game, rallying to within one-point on a pair of free throws by Katrin Chiemeka.
The Huskies had a chance to extend their lead with less than a minute remaining, but Pulliam turned the ball over to Alexandrivicius with 32 seconds remaining.
Davidson called a timeout to strategize its final play with 27 seconds remaining and 25 on the shot clock. DU moved the ball around the arc to run the clock, and when forced to shoot with the shot clock under five, Chiemeka drove low on Augusta but the Peoria native forced the Wildcat to travel and turn the ball over with eight seconds left in the game.
After being fouled on the ensuing possession, Augusta hit two free throws to put the Huskies back up by three, where they finished the game at 64-61. She finished the game with a career high 16 points in 21 minutes.
“Natecia had some fine play. She had a very good game and even defensively she bodied and did a good job inside,” said Bennett.
The Huskies finished 25-of-45 from the floor to finish with a shooting percentage of 55.6 percent. NIU also had 14 helpers in the game, but turned the ball over 24 times.
The victory was NIU’s first of the season, after falling to Iowa in the first round of the WNIT to Iowa last Friday. The Huskies will tip-off tomorrow against host Morehead State at 4p.m. Central at Johnson Arena.
Central Michigan 48, Green Bay 75
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Central Michigan was unable to overcome a hot-shooting Green Bay team Saturday afternoon, falling at the Kress Events Center, 75-48.
The Phoenix (2-0), who entered the season ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll but fell out of the rankings earlier this week, knocked down 10 threes in the game and finished shooting 46.9 percent from the floor en route to handing the Chippewas (1-2) their second consecutive loss.
The Chippewas held just two leads in the contest, including when sophomore Jessica Green hit a jumper in the paint with 12:34 to go in the first half to put the Maroon and Gold up, 6-5, but the Phoenix promptly came back with a layup by Adrian Ritchie eight seconds later and never trailed again.
CMU pulled within two, 16-14, on a jumper by Crystal Bradford with 5:14 in the first half, but Green Bay closed the half on a 16-6 run that included three treys, capped by Lydia Bauer's dial from long distance with 24 seconds to go in the half. Junior Taylor Johnson put back a layup after an offensive rebound with five seconds left to send CMU to the locker room trailing at halftime, 32-20.
After a layup by Ritchie to start the half extended the Green bay lead to 14, 34-20, CMU went on a quick 6-0 run on back-to-back threes by Green and sophomore Kerby Tamm to cut the lead to eight, 34-26, but that was as close as the Chippewas would come.
Bradford hit a jumper with 11:24 to go in the second-half in attempt to mount a CMU comeback, but the Chippewas were held scoreless for the next 6:12 of the game in which Green Bay went on a 11-0 run to push their lead to 24, 61-37.
The sophomore was one of two Chippewas in double figures as her 10 points complemented Johnson's team-high 12. Ritchie led four players in double figures for the Phoenix, scoring a game-high 25 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
CMU opens its home schedule next Friday when it hosts South Dakota State inside McGuirk Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Ball State 45, Marshall 70
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - The Ball State women's basketball team (0-3) suffered a 70-45 road loss at Marshall (2-1) Saturday evening in the Cam Henderson Center.
Two Cardinals managed double figures on the evening with junior guard Brandy Woody leading the way with 12 points. Sophomore guard Shelbie Justice chipped in 11 points while junior forward Katie Murphy ended the night with nine.
Marshall led the entire second half despite Ball State's effort. The Cardinals were held to a 25.0 percent shooting mark from the field while, Marshall shot 41.9 percent.
At halftime the Cardinals trailed Marshall by a score of 35-21 after only two ties in the ball game. The Thundering Herd opened the contest with a basket to take the early 2-0 edge over Ball State but junior forward Katie Murphy quickly answered back with quick bucket to tie the contest 2-2 and then scored again to even the score at 4-4.
The last tie came at the 18:44 mark before the Thundering Herd took the lead after putting together a 22-3 run over Ball State. Sophomore guard Brittany Carter snapped Marshall's scoring spree with a jumper with 7:36 left to play in the half. Marshall's biggest lead of the half was 20 points (31-11) with 6:14 remaining.
The Ball State women's basketball team returns to Worthen Arena Monday when its hosts in-state rival IPFW at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets to the game, go to www.ballstatesports.com or call the ticket office at 1.888.BSU.TICKET.
Ohio 40, Minnesota 85
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In the opening game of the 2012 Subway Classic, Ohio Women's Basketball ran into a very hot shooting Minnesota team, falling by a final score of 85-40. The Golden Gophers dominated the first half but the Bobcats showed heart in the second frame, playing a strong final 20 minutes.
Minnesota shot a brisk 56.9 percent from the field in the game and did the most damage in the first half, connecting on 71.9 percent of its field goal attempts. Ohio connected on 12-of-55 field goal tries to end with a shooting percentage of 21.8. The Bobcats played a strong second half, only being outscored by a 25-24 margin in the final 20 minutes.
Ohio did a good job of getting to the free throw line on Saturday, earning 22 attempts at the charity stripe compared to Minnesota's 16.
Rachel Banham scored a game-high 18 points for the Golden Gophers. She shot 4-of-5 from three-point distance and was 7-of-9 overall. Banham was joined in double figures by Sari Noga (14 points) and Katie Loberg (12).
Symone Lyles led the scoring effort for the Bobcats, connecting on two field goals and four free throws to finish with eight points. She was closely followed by Shavon Robinson (seven points), Mariah Byard (six), and Kiyanna Black (six). Lyles also led the team with eight rebounds.
Minnesota (3-0) got off to a very fast start from three-point distance, connecting on its first four long-range attempts to take a 20-5 lead at the 11:48 mark of the first half. Ohio shot 1-of-8 during this early stretch in the game, while the Golden Gophers operated at a clip of 8-for-10. Former Freshman All-American Banham was clutch in this stretch for the Gophers, scoring nine points on her first three three-point attempts.
The Golden Gophers kept up this brisk pace, connecting on 16 of their first 19 field goal attempts to take a 40-5 lead at the 7:51 mark. Ohio struggled in the early stages of the contest, committing 12 early turnovers during this period due to heavy Minnesota pressure.
Ohio (1-1) was able to tack on a few more points in the final few minutes of the first half, getting contributions from an Erin Bailes three-pointer and free throws by Lyles and Byard.
Minnesota ended the first half shooting 23-of-32 (71.9 percent) from the field and 6-of-8 (75 percent) from three-point range. The Bobcats hit two of their 21 field goals in the first frame, including one of five attempts from three-point distance. Ohio was rebounded by a 24-9 margin in the first 20 minutes of the game.
Ohio played significantly better in the second half, beginning the frame on a 3-0 run and ultimately getting edged by just one point (25-24) in the final 20 minutes. The Bobcats saw a 20 percent improvement in their field goal shooting and nearly halved Minnesota's first half field goal percentage. Ohio also picked up 23 rebounds in the second half compared to nine in the first.
Ohio will next be in action on Sunday, Nov. 18 at noon (EST). The Bobcats will take on UNLV in the consolation game of the Subway Classic.