Saturday's Women's Basketball Results

Updated 1/19/2013


Saturday's Women's Basketball Results
Western Michigan 84, Akron 74
Toledo 59, Buffalo 44
Central Michigan 83, Northern Illinois 56
Ball State 59, Kent State 44
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Western Michigan 84, Akron 74
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- The Western Michigan women’s basketball team defeated MAC East leader Akron Saturday, 84-77. It was the first Mid-American Conference victory for WMU (5-12, 1-3 MAC) and the Zips’ (12-5, 3-1 MAC) first loss in league play.
A.J. Johnson, Marquisha Harris and Miracle Woods all had career days. Johnson went off for 21 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-2 from behind the arc. She also had six rebounds and six assists.
Harris registered her first career double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. She added two blocks and three steals. Woods chipped in a personal-best 15 points.
Western Michigan led nearly start to finish. Akron’s Sina King made the first basket of the game, but WMU followed with six-straight points in the post on a layup by Woods and a pair of jumpers from Harris.
The Broncos built their lead up to 11 in the first and held onto a 38-32 advantage at halftime.
Akron and WMU both had scoring runs through the second period. The Zips cut the deficit to two with the first four points of the half, but Western Michigan pushed its lead back to 10 at the 15:43 mark. Akron continued to chip away from there and twice tied the game, at 8:37 and with 1:52 remaining.
WMU needed a play to turn the momentum after Akron tied the game in the final two minutes and Harris provided, hitting a tough left-handed jumper in the lane. The Broncos forced a turnover on the other end and Corie Buchanan drove to the hoop to give WMU a four-point lead. The Broncos converted seven of their eight free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
Western Michigan shot a season-best 48.4 percent from the floor and made 13 of its 18 attempts from the free throw line.
WMU did what few teams have not been able to do against Akron this year, outrebounding the Zips by a double-digit margin, 41-31. Akron entered the game averaging almost four rebounds per game more than its opponents.
Hanna Lurburgh finished with 19 points and six rebounds for Akron, King had 18 points and eight boards and Rachel Tecca had 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Zips entered the contest with the top-ranked offense in the MAC and fifth-best defense.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Broncos and was WMU’s first win over Akron since Feb. 14, 2009, putting an end to a four-game skid against the Zips.
Western Michigan travels to MAC West opponent Northern Illinois Wednesday, for an 8 p.m. ET tip-off.
Toledo 59, Buffalo 44
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo knocked Buffalo from the ranks of the Mid-American Conference unbeatens with a 59-44 victory on Saturday before a season-high 4,339 fans in Savage Arena. With the double-digit win, the Rockets improve to 15-2 on the season, 3-1 in the league.
Junior Andola Dortch paced the three-time reigning MAC West Division champions with a game-high 20 points and six rebounds. Dortch shot 7-of-17 from the field, including 3-of-9 from beyond the arc, and 3-of-5 from the charity stripe to tally at least 20 points for the seventh time in her collegiate career.
Joining Dortch in double figures was junior Brianna Jones with 10 points off the bench. Jones helped the Midnight Blue & Gold control the interior and shot 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-3 from the free throw line to register double digits for the second time this season.
UT also received solid efforts from sophomore Inma Zanoguera (9 pts., 4 rebs., 3 asts., 3 stls.), senior Yolanda Richardson (8 pts., 8 rebs.), senior Naama Shafir (8 pts., 4 rebs., 3 asts., 3 stls.) and senior Lecretia Smith (4 pts., team-high 9 rebs., career-high 6 asts., 3 stls.) to improve to 8-0 all-time against the Bulls (5-13, 3-1 MAC) at home.
The Rockets shot 32.9 percent (23-of-70) from the field, including 24.0 percent (6-of-25) from three-point range, and 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from the free throw line to claim their 15th-consecutive victory against a cross-division opponent.
Toledo also finished with a 45-41 edge on the glass, including a season-high 23 offensive caroms. The 2012-13 preseason MAC favorites were able to take full advantage of those offensive boards and posted a decisive 22-8 edge in second-chance points. Richardson was a one-person wrecking crew on the offensive glass and totaled eight rebounds.
Kristen Sharkey led UB with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Buffalo was limited to 32.1 percent (17-of-53) from the floor and 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from the free throw line to snap its season-high three-game win streak.
Shafir and Dortch helped the Rockets race out to a quick start, lifting them to an 11-5 lead at the 17:20 mark. Shafir started the game with a traditional three-point play and a triple to account for six of the 11 points, while Dortch delivered the others with a trey of her own and a jumper to give the home squad an early two-possession advantage.
With the outside game clicking, UT pounded the ball inside and received back-to-back layups from Richardson and another from Smith to push its margin to double digits, 19-9, with 10:26 left in the opening period.
Unfortunately for Toledo, the offense would stall for the remainder of the half. UT mustered only nine points over the final nine-plus minutes and had its lead trimmed to 28-26 at the intermission.
With Toledo's offense having gone cold, the Bulls started to find the range and outscored its opponent, 17-9, during the waning moments to make it a one-possession difference at the break. Five different Buffalo players contributed points in the run, including Mackenzie Loesing with a team-high five points. The visitors also took advantage of back-to-back triples from Kristen Sharkey and Cherridy Thornton, as well as a pair of pair of free throws from Loesing to claim its only lead of the contest, 26-25, with 1:33 remaining in the period.
Toledo would be able to respond though with a clutch three-point field goal by Zanoguera to put the lead back in its favor, 28-26, at halftime. It proved to be an advantage the Rockets would not relinquish.
UT began the second half strong and utilized a mini 12-7 burst to open up a 40-33 lead with 14:17 left in regulation. Dortch contributed a pair of triples to ignite the rally and create some separation.
The Rockets' maintained a three-possession bulge for the next almost nine minutes before Jones converted a traditional three-point play to increase the difference to 49-39 with 5:32 left in the game.
Jones' basket seemed to take the air out of the sails of UB and started a 13-5 run to end the contest, making the final score 59-44. Dortch put the final dagger in the victory, accounting for seven of the 13 points in the final burst to give Toledo its sixth-straight triumph over the Bulls.
Toledo will look to keep its momentum rolling when it travels to Akron on Wednesday, Jan. 23 to battle the MAC East Division frontrunning Zips. The opening tip from James A. Rhodes Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Central Michigan 83, Northern Illinois 56
MOUNT PLEASANT - Junior Taylor Johnson scored a career-high 25 points and Central Michigan held Northern Illinois to 19 second-half points in an impressive 83-56 win Saturday afternoon inside McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas (10-7) improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 season and will look for their best MAC start since that same year when they travel to Athens, Ohio next Wednesday for a matchup versus the Ohio Bobcats.
After the Huskies (5-12, 0-4 MAC) shot a blistering 61.5 percent (16-for-26) in the first 20 minutes, Guevara gave her team a message in the locker room that clearly sank in as the Chippewas held NIU to just 28.6 percent (8-for-28) and 19 points over the final 20 minutes.
"I was very stubborn in the first half," Guevara said. "We changed defenses in the second half and that's the best our defense has looked for us all year. The goal was to hold them to 56 points and I had a very clear message at halftime to our team and I'm glad we responded."
The Chippewas led 41-37 at the break behind 12 points from Johnson on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting effort from the floor, but were able to extend the lead in the second half by limiting the Huskies to just nine points in the first 10:52 of the second half.
A 23-9 run over the stretch was started on a three by sophomore Jessica Green, and a pair of free throws by senior Brandie Baker at the 12:52 mark pushed the lead to double digits, 55-44. The Chippewas eventually led by 18 after a three by Johnson with 9:27 to play, and the junior knocked down her fifth three of the contest with 6:23 to play to increase the advantage to 72-48.
While Johnson was lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 9-of-10 shooting from the field, sophomore Crystal Bradford was continuing her dynamic display of talent by filling the box score for the fourth consecutive contest.
Bradford was a key component behind the first-half lead, playing 17 minutes in the first period to lead the team with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. The sophomore assured her third consecutive double-double in a series of plays in the second half by pulling down her 10th rebound of the game before finishing in traffic on the other end and drawing a foul for her 14th double-digit scoring effort of the season.
Just as impressive was Bradford's ability to find her teammates however, as she tied her career high of eight assists to go along with her 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Three other players scored in double figures for the Chippewas as Green finished with 11 and senior Jessica Schroll and Baker each had 10.
Ball State 59, Kent State 44
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State women's basketball team (6-11, 3-1 MAC) defeated Kent State (2-15, 0-4 MAC) 59-44 in Mid-American Conference action Saturday afternoon in Worthen Arena. 
The 3-1 conference start for the Cardinals is the best since the 2008-09 season when the Cardinals started out 4-0 in the MAC.
The Cardinals had three players score in double figures in the game with Brandy Woody leading the way with 15 points.  Nathalie Fontaine and Brittany Carter scored 11 points apiece, while Woody led Ball State with six rebounds and seven steals.  Carter had a team high five assists plus added four steals.
Ball State came out of the gates strong in the first half to take an early 17-0 advantage over Kent State.  The Cardinals defense held the Golden Flashes scoreless up until the 10:15 mark of the first half.
In addition, Ball State's stellar defense forced Kent State into 15 turnovers before the Golden Flashes scored their first point of the contest.
With 6:33 left in the first period Kent State managed its first field goal of the contest making it a 19-8 game.
After that, Kent State went on an 8-0 run to close the gap to 19-16 with 4:17 to play in the half.  Ball State remained in control to end the half up 26-20.  The Cardinals also forced 20 Kent State turnovers in the first half alone.
Ball State shot only 33 percent from the field in the first half, but held the Golden Flashes to 27 percent shooting in the first stanza.
The Cardinals led the entire game, but Kent State managed to pull within two in the second half (33-31) with 11:55 remaining.  With just under eight minutes left in the contest,  Ball State answered with a 10-0 run which was sparked by a three point basket from sophomore guard Shelbie Justice to put the Cardinals back up by 12 (43-31).
The Ball State women's basketball team continues MAC action when it travels to Buffalo on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff in Alumni Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.