Sunday's Women's Basketball Results
Central Michigan 82, Northern Illinois 61
Toledo 48, Eastern Michigan 38
Buffalo 81, Kent State 45
Akron 71, Miami 65
Ball State 60, Western Michigan 46
Bowling Green 73, Ohio 52
Courtesy of Home MAC Sports Information Departments
Central Michigan 82, Northern Illinois 61
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University women's basketball team fell to Central Michigan, 82-61, in Mid-American Conference West Division play at the Convocation Center Sunday afternoon.
Northern Illinois (7-21, 2-13 MAC) came out strong, shooting 51.7 percent in the first half and jumped out to a 12-7 lead through the first four-and-a-half minutes. After a three-pointer by Kerby Tamm gave Central Michigan (17-11, 11-4) the 13-12 lead, the Huskies responded with a 7-0 run, keyed by a Jenna Thorp (Hinckley, Ill./Hinckley-Big Rock) three-ball, to extend its lead to 19-13 with 12:45 left in the half.
Leading 31-28 with 6:15 left in the half, the Huskies outscored CMU, 9-4 in a four-minute stretch to lead by eight, 40-32, with 1:52 left in the first half. However, the Chippewas closed out the half with back-to-back buckets to cut the lead to four going into halftime.
The second half was all Central Michigan. CMU, which shot 55.6 percent in the first half, carried its hot-hand into the second half, shooting at a 60 percent clip and 57.9 for the game.
The Chippewas defense clamped down on Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind./Hobart), holding the Huskie sophomore to two points in the second half. NIU shot 26.7 percent from the field in the second half and 39 percent for the game. Corral finished the game with a team-high 18 points.
"If it was a 31-minute game we'd be right there," said NIU head coach Kathi Bennett. "The last nine minutes got away from us. [Taylor] Johnson came in and hit some threes.
"Again, I thought we took a step and improved a great deal. They're a very good team, very talented and I felt we broke them down. We just got fatigued at the end."
Five Chippewas finished in double figures with Brandi Baker scoring a game-high 20 points. Niki DiGuilio was right behind her with 15. Taylor Johnson came off the bench to score 11 points, all in the second half, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
While Corral was held in check, freshman Alexis Lindstrom (Howards Grove, Wis./Howards Grove) picked up for her teammate, scoring 12 second-half points. Lindstrom finished with a career-high 18 points, going 6-of-10 from the field, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc.
"She always could shoot it," Bennett said of Lindstrom. "She's our best passer. I think she's really picked it up on that aspect of her game. Now she's playing fearlessly off the dribble. She's also not afraid to defend."
Thorp was the third Huskie to finish in double figures, scoring 11 points, and leading the team in rebounds with seven.
The Huskies return to action Wednesday when NIU travels to Western Michigan. Tip-off for is set for 6 p.m. and fans can follow all the action live on 1360 AM/98.9 WLBK or via Huskie All-Access on NIUHuskies.com.
Toledo 48, Eastern Michigan 38
TOLEDO, OH - The Rockets are cutting down the nets. Toledo secured a 48-38 victory over Eastern Michigan on Sunday to clinch the overall Mid-American Conference regular-season title, as well as secure the top seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament.
A crowd of 4,557 fans in Savage Arena watched UT run its win streak to 14 games and improve to 26-2 overall, 14-1 in the league.
Senior Lecretia Smith posted her fourth career double-double and finished with 10 points and a season-high 12 caroms to pace the victors. Sophomore Inma Zanoguera added a team-high 14 points with five rebounds to help the Midnight Blue & Gold sweep the regular-season series from the Eagles (8-20, 6-9 MAC) for a second time in the last three years.
The Rockets also received solid contributions from junior Andola Dortch (8 pts., 8 asts., 3 asts.), senior Kyle Baumgartner (3 pts., 9 rebs., 3 asts.) and senior Yolanda Richardson (2 pts., 11 rbs.) to capture their second conference regular-season crown in the last three seasons and ninth (1991, ‘92, ‘95, ‘97, ‘99, 2001, ‘03, ‘11, ‘13) in the rich history of the program.
The story of the game was UT's stout defense, which held EMU to its second-lowest output of the season. The Rockets stymied their division rivals and held them to 26.2 percent (17-of-65) from the field, including 11.1 percent (1-of-9) from three-point range, to snap their two-game win streak.
All-MAC candidate Desyree Thomas led the reigning MAC Tournament champions with 14 points, eight caroms and five assists.
EMU did a good job of slowing down the pace in today's contest and that wreaked havoc on UT's offensive rhythm. The Rockets were never able to get into a flow and as a result were limited to 26.2 percent (16-of-61) from the floor, their second-lowest effort in 2012-13.
Toledo came into the matchup firing on all cylinders offensively over the previous six games, averaging 75.5 ppg. They were also shooting 46.6 percent (169-of-363) from the field during this stretch, including 37.6 percent (38-of-101) from three-point land.
It was a struggle for UT offensively from the opening tip, as it missed its first 11 shots from the field and trailed 8-2 at the 14:47 mark.
Toledo quickly recovered, though, and strung together a 10-2 run to take a 12-10 lead with 10:42 remaining in the first half.
The Rockets would not be able to maintain that momentum, as they went scoreless for the next four-plus minutes and found themselves down 14-12 at 6:42.
The four-time reigning MAC West Division champions then turned to their seniors for leadership and the group delivered with flying colors. Kyle Baumgartner, Naama Shafir and Smith each recorded points in a game-changing 14-4 burst to build a 27-18 lead at the intermission. They also received clutch baskets from Dortch and Zanoguera to build an insurmountable margin at the break.
UT then stretched the lead to double figures early in the second half and never let it slip below seven points the rest of the way to secure the home triumph.
The Rockets finished with a commanding 57-41 edge on the boards and held a 14-6 advantage in second-chance points. Their 57 rebounds is a season high, surpassing their previous best effort of 51 vs. Ohio on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Toledo will return to the hardwood on Wednesday, March 6 when its wraps up its regular season against Ball State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Savage Arena.
Prior to Wednesday's contest, UT will honor five senior players - Kyle Baumgartner, Riley McCormick, Yolanda Richardson, Naama Shafir, Lecretia Smith - two senior team managers - Tion Taylor, Tabitha Yeager - and one senior student athletic trainer - Erica Dodge.
Buffalo 81, Kent State 45
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team allowed just nine points in the opening half, its fewest since joining the Mid-American Conference, and scored a season-high 81 points as it led wire-to-wire in defeating Kent State, 81-45, Sunday afternoon at Alumni Arena. The win improves UB to 10-18 and 8-7 in the MAC. The Bulls have now surpassed their win total from last season and doubled their conference victories from a year ago.
The Bulls opened the game on a 17-0 run as the Golden Flashes did not find the scoring column until the 11:54 mark of the first half. UB was moving the ball well early as senior Nicki Hopkins made the most of her Senior Day, recording three of her career-high seven assists during the game-opening run. The Bulls got their lead up to 20 following a jumper from Margeaux Gupilan at the 7:41 mark and Kent State hit just one more shot the entire half, a three pointer with 6:28 left. UB ended the half on a mini 5-0 run to take a 31-9 lead into the break. It was the first time since joining the MAC that UB had allowed single-digit points in the first half.
It was another dominating first half performance defensively in conference play as UB already had first halves of allowing 18, 15, 15, 15 and 14.
In the second half, it was all about the UB offense, which scored 50 points in the final 20 minutes, a season-high for one half and the most points scored in a half by the Bulls since last season when they defeated Kent State on Feb. 21. The Bulls did most of their damage from behind the arc as they shot 7-of-11 from three-point range in the half. The Golden Flashes never got closer than 23 in the second half as Buffalo took its first 30-point leas following a jumper from Cherridy Thornton at the 12:31 mark.
Buffalo got its lead up to 37 after a three-pointer from freshman Karin Moss, tying its largest lead of the season, which it set against Ohio back on Jan. 13. The 81 points scored by Buffalo is its highest of the season.
"We were really talking and communicating out there defensively and that is where it all starts, on the defensive end of the floor," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "We all wanted to win this game, especially for Nicki on her Senior Day, and I thought everyone did their job today."
The Bulls finished with a balanced scoring effort that included four players in double figures and three others that had at least eight points. Freshman Mackenzie Loesing led all scorers with 17 points, playing just 20 minutes. She also added a game-high four steals. Gupilan joined a pair of players off the bench with 11 points as she added three assists and two steals in just 19 minutes of action. Moss and Thornton also finished with 11 points, leading to 33 bench points.
Redshirt sophomore Kristen Sharkey finished with nine points and a game-high eight rebounds, while sophomore Sloane Walton also finished with nine points on three shots from behind the arc. Sophomore Christa Baccas added eight points, six rebounds, three assists, four blocks and two steals.
In addition to the career-high seven assists for Hopkins, she also had a career night on the boards finishing with five rebounds and three points. Junior Rachel Bantelman tied her career-high with six rebounds off the bench, while sophomore Kaila Callender also gave quality minutes, finishing with two points, a rebound and two assists in eight minutes. Fellow sophomore Kasheema Besley saw nine minutes and recorded a rebounds and an assist. All 11 players that dressed saw at least eight minutes of action, with nine of them finding the scoring column.
Kent State (3-25, 1-14) shot just 25.5% percent from the floor and was led by 12 points from Ashley Evans and 11 points from Trisha Krewson.
The Bulls will conclude the regular season on Wednesday night when they host Akron at 7:00 pm. UB has also locked up a first round home game in the upcoming MAC Tournament and will be no worse than the #7 seed. That will take place on Saturday afternoon.
Akron 71, Miami 65
AKRON, Ohio – Rachel Tecca scored a career-high 32 points, pulled down seven rebounds and grabbed six steals to lead The University of Akron women's basketball team to a 71-65 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Sunday afternoon at James A. Rhodes Arena.
Tecca's points came on the strength of a 10-for-16 performance from the field and 12-of-14 showing at the free throw line. She was 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in the final 10 seconds to secure the win and help clinch at least a share of the program's first Mid-American Conference East Division title.
The Zips, who have won their last six straight contests on their home floor to tie a program-best 11 wins at the JAR, are now assured of no less than a No. 4 seed in the Mid-American Conference tournament and likewise receive a double bye into the event's quarterfinal round on Thursday, March 14 at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
Sina King tallied her 12th double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Kacie Cassell had 10 assists.
Hanna Luburgh scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half after sitting most of the first period with two fouls, and her 3-pointer with one minute to play gave Akron (20-8, 11-4 MAC) a 67-63 edge and its largest lead at that point in the period.
Hannah McCue's two free throws pulled Miami (17-11, 9-6 MAC) to within 67-65 with 46 seconds to play and the RedHawks were forced to foul Tecca on the Zips' next two possessions.
The game was tied seven times during the second half and neither team led by more than two points until Hannah Robertson's jumper gave the RedHawks a 55-51 lead with 6:07 to play. McCue's layup with 3:28 to go extended the Miami lead to 63-58, but a pair of free throws by Tecca with 3:23 to go cut the RedHawk lead to 63-60, and about a minute later Carly Young converted a pair at the line to make it 63-62 with 2:00 remaining.
UA's ensuing full court pressure on the next Miami possession set Tecca up for a steal, which led to a bucket by Luburgh that gave the Zips a 64-63 lead with 1:54 to go and MU was unable to catch up.
Akron weathered an 8-2 Miami run in the final three minutes of the first half and held a 37-33 advantage at intermission. UA is 18-0 this year when leading at halftime.
Courtney Osborn led Miami with 23 points, but fouled out with 3:23 to play. Kirsten Olowinski scored 17 points and had 16 rebounds for the RedHawks.
Akron closes out the regular season on Wednesday, March 6 at Buffalo at 7 p.m. ET. If the Zips defeat UB, they will claim the East Division crown outright and could earn as high as a No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament.
Ball State 60, Western Michigan 46
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State women's basketball team clinched a bye in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament with its 60-46 win over Western Michigan Sunday afternoon in Worthen Arena.
It is the first time the Cardinals have earned a bye in the MAC Tournament since 2009.
All seven Cardinals who played Sunday scored at least five points, led by Brittany Carter with a game-high 18. Guard Brandy Woody grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds.
Katie Murphy scored nine points, while Woody and Shanee' Jackson added eight each. Jackson, Ball State's lone senior, played her final game at Worthen Arena.
Ball State led the entire contest and used a 17-8 run midway through the first half to take the 36-22 halftime advantage over Western Michigan.
The Cardinals built their largest lead of the contest at 47-27 with 12:24 remaining in the contest after free throws from Shelbie Justice.
Western Michigan began to chip away at the Cardinals' lead with five minutes left to play. They drew within 10 (56-46) with 36.8 seconds on the clock but could get no closer.
For the game, Ball State held Western Michigan to 25 percent shooting for the game and 16 percent from beyond the arc.
The Ball State women's basketball team will end its 2012-13 regular season when it travels to Mid-American Conference leader Toledo Wednesday, March 6 for a 7 p.m. tipoff in Savage Arena.
Bowling Green 73, Ohio 52
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSU Athletic Communications) - The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team took control early on Sunday afternoon (March 3), scoring the first 12 points of the game en route to a 73-52 win over Ohio University. The Mid-American Conference game was held at the Stroh Center.
With the victory, the Falcons improve to 19-9 overall and 10-5 in MAC play. The Bobcats drop to 6-21 and 1-14, respectively.
On 'Senior Day' at the Stroh Center, senior Chrissy Steffen had 14 points to pace four double-digit scorers for the Brown and Orange. Steffen was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field on Sunday, hitting three shots from behind the three-point line.
Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers scored 13 points, while senior Allison Papenfuss and freshman Bailey Cairnduff had 10 points apiece.
The Falcons shot a blistering 69.2 percent from the field in the first half, making 18-of-26 shots from the floor and opening up a 44-23 lead at the break. BG's lead never dropped below that 19-point mark in the second period, and the home team led by as many as 29 midway through that half.
In addition to the four double-figure scorers, the Falcons got nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds from junior Jill Stein, while junior Katrina Salinas and freshman Miriam Justinger had seven points apiece. The Falcons held a 41-29 rebounding advantage on Sunday.
Shavon Robinson was the lone double-digit scorer for the Bobcats, with 14 points.
The Falcons scored on four consecutive possessions to begin the game, opening up that 9-0 lead. A Rogers layup was followed by Justinger's foul-line jumper. With just over two minutes gone, Justinger grabbed a defensive rebound, took a return pass from junior Jillian Halfhill and hit a three-pointer in transition. BGSU's lead was 7-0, and the Bobcats used a timeout at the 17:52 mark.
Halfhill had a team-leading four assists, while three of her teammates -- Justinger, Rogers and Salinas -- had three helpers apiece.
After the timeout, the Falcons forced an Ohio turnover, and Steffen converted a driving layup with the shot clock winding down. The Brown and Orange held that 9-0 lead at the day's first media timeout.
At that point in the game, the Falcons were 5-of-5 from the field, while Ohio had taken just one shot and committed five turnovers. The 'Cats would commit just seven turnovers the rest of the afternoon, but the early deficit on the scoreboard proved to be too much to overcome.
BG's lead reached 12 points when Halfhill found an open Steffen for a left-corner three. Ohio finally got on the board with five-and-a-half minutes gone on a Kiyanna Black layup, but the Brown and Orange responded with seven-straight points for a 19-2 lead.
That 7-0 run began with another three-pointer from Steffen, and Justinger hit a pull-up J, then fed Papenfuss in transition for a layup at the 12:58 mark.
Ohio then went on a mini-run, scoring six points in a row, but a steal by Salinas resulted in a Rogers layup, and Salinas then knocked down a three-ball after Steffen made the 'extra' pass. That Salinas shot gave the Falcons a 24-8 lead.
The lead was still 16 points after the Falcons fed Rogers for a pair of layups on back-to-back possessions. Then, Steffen drained another three-point shot for a 31-12 lead.
BG's lead reached 20 points for the first time after Papenfuss got a defensive rebound, ran the floor and took a nifty pass from Salinas for a layup at the 2:37 mark. That was the first of six consecutive points by the senior, as she again was on the receiving end of a Salinas pass for a layup with 1:19 left, then hit a pair of free throws with 42 seconds on the clock for an 8-0 BG run and a 43-19 lead. Ohio scored four of the final five points of the half to cut the deficit to 21 points at the break.
BG's 69.2% field-goal rate in the first half included a 5-of-8 effort from three-point land. The Falcons made five of the first six long-range tries of the game before missing two in a row to end the half.
The Brown and Orange had 18 points in the paint to the Bobcats' four in the first half, and BG also had advantages of 12-0 in fast-break points and 14-4 in bench scoring in the opening 20 minutes.
Steffen had 13 of her points in that opening half, with a 5-of-5 effort from the field. Rogers scored 10 points prior to halftime, going 5-of-7 from the floor.
The second half began with Rogers finding senior Danielle Havel for an easy layup, but the Bobcats scored four-striaght points to prompt a BGSU timeout. The Falcons responded with a Rogers layup, and the hosts' next three points came at the foul line.
Stein hit the last two of those tosses, then made a jumper for a 53-29 lead. Five more free throws, the last four by Cairnduff, gave the Falcons a 10-0 run and a 29-point lead with 11:52 to go.
The Bobcats got back within 22 points on several occasions, but Salinas hit a straightaway trey with exactly six minutes to go, giving the Falcons a 67-42 lead.
Cairnduff's driving layup resulted in a three-point play with 4:26 to go, putting the Falcons ahead by a 70-44 score.
Following Cairnduff's free throw, BGSU coach Jennifer Roos substituted senior Simone Eli into the game. Eli had played in the Falcons' exhibition game back on November 3, but had missed the entire regular season due to injury. On 'Senior Day,' however, she saw over four minutes of action.
Roos subbed her four seniors out of the game, one by one, to extended applause from the Stroh Center crowd. Steffen left the court with 3:02 to go, while Havel came to the bench 30 seconds later.
Justinger came into the game for Papenfuss at the 1:26 mark, and sophomore Deborah Hoekstra replaced Eli with 15 seconds remaining.
BGSU shot 52.2% for the game, while holding the Bobcats to a 32.8% success rate. The Falcons had a 36-15 advantage in bench scoring on Sunday afternoon, and three of those subs -- Cairnduff, Papenfuss and Stein -- combined to go 15-of-19 from the free-throw line.
Papenfuss had seven rebounds, while Rogers and Steffen pulled down six apiece. Salinas was 2-of-3 from three-point land in the win over the Bobcats.
In addition to Senior Day, Sunday was Alumnae Day at the Stroh Center, with a number of former Falcon women's basketball greats in attendance. The alums were recognized on the court at halftime of the BGSU-Ohio game.
BGSU will hit the road to close the regular season, taking on Kent State University on Wednesday night (March 6). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio.
The MAC Tournament begins with first-round games on Saturday (March 9). BGSU could host a game on that date, or the Falcons could earn a bye depending upon Wednesday's outcomes around the league.
Currently, the Falcons are fifth in the overall MAC standings, which would result in a home game against either KSU or Ohio in Saturday's first round. BGSU could finish as high as the third seed or as low as the sixth.
To finish as the fourth seed and earn a 'double-bye' into the third round of the tourney, BGSU needs a win at KSU and a Central Michigan loss on Wednesday.
The Falcons could finish third in the final seeding with a win over KSU and losses by both CMU and Akron. Central plays at Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night, while UA is at Buffalo.