Freshman Mackenzie Loesing helped Buffalo to its first 2-0 start in MAC play since 2007-08, averaging 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in victories over Northern Illinois and Ohio. Loesing had 20 points in the victory over NIU, her second career 20-point game. In the victory over the Bobcats, Loesing finished with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 22 minutes of action. Loesing had six steals in total for the week, with five of those leading to direct fast-break layups for the freshman. Loesing is now averaging 9.4 points per game.
Central Michigan sophomore Crystal Bradford put on a clinic in the opening week of Mid-American Conference play, helping the Chippewas take down preseason favorite Toledo on the road and defending MAC Champ Eastern Michigan. The sophomore averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block over the two games. Bradford scored 14 of the Chippewas' first 16 points en route to matching a career high with 27 points, while also pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out five assists, in the MAC opener versus Toledo Thursday night. She followed her performance versus the Rockets up by nearly recording her first career triple-double versus the Eagles, finishing the afternoon with 13 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocks. Through the first two games Bradford leads the league in conference play in scoring and rebounds, while ranking second in assists.
Sina King, Akron, Forward
Junior, Waterford, Ohio/Waterford HS
Sina King continued the consistent play she has become known for in Akron's first two MAC games of the season on the road at Ohio and at home against Kent State. King shot a combined 58.8 percent (10-for-17) from the field over the course of the week, in addition to hitting 10 of 11 free throws. The junior recorded her eighth double-double of the season against Kent State, posting a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds all without a turnover. She preceded that performance with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists in Akron's win at Ohio, its first MAC-opening victory in 14 years. King has scored in double figures in 14 out of 15 games this year, including the last six straight. She currently holds the highest free throw percentage in league games for 10 or more attempts (.909).
Jillian Halfhill, Bowling Green, Guard
Junior, Canfield, Ohio (Canfield)
Junior point guard Jillian Halfhill averaged 9.0 points and 3.0 assists per game, leading the Falcons in both categories, as BGSU split a pair of games to begin the MAC portion of the schedule. Halfhill played just 16 minutes in BG’s 69-33 win over Kent State, with five points and a game-high four assists. Then, she led the Falcons with 13 points in a 48-38 loss to Toledo, going 4-of-9 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point land. On the season, Halfhill is averaging 9.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists, leading BG in assists and ranking third on the team in the other two categories. The Falcons are 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the MAC.
Haley Robertson, Miami, Guard
Junior, New Albany
Robertson had the best week of her career, averaging 17.0 points in Miami’s first two MAC games. She set career highs for scoring in both games, beginning with 15 points against Ball State on Thursday. She would then top that with 19 points against Western Michigan on Sunday. Robertson’s shooting was the story of both games. She finished the week 11-for-19 (57.9 percent), including an incredible 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) from behind the three-point line. She had four 3-pointers in each game. Against Western Michigan, she finished 7-for-11 from the field overall and 4-for-7 from behind the arc. Robertson also brought in four rebounds against Ball State, three assists against the Cardinals and two assists against the Broncos.
Tina Fisher, Ohio, Forward
Senior, Cottage Grove, Minn./Park
Tina Fisher was Ohio’s most consistent performer of the week in Mid-American Conference games against Akron and Buffalo. The senior forward played 62 of a possible 80 minutes throughout the week, scoring 19 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Fisher scored nine points and collected nine rebounds in Ohio’s loss to Akron on Jan. 10 and followed this up with a strong performance at Buffalo on Jan. 13, tying a season-high by scoring 10 points and grabbing five boards in a loss to the Bulls. Fisher nearly doubled her season scoring average during the week and pulled down almost three more rebounds per game during the week than she has averaged throughout the season.
Nathalie Fontaine, Ball State, Guard
Freshman, Stockholm, Sweden
True freshman Nathalie Fontaine helped the Cardinals start the Mid-American COnference off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2007-08 season under the direction of then interim coach Lisa McCdonald. Fontaine with 22 seconds remaining in the contest secured the Ball State women's basketball team a 62-59 victory over Miami Thursday night. Fontaine led the Cardinals that game with her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Against Northern Illinois Fontaine's back-to-back baskets with under two minutes remaining, sealed the 57-51 win for the Cardinals at the Convocation Center Sunday. Fontaine was the leading scorer again for Ball State tying her career high with 18 points. For the week Fontaine averaged 17.5 points per game, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 steals, 1.0 block and 1.0 assist.
Name: Bianca Cage, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Freshman, Memphis, Tenn. / Southwind
Freshman Bianca Cage scored a career-high 25 points, all coming in the second half, to lead the Eagles to a 56-52 victory at Western Michigan, Jan. 10. The freshman guard scored 25 of the team's final 33 points in the win. Cage finished 10-of-16 shooting from the floor including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Prior to the breakout performance, she had tallied just 11 points in the first four games of her EMU career. Cage's 25-point performance marked the first time an EMU “true” freshman had scored more than 20 points in a game since March 11, 2009.
Satavia Taylor, Northern Illinois, Guard
Senior, Loyola Chicago
Taylor put together a solid first two conference games for NIU as she averaged 16.5 points, four rebounds and one assist per game while shooting 12-for-23 from the field (52.2%), 5-for-9 on threes (55.6%) and 4-for-5 from the free throw line (80%). At Buffalo, she scored nine points along with five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Against Ball State, she erupted for a career-high 24 points along with three rebounds. Versus BSU, she was 8-for-10 from the field, 4-for-4 on threes and 4-for-5 at the free throw line. Her perfect three-point game was her second of the season. Her double-digit scoring effort was her seventh of the season and raised her career-high scoring average to 10.8 points per game.
Naama Shafir, Toledo, Guard
Senior, Hoshaya, Israel/Ulpanit Tiberias HS
Senior Naama Shafir averaged a team-high 17.0 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 32.0 minutes in two games this past week. Shafir was the only Rocket to score in double figures in both contests, shooting 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from the field, 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from three-point land and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the charity stripe. She opened the week with 11 points, six helpers and two steals vs. Central Michigan in Thursday’s MAC opener (Jan. 10). Three days later at arch-rival Bowling Green, Shafir registered a game-high 23 points, three boards, two thefts and one rejection in a season-best 38 minutes. The Hoshaya, Israel native finished with at least 20 points for a second time this season against the arch-rival Falcons, banking in a triple with 1:56 left in regulation to seal the important road triumph.