Saturday Women's Basketball Results
Eastern Michigan 73, Western Michigan 69
Miami 76, Bowling Green 61
Buffalo 56, Ohio 35
Ball State 64, Northern Illinois 54
Akron 76, Kent State 69
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Eastern Michigan 73, Western Michigan 69
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University women's basketball team survived what turned into a nail biting 73-69 win over Western Michigan University Saturday, Feb. 23. After controlling a commanding lead for almost 30 minutes, there were six lead changes before the Eagles' leaders took control and defended their home court at the Convocation Center.
The Green and White shot 26-of-66 (39.4 percent) whereas the visitors shot 25-of-54 (46.3 percent). Western's (9-17; 5-8 MAC) Michelle O'Brien led all scorers with 21, including 15 points from beyond the arc. Four Eagles scored in double figures including Natachia Watkins (South Euclid, Ohio –Brush) with 13, India Hairston (Flint, Mich. – Hamady) with 12, Bianca Cage (Memphis, Tenn. – Southwind) with 14 and Desyree Thomas (Waterford, Mich. – Mott) who scored 15 and dished out nine dimes. The Eagles were tenacious on defense snatching 13 steals. The Green and White cleaned the offensive glass as resiliently as they played defense, pulling down 15 offensive rebounds for 20 second chance points.
The Eagles (7-19; 5-8 MAC) struck first after Thomas crossed up her mark, drew the second defender, then passed off to an open Sara Stone (Plymouth, Mich. – Salem) who easily turned and finished a layup. The pick and roll was effective early for the Green and White who scored their first four in the paint.
After five minutes had elapsed, sharpshooter Cage entered the game and immediately sunk her first touch. At the ten minute mark Cage hit on consecutive three-pointers to push the Eagles lead to eight.
The Green and White came out playing tough defense, grabbing four steals and forcing two shot clock violations in the first ten minutes.
From the ten-minute mark on, scoring was back and forth, with neither team able to make a stop and each team responding to the other's scoring. Western's Michelle O'Brien carried the load for the Broncos scoring three treys in a three minute stretch.
The Eagles scored on back to back possessions, a three from Denaya Brazzle (Portland, Ore. –Jefferson) and a runner from Thomas, and then forced the Broncos to throw the ball out of play to head into the locker room on the right foot leading 37-34.
In the first half, EMU shot 15-of-32 (46.9 percent) from the field and 3-of-4 (75 percent) from three-point land. Eight first-half offensive rebounds facilitated 10 second-chance points for the Eagles. WMU shot 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) from the field and made 3-of-6 (50 percent) of its three pointers, all made by O'Brien. Cage and O'Brien each scored 11 in the first 20 minutes.
The second half got started with Hairston posting up and effectively using her footwork to score the half's opening bucket.
Coach Tory Verdi's squad continued its merciless defense, generating turnovers during the Black and Gold's first five possessions of the half. The Eagles' opportunistic defense powered a 13-0 run, including six from Watkins finishing on the break.
Western was able to find some success throwing the ball in low to Jessica Jessing who scored from below the basket on back-to-back possessions before Coach Verdi called a timeout to regroup. The Eagles came out of the timeout, with 11:27 remaining, and responded with a Cage three to reestablish their lead of 12 points.
An 11-0 run capped by another O'Brien triple brought the Broncos back to within one score, before the unflappable Hairston ended the drought for EMU with another make from the post.
With five minutes remaining, Jessing made a short jumper to put the Broncos up for the first time in the match. Thomas quickly responded finishing a determined drive to recapture the lead for the Eagles. Western's sniper, O'Brien, had a response of her own in the form of a three pointer to give the Black and Gold its biggest lead of the game.
After two Stone free-throws tied it up, Thomas made an incredibly athletic steal on the inbound then tipped in her own miss to put the Eagles back in front with 2:14 left on the clock.
With only one minute remaining Watkins reestablished herself as an authoritative game closer scoring on back-to-back possessions to put the Eagles two scores in front.
Eastern Michigan returns to the hardwood Thursday, Feb. 28, against Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Miami 76, Bowling Green 61
OXFORD, Ohio - Honored for becoming the Miami University women's basketball team's leading scorer during a pregame ceremony, senior point guard Courtney Osborn had one of the best games of her career in leading the RedHawks to an important 76-61 victory over Bowling Green Saturday afternoon. She finished with 33 points, including a career-high tying seven 3-point makes. Miami improves to 16-10 on the season and 8-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Falcons fall to 17-9 overall and 8-5 in the MAC.
With her fifth point of the contest, Osborn became the first Miami women's basketball player to crack the 2,000-point barrier. She is the 12th player in MAC history to reach 2,000 points and now ranks 11th in league history with 2,028 career points.
Osborn finished the game 12-for-17 from the field and 7-for-9 from behind the arc. She also had seven assists and a block while playing all 40 minutes.
Kirsten Olowinski continued to make history as well on Saturday. The senior forward overcame first-half foul trouble to finish with 12 points and 11 rebounds. It was the 39th double-double of her career, adding to her Miami record. She also finished with two assists, two blocks and two steals in 33 minutes of action.
Bowling Green was the aggressor early on, jumping to leads of 6-2 and 10-7. Both times the run was ended when Osborn drained a three-pointer. Tied at 10, Osborn found Hannah Robertson for a go-ahead layup at the 14:34 mark. The RedHawks would not trail again for the rest of the game.
A pair of three-pointers and a jumper by Osborn helped Miami push the advantage to 11 at 22-11. The Falcons responded with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to only four at 24-20 with 8:55 to go. Once again Osborn came up with the big shot, draining the three-pointer to make it a seven-point game. The teams traded buckets until Jillian Halfhill hit a three-pointer of her own to make it 32-27 at the 3:28 mark.
Miami would close the first half strong, as Osborn, Haley Robertson and Kelsey Simon each hit shots to give the 'Hawks a 38-27 lead. Bowling Green would answer with a 5-0 run to cut the advantage to six, but Osborn responded with her sixth 3-point basket of the half to send the Red and White into the break up, 41-32.
Osborn finished the first half with 22 points and five assists. Miami shot 54.8 percent (17-for-31) from the field and held the Falcons to 36.7 percent (11-for-30) shooting.
Erica Almady kept the momentum going for the RedHwks early in the second half. She battled down low for a pair of buckets, part of a 12-8 run over the first 5:15 of the period that saw Miami build a 53-40 lead. Both teams ramped up the defensive pressure as neither team scored over the next four minutes of the game. That streak ended when Osborn found Almady inside for a layup that made it 55-40 with 11:04 to go.
Miami pushed its advantage to as much as 19 points at 59-40 before the Falcons made a comeback attempt. Trailing 65-48, Bowling Green went on a 9-4 run that made it 68-57 with 3:37 remaining in the game. Almady would end the Falcon run with a layup, and the RedHawks hit their free throws down the stretch to finish off the 76-61 win.
Almady finished as Miami's second-leading scorer with 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half. The RedHawks shot 55.8 percent (29-for-52) for the game, including 47.4 percent (9-for-19) from behind the three-point arc. They held Bowling Green to 33.3 percent shooting (20-for-60).
The Falcons outrebounded Miami, 36-32. Fans that picked up the pledge sheet as part of the women's basketball team's Think Pink promotion should multiply their per rebound donation by 32 to find out how much they are going to contribute. It was also the third straight home game that the RedHawks wore their pink jerseys. These game worn jerseys are up for auction here. Bidding closes on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Miami returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 28 when it hosts Kent State at 7 p.m. It is the regular-season home finale at Millett Hall and Senior Night. Prior to the contest Osborn and Olowinski will be honored for their incredible four-year careers in a pregame ceremony.
Buffalo 56, Ohio 35
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University Women’s Basketball Team wasn’t able to pick up its second straight victory on Saturday afternoon, falling to the visiting Buffalo Bulls by a final score of 56-35 at the Convocation Center. The game served as Ohio’s 2013 Senior Day celebration the Bobcats’ annual Play 4Kay game.
Shavon Robinson (Canton, Ohio) led the Bobcats with 12 points on 5-10 shooting from the field, achieving double figures for the third straight game. She was joined in double digits by Erin Bailes (Huntington, W.Va.), who scored 11 points on 4-13 shooting.
The Bobcats struggled from the field in the loss, shooting 14-58 (24.1 percent) and 2-17 (11.8 percent) from three-point range. Ohio (6-19, 1-12 Mid-American Conference) did a good job of attacking the basket, getting to the free-throw line 12 times. Unfortunately, the ‘Cats were only able to hit five of their shots from the charity stripe.
Buffalo (9-17 7-6 MAC) fared better from the field, shooting 22-54 (40.7 percent), a figure which included a 9-22 (40.9 percent) success rate from beyond the arc. The Bulls were led in scoring by Sloane Walton, who had a game-high 14 points on 5-11 shooting. She was joined in double figures by Mackenzie Loesing (12) and Kristen Sharkey (11). Christa Baccas pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Buffalo got off to a strong start, leaping out to 9-1 lead at the 16:07 mark. The Bulls kept up this pressure, stretching their lead to 15-4 before Shavon Robinson (Canton, Ohio) hit a jumper with 6:48 remaining in the half to pull the ‘Cats within nine points.
The visitors would end the half on a 15-9 run to take a 30-15 advantage into the locker room.
Buffalo stretched its lead to 18 (38-20) when Walton hit a layup with 18:07 remaining in the second half. From this point on, the ‘Cats would go on a 6-0 run over the middle portion of the half, at one point holding the Bulls scoreless for nearly nine minutes.
Once their lead was whittled down to 12 points (38-26) at the 12:20 mark, the Bulls would end the game scoring 18 of the game’s final 27 points to earn the season sweep in the series.
Ohio will next be in action on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Akron. This game will begin a brief, two-game road swing which will conclude with a trip to Bowling Green on March 3.
Ball State 64, Northern Illinois 54
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State women's basketball team won its Mid-American Conference West Division showdown against Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals took down the Huskies by a score of 64-54.
With the win, Ball State improved to .500 on the season with a 13-13 overall mark and a 10-3 conference record. Northern Illinois falls to 7-18 overall and 2-10 in the MAC.
Brittany Carter scored her 500th career point after leading the Cardinals in scoring with 17 points. Nathalie Fontaine chipped in 15 points and Shannee' Jackson added 14 to the victory. Jackson also added a career-high 12 rebounds.
Ball State trailed the Huskies 23-20 in the first half after poor free throw shooting. The Cardinals ended the half going 2-of-10 from the charity stripe. After that, Ball State began to take control in the second half as Carter scored seven straight points to give the Cardinals the 33-28 advantage with 16:29 on the clock.
The big second half proved to be the answer for the Cardinals as they led by as many as 10 (47-37) after a layup from Fontaine with 7:16 remaining. Northern Illinois would come to within four (56-52) at the 2:10 mark but a basket from Justice stopped the Huskies momentum.
For nearly seven minutes in the first half, the Cardinals held the Huskies scoreless while building a 7-0 advantage over NIU. Ball State led by eight (11-3) at the 10:05 mark. That lead was short lived as Northern Illinois went on a 16-7 run to give the Huskies their first lead of the half, 19-18 with 2:36 remaining.
The Ball State women's basketball team continues its Mid-American Conference West Division showdown when it travels to Central Michigan Thursday, Feb. 28 in McGuirk Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Akron 76, Kent State 69
Kent, Ohio - The Golden Flashes (3-23, 1-12) played some of their best basketball on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, rival Akron (18-8, 9-4) was able to pull off the 77-71 victory on Kent State’s senior night.
Kent State came out of the gate strong, going up by six points in the first three minutes. The game went back-and-forth until Akron was able to take a ten point lead with four minutes left in the first. Jamie Hutcheson nailed a three-pointer to finish the first half with the Flashes down by six.
The Golden Flashes continued to hustle and battle in the second half. It seemed every time Akron would get a double-digit lead, Kent State would answer right back. But, their effort fell short, resulting in Akron’s first win at the M.A.C.C. in 25 years.
Kent State won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Akron 38-29. The Flashes also had four players score in double digits and four players grab five or more rebounds.
Tamzin Barroilhet lived up to her senior night. She scored 19 with 12 rebounds and three assists. Ashley Evans had her second big game in a row, netting a career-high 19 points. Trisha Krewson and Diamon Beckford also contributed, scoring 11 and ten points, respectively. Beckford also had seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Rachel Tecca led Akron in scoring with 20 points. Sina King finished with 17 and nine rebounds.
After the close, battle-fought game, Kent State hits the road ready to get a taste of victory. They travel to Miami on Thursday (Feb. 28) and Buffalo on Sunday (Mar. 3). Their last regular season game is at home against Bowling Green on Wednesday (Mar. 6).