Thursday's Women's Basketball Results
Ball State 73, Western Michigan 50
Akron 68, Bowling Green 63
Central Michigan 91, Kent State 44
Eastern Michigan 67, Northern Illinois 62
Toledo 61, Ohio 62
Buffalo 78, Miami 70
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Ball State 73, Western Michigan 50
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan's offense never got in rhythm, as the Broncos fell to 6-14 overall and 2-5 in the Mid-American Conference with a 73-50 loss to Ball State (9-11, 6-1 MAC) Thursday.
Sophomore Michelle O'Brien was the only player to reach double digits for the Brown & Gold, coming off the bench to score 12 points.
Three Ball State players combined to match WMU's overall point total, two of those Cardinals, Shelbie Justice and Natalie Fountaine, recording career-high games.
Justice torched WMU for four three-pointers and 18 points in the first half and ended with 20 points on the night. Natalie Fountaine also finished with 20 points, scoring 16 of those in the second half. Brittany Carter was the third Cardinal in double figures with 10 points.
Western Michigan got into an early hole, trailing 15-3 at the 11:38 mark of the first half. The Broncos put together a run to cut the deficit to four, but then Justice got the hot hand behind the arc and the Cardinals quickly pulled away again. WMU trailed by 18 at the half, 39-21.
Ball State hurt Western Michigan in transition in the second half, scoring 22 points in the paint. The Cardinals dominated the margin down low for the game, 34-10.
WMU shot just 29.3 percent from the field, while Ball State hit 49.1 percent and 46.2 percent from three-point range.
Sophomore Marquisha Harris followed O'Brien with nine points for Western Michigan. Freshman Alex Morton had eight points and classmate Jessica Jessing hit two three's for six points.
The Broncos travel to Toledo (18-2, 6-1 MAC) Sunday for a noon tip-off.
Akron 68, Bowling Green 63
AKRON, Ohio -- Hanna Luburgh notched the first double-double of her career, scoring a game-high 25 points and jumping out of the gym for a personal-best 15 rebounds en route to Akron's gutsy 68-63 victory over Bowling Green Thursday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The victory snaps a three-game skid for the Zips, marking the first time UA (13-7, 4-3 MAC) has defeated BGSU since Feb. 10, 2001, and just the third time overall in the history of the program.
Trailing 36-32 at halftime, Akron came from behind for the first time this season to win, sparked by Luburgh's brilliant second half. The junior posted 17 points and 10 boards after the break, and teamed up with Rachel Tecca to score as many points as Bowling Green's entire team in the second frame. The Zips' defense held BGSU to just 29.4 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
Tecca finished the night with 18 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action. Sina King joined her in double figures with 15 points and four boards.
Akron dominated the glass as a team, out-rebounding the Falcons 42-29 on the night.
Bowling Green (13-7, 4-3 MAC) came out of the gate with a quick eight-point lead, and the Zips fought to regain their footing for a majority of the first half. BGSU's Chrissy Steffen scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the first half off 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point land.
Both teams shot an identical 48.1 percent from the field (13-of-27) in the first half, though BGSU enjoyed an advantage that would increase to as many as nine with just under seven minutes to intermission. The Zips went on a mini 7-3 run over the course of the last three and a half minutes to cut the deficit to four at 36-32 at the half.
After falling behind by nine again just two minutes into the second, a pair of free throws from Tecca keyed a momentum-shifting 10-0 Akron run giving the Zips their first lead of the night at the 14:01 mark, 42-41.
The advantage pinballed back and forth for several minutes, with neither team holding more than a one-point lead until Luburgh dished to Tecca for a layup at 7:43 to put Akron up by three.
UA would continue to grow its lead to as many as eight, due in large part to the team's performance at the charity stripe. Shooting just two free throws in the first half, the Zips would connect on 12-of-12 from the line before missing the mark for the first time in the game at the 3:41 mark of the second period.
The Falcons continued to fight to make it a one-possession game well into the last minute of the contest. King and Luburgh were perfect on back-to-back trips to the free throw line to put the lead back up to six points with 31 seconds remaining, but BGSU marched back down the court and hit a three to turn the tables again with 14 ticks on the clock.
Tecca was fouled immediately but missed both free throws, giving BGSU new life. A haphazard Falcon 3-pointer that would have tied the game rimmed out, and Tecca was offered the chance of redemption returning to the line with three seconds left.
The forward would make the two that counted, and it was enough for Akron to hold on for a crucial MAC East win.
Akron continues its homestand Saturday against the East's first-place Buffalo (7-13, 5-2 MAC) at 2 p.m. in the opening game of a women's/men's doubleheader. The contest is UA's Play 4Kay game, and there will be pink t-shirts on sale for $10 with all proceeds going towards the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Central Michigan 91, Kent State 44
MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan continued its best start in Mid-American Conference play since the 1983-84 season by defeating Kent State handily Thursday night, 91-44.
The Chippewas (13-7, 7-0 MAC) scored 90-plus for the second-straight game and fourth time this season, finishing the night shooting 51.6 percent (33-for-64) from the floor while knocking down 11 threes.
While the offense was blistering, the Chippewas' defense forced the Golden Flashes (2-18, 0-7 MAC) into 24 turnovers, converting those turnovers into 34 points in the contest. Sophomore Jessica Green was a key component to the thievery, matching a career high with six steals in the contest.
CMU led from start to finish, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first two and a half minutes and held the six-point margin at the 9:36 mark of the first half before a 12-0 run pushed things to double digits. Junior Taylor Johnson sparked the run with a three and sophomore Jas'Mine Bracey capped it with a layup with 5:56 to play in the first half to give the Chippewas a 32-15 advantage.
The Chippewas went up 26 on a three by sophomore Kerby Tamm with 35 seconds left in the half and junior Jordan LaDuke grabbed an offensive rebound an hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer to send them to the locker room up, 49-21.
The steam roll continued in the second half as CMU's defense held the Golden Flashes to just eight points over the first 10:41 of the second frame, as CMU went on a 33-8 run to grab a 74-29 lead with 9:39 to play.
The Chippewas were able to clear the bench and all but one player in the Maroon and Gold scored in the contest, including true freshman Chelsea Lynn, who made a layup in traffic with 5:55 to play for her first career points and a 84-42 lead.
Senior Jalisa Olive led four players in double figures, scoring 13 points in just 11 minutes off the bench, while Bracey finished with 11 and Johnson with 10. Sophomore Crystal Bradford also scored down 10 points. Green finished the contest with nine points and five assists to go with her six steals.
The Maroon and Gold outrebounded KSU, 44-28, and held a 40-26 advantage in the paint. CMU's bench outscored Kent State's entire team, finishing the contest with a season-high 56 points.
CMU will be back in action this Sunday when they travel to Bowling Green for a contest versus the Falcons. The game will be broadcast on BCSN and is set for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
Eastern Michigan 67, Northern Illinois 62
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University women's basketball team held off a feisty Northern Illinois University squad, 67-62, Thursday evening, Jan. 31, inside the Convocation Center. The Eagles (5-15; 3-4 MAC) surrendered a substantial second-half advantage, but posted several critical defensive stops in the waning moments to hold on for their second Mid-American Conference triumph in the last three contests.
EMU took a nine-point lead into halftime and increased that advantage to 18, but the Huskies (5-15; 0-7 MAC) used a 24-5 second-half run to erase that deficit and take a 57-56 lead with six minutes to play. NIU's comeback would not last, however, as deadly outside shooting from Bianca Cage (Memphis, Tenn. – Southwind) and steady teamwork denied the visiting squad its first conference win of the season.
Thursday's win was a true team effort, as Desyree Thomas (Waterford, Mich. – Mott) collected a game-high 11 assists to go along with eight points and five steals. Sara Stone (Plymouth, Mich. – Salem) also turned in nine rebounds to tie her career high and Natachia Watkins (South Euclid, Ohio – Brush) gathered nine caroms as well.
Cage was efficient all evening long, racking up a team-high 23 points and posting a 7-of-12 effort from the field with a 6-of-10 showing from beyond the arc. Cage's 23-point output Thursday marked the second time this season that the freshman surpassed the 20-point plateau. Also touching double figures in scoring was India Hairston (Flint, Mich. – Hamady), who posted 10 points.
Collectively, the Eagles connected on 26-of-62 shots for a 41.9 percent pace. From three-point range, the Green and White was a blistering 7-of-14 (50.0 percent). EMU also won the turnover battle, making only 11 miscues compared to 18 for the Huskies.
For the Huskies, Satavia Taylor tallied 23 points with an 8-of-18 showing overall and 5-of-10 from long distance. Amanda Corral was the only other NIU player in double figures with 10 points. As a team, Northern Illinois was 23-of-50 (46.0 percent) shooting and 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) from three-point land.
Stone and Thomas combined for a pair of jumpers and the first four points of the game. NIU came right back to take a 5-4 lead before Watkins filled the second of two free throws to tie the game, 5-5, just over four minutes in.
The Huskies built up an 11-7 advantage on sharp outside shooting from Taylor, who accounted for a pair of NIU's trio of early treys. After the visitors added another bucket, Chelsea Hite (Ligonier, Ind. – West Noble) broke through for her first score of the game and brought the Green and White back to within four, 13-9.
Hite would account for the Eagles' next two buckets before Hairston found her way to the basket and laid in for the easy score. With the Eagles down by just a pair, 17-15, Corral drained a three-pointer on the NIU's next possession and widened the gap back to five, 20-15.
Solid offensive rebounding benefited the Eagles on their way to regaining the lead at the 2:39 mark, 25-24, when Taylor Bird (Lawrence, Kan. – Lawrence) made a nice shot fake and found an open Hairston underneath, who converted the layup. On the next possession, Bird gathered another offensive board and fed the ball outside to Cage, who recorded the three-pointer.
After trailing by as many as six points earlier in the half, the Eagles went into the locker room with a nine-point lead, 35-26, thanks to a 12-2 run over the final 2:01 of play. Cage led all scorers with 11 points including a 3-of-6 showing from downtown. As a team, the Eagles' offense warmed up toward the end of the half and completed 20 minutes shooting at a 38.9 percent (14-of-36) clip overall and 42.9 percent (3-of-7) from long distance.
The Huskies were 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from the floor, 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) and were paced by Taylor's eight points. NIU's strong shooting percentage was largely offset by 12 turnovers which led to 10 EMU points. In contrast, EMU coughed up the basketball just four times in the first half.
Northern Illinois tried to fight its way back into the game early in the second half, cutting its deficit to five, 38-33. The Eagles had other ideas though and overpowered the Huskies as Cage, Hairston and Watkins teamed up to throw down 13 unanswered points. With 15:07 still showing on the clock, EMU was seemingly in command of the contest, 51-33.
But NIU was not about to go down quietly. Beginning with a Jenna Thorp free throw at 14:15, the Huskies put together a 16-2 run over the next 4:49 to claw back into the game, 53-49. The run consisted of a pair of three-balls from Taylor and another from Amanda Corral along with makes from McKenzie Hoelmenn and Jada Buggs.
Cage broke up the Huskies' onslaught with a three-pointer of her own and put the Eagles back up by seven, 56-49, at the 9:04 mark. NIU quickly made up the difference with a jumper and a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession affair, 56-53, with 8:20 remaining.
Then at 6:39, Taylor finished off the 18-point comeback for NIU with her seventh three-point bucket of the evening. A Natecia Augusta free-throw moments later gave the Huskies their first lead since late in the opening half, 57-56.
By the time the game's final media timeout rolled around, the Eagles had jumped back in front, 60-59 on baskets by Watkins and Thomas. The lead was three for EMU before Taylor registered a fast-break layup and was fouled on the play. She then hit her free throw and tied the score at 60-all.
Cage proved to be up to Taylor's three-pointer challenge as she drilled her sixth long-range basket to give the Eagles a 63-60 lead. Thomas then answered a McKenzie Hoelmenn jumper with a fast break bucket of her own for a 65-62 EMU advantage with 2:50 to play.
Both teams notched defensive stops on the next two possessions and the score remained in favor of EMU. With less than 30 second to play, NIU controlled the ball and was looking for the outside shot from Taylor. Eagles' defenders forced the ball down low and ultimately coaxed a hasty layup from Buggs. Taylor scooped up the rebound, but a pass back to Thorp was mishandled thanks to defensive pressure by Thomas.
NIU was forced to foul Thomas, who went to the line and sank both free throws as EMU secured the five-point win, 67-62.
The Eagles are back on the hardwood Sunday, Feb. 3, when they take on Ball State University at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.
Toledo 61, Ohio 62
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo (18-2, 6-1 MAC) handled visiting Ohio (5-14, 0-7 MAC) with ease on Thursday in front of 4,216 spectators in Savage Arena, claiming a 61-42 victory. The win extends the Rockets' win streak to six games and they have now won the last 21 matchups against their Mid-American Conference East Division opponent at home, dating back to a two-point loss on Jan. 7, 1987.
The Midnight Blue & Gold stunned the Bobcats with a 24-6 run that lasted into the final minutes of the opening half and never looked back. UT shot 26-of-65 (40.0 %) from the field, including a 14-of-31 (45.2%) effort in the first half, while holding the visitors to just 16.7 percent (4-of-24) shooting in the opening period and 28.6 percent (14-of-49) overall. The lead swelled to as much as 31 points in the second frame after Toledo took a 30-12 advantage into intermission.
Senior Yolanda Richardson, the MAC leader in overall field goal percentage, led all scorers with 15 points on an efficient 7-of-10 from the floor. Richardson also grabbed six rebounds, blocked two shots and dished out two assists in 20 minutes on the floor. No other UT scorers reached double figures, but 12 of the 13 that saw action recorded at least two points.
Junior Andola Dortch collected nine points and five boards in 21 minutes before going down with an injury and was kept on the bench for precautionary reasons. Senior Naama Shafir and sophomore Inma Zanoguera both registered seven points.
Shafir also dished out nine assists to establish a new UT career record. She entered the game trailing former assist queen Dana Drew (1990-95, 659 assists) by one helper and now sits with a total of 667. The fifth-year senior also hauled in five boards and had a team-high four steals. Zanoguera and senior Lecretia Smith each ripped down a game-high nine rebounds.
Ohio's Alex'ie Baldwin paced the visitors with 11 points and six rebounds. Senior Symone Lyles also reached double digits with 10 points.
The closet Ohio came to UT was a 2-2 tie at the beginning of the game. Toledo then used a 17-4 spurt within the first 10 minutes of action to take over. Richardson provided the spark early on with six points in the post. Dominating the opening 10 minutes of action has been an advantage for the Rockets all season, as they are outscoring their opponents by 7.3 (18.7-11.4) points during that stretch.
The Rockets outscored the Bobcats in the paint, 44-22, and cleaned the glass with 17 more rebounds than the visiting squad (season-high 51-34) to help them post their 17th-consecutive victory against a cross-division foe.
Toledo will host MAC West Division rival Western Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 3. The opening tip is scheduled for Noon in Savage Arena.
Buffalo 78, Miami 70
OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami placed four players in double figures, led by Hannah Robertson's 18 points, but an 11-3 run over the final 2:52 lifted Buffalo to a 78-70 victory over the RedHawks Thursday afternoon at Millett Hall. The loss snapped Miami's five-game winning streak. The 'Hawks fall to 13-7 overall and 5-2 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulls improve to 7-13 overall and 5-2 in the MAC.
Miami came into the game allowing only 57.3 points per game, but the Buffalo offense came out firing, hitting 11 three-point baskets during the contest. The Bulls shot 46.6 percent (27-for-58) for the game.
Kirsten Olowinski recorded her seventh double-double of the season for the RedHawks, finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Erica Almady scored a career-high 17, while Courtney Osborn contributed 13 points. Miami shot 40.3 percent (27-for-67) for the game but only 21.1 percent (4-for-19) from behind the arc.
Both teams came out playing a fast pace to begin the game as Olowinski hit a pair of layups, while Hannah Robertson and Haley Robertson each scored to give the 'Hawks an early 12-7 advantage. In front 14-12, a layup from Almady followed by three straight three-pointers from Osborn were part of a 16-5 run that gave Miami its largest lead at 30-17 with 6:04 remaining in the half.
Buffalo's three-point shooting became a factor towards the end of the first half. The Bulls hit three shots from behind the arc as part of a 15-4 run that cut their deficit to only two at 34-32. A jumper from Olowinski put the lead back to four, but Buffalo answered back with a basket of its own to send the game into the break with the RedHawks in front, 36-34.
Hannah Robertson led Miami with 10 points in the first half, while Olowinski and Osborn each had nine. The RedHawks shot 44.1 percent (15-for-34) during the period.
Neither team could establish a lead of more than four points during the first 18 minutes of the second half. Each time Miami looked to pull away, the Bulls would answer with a timely three-point basket. Tied at 52, layups from Olowinski and Osborn made it 56-52 with 9:00 remaining in the game. The teams traded buckets, with a Hannah Robertson jumper giving the Red and White a 58-54 advantage with 8:25 to go.
Buffalo responded with a 6-0 run over the next two and a half minutes to go back in front 60-58. A Hannah Robertson jumper tied the score, but the Bulls went right down the floor with another layup. Trailing 64-62, Almady would hit a jumper in the lane despite getting hit on the arm. She converted the free throw to put the 'Hawks up 65-64 with 4:28 to go.
A three-pointer from Buffalo made it 67-65, before Hannah Robertson tied the score with a jumper. A pair of baskets from the Bulls started the closing 11-3 run, with the key playing coming with the RedHawks trailing 71-68 with 2:00 to go. Off a missed three-pointer, Miami got two offensive rebounds and two layup attempts at the basket. Unable to convert, Buffalo took it the length of the court and recorded an old-fashioned three-point play to make it a six-point advantage and put the game out of reach.
The score was tied nine times, while the lead changed another nine times throughout the game. Miami outrebounded Buffalo, 42-32, for the contest. Osborn led the 'Hawks with six assists, while Hannah Robertson had three steals.
Miami looks to get back on the winning track when it travels to Northern Illinois on Sunday for a 2 p.m. (EST) contest. The game will be broadcast live on STO and ESPN3. Tim Bray's audio call will also be available on WMOH and Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.