Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Central Michigan 84, Toledo 71
Akron 87, Ball State 78
Bowling Green 62, Buffalo 50
Northern Illinois 74, Ohio 51
Eastern Michigan 88, Kent State 70
Western Michigan 88, Miami 78
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Fourteen three-point field goals, including nine in a 49-point second half, allowed Central Michigan to erase a first-half deficit and defeat Toledo in both team’s Mid-American Conference opener Saturday afternoon, 84-71.
The Chippewas (5-8, 1-0 MAC) trailed at halftime by a pair, 37-35, but were able to quickly turn things around in the second half thanks to finding their stroke from deep.
With the Chippewas facing their largest deficit of the game with 16:21 to play, 49-43, junior Crystal Bradford took over and led the Maroon and Gold on a 26-6 run over the next seven minutes of play.
Bradford had gone just 1-of-10 from the floor in the first half, but got things going with a three with 15:35 to play and assisted on a triple by senior Taylor Johnson with 13:52 to go that gave CMU a 53-51 advantage. The shots kept falling for CMU from deep as five of their next six made field goals were from behind the arc, capped on a step-back triple from Bradford with 9:52 to play that capped the run.
A three-point play the old fashioned way by Bradford with 8:36 on the clock gave the junior seven-straight points and the Chippewas their largest lead of the game, 75-57, but it was a three by DiGuilio that put the nail and the coffin and stamped the senior’s name in the record books for eternity.
After a three by the Rockets’ (5-7, 0-1 MAC) Andola Dortch, junior Jessica Green came off a hard screen by Johnson and found DiGuilio in the corner for her fourth three of the game, giving the senior the all-time lead for three-point field goals by a man or woman at Central Michigan with 235.
The Rockets were able to cut their deficit to as 11, 78-67, but a pair of free throws by Johnson pushed CMU over the 80-point threshold for the third-straight game and Bradford put an exclamation point on her 22-point second half with a steal and fastbreak layup for CMU’s final points of the day.
Bradford finished with her seventh double-double of the season, and sixth in her last seven games, with a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds. She also dished out five assists and came away with two steals to lead CMU.
Despite a cold first half in which they shot just 37.5 percent (15-for-40), the Chippewas were able to hang around thanks in large part to the play of junior Kerby Tamm and sophomore Da’Jourie Turner.
Tamm scored 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor, while Turner went a perfect 4-for-4 to score eight of her nine points in the first half.
Tamm finished the night with 16 points, including going 4-for-4 from deep, six rebounds and three assists, while DiGuilio had four triples to score 12 points and give CMU three players in double figures. Johnson chipped in with eight points and five rebounds in an efficient afternoon off the bench.
Inma Zanoguera led the Rockets with 21 points and five assists, while Dortch had scored 17 and dished out four assists. Brianna Jones finished with a double-double for Toledo, scoring 11 points and pulling down 10 boards.
CMU is back on the road for a pair of televised contests next week when it takes on Akron on Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. and Buffalo on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. Both games will be televised on the Time Warner SportsChannel.
AKRON, Ohio -- Akron used a balanced scoring attack and shot over 50 percent from the field for the second-straight game to put away visiting Ball State, 87-78, in its Mid-American Conference opener Saturday afternoon.
UA won its league opener for the second consecutive season, improving to 7-5 overall and 1-0 in the MAC. The victory was also Akron's 12th-straight on its home floor.
Five different Zips scored in double figures for the second time this season, led by Rachel Tecca with 20 points. The senior also pulled down 11 rebounds, marking the 30th double-double of her career.
Hanna Luburgh followed with 18 points and Kacie Cassell added 13. Carly Young chimed in with 10 points, seven rebounds and game-high six assists.
Anita Brown provided a welcomed spark off the bench for Akron, posting a personal-best 14 points and three assists without a turnover in 20 minutes of work.
Ball State (5-7, 0-1) was paced by Brittany Carter with 19 points and five assists.
The Zips capitalized on an improved rebounding effort, winning the battle of the boards 39-26, including 17 on the offensive glass that led to 17 second-chance points.
Akron and Ball State traded buckets to start the game until close to the midway point of the half when Cassell kicked the ball up the floor to Brown for a quick two points to put the Zips up by seven at 25-18.
Ball State's Shelby Merder countered with a 3-pointer, but Brown went to work and scored six uninterrupted points to spark what would become a 17-2 Akron run. The run gave the Zips a 42-23 advantage with 4:02 on the clock.
Two Luburgh free throws put UA up by 20 with the score at 48-28 and 1:42 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals turned on a full court press and scored eight-straight points in the last 52 seconds, but Akron still claimed a 50-39 lead at the half.
UA returned to the floor after the break and regained its 20-point lead by 15:55. BSU did not find its first two-point field goal of the second half until the 12:47 mark, but the Cardinals slowly began to chip away at the Zips' lead.
Carter drained a pair of free throws for Ball State to ignite a 15-2 run with 8:42 left in the game, cutting the deficit to nine points at 78-69 in the Zips' favor with just over five minutes to play.
Akron gained a little breathing room when Brown found Young in transition for a layup and Tecca tacked on three points of her own to get UA's lead back up to 13 points – an advantage that was enough to withstand the final 56 seconds.
The Zips close out their longest homestand of the season on Thursday, Jan. 9 when they play host to Central Michigan at James A. Rhodes Arena. The contest, a rematch of the 2013 MAC Championship game, will be televised live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
BOWLING GREEN - Senior Alexis Rogers had 22 points and 17 rebounds as the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team opened Mid-American Conference play on a successful note. The Falcons downed the University at Buffalo, 62-50, at the Stroh Center Saturday afternoon (Jan. 4).
With the win, the Falcons improve to 11-2 on the season, while dropping the Bulls to 7-5 overall. Saturday's game was the MAC opener for both teams.
The Falcons shot just 33.9 percent from the field on the day, but BG held UB to only a 32.8% success rate. BGSU enjoyed a 51-35 rebounding advantage, with 19 offensive boards in the win.
Sophomore Miriam Justinger joined Rogers in double digits with 11 points on the day. All 11 of those points came in the opening half as the Falcons overcame an early UB advantage.
Senior Jill Stein had a well-rounded game for the Brown and Orange, with nine points, 13 rebounds and game-high totals of five assists and three blocked shots.
For Buffalo, Margeaux Gupilan had 15 points, while Joanna Smith added 10. Mackenzie Loesing added eight points, but played only five minutes before suffering an injury and missing the rest of the contest.
Loesing and the Bulls got off to a hot start, scoring the game's first seven points and forcing BGSU coach Jennifer Roos to use a timeout just two minutes into the contest. Each of Buffalo's first three offensive possessions of the game ended in points. Kristen Sharkey's jumper opened the scoring, and Loesing converted a three-point play before Gupilan's layup made it a seven-point game.
Meanwhile, the Falcons went scoreless in each of the first four possessions of the day. Finally, Rogers got to the line and hit a pair of free throws to get the home team on the board. But, Loesing immediately responded with a three-point field goal, giving the Bulls an eight-point lead, the team's largest of the day.
The teams traded points, with a Rogers putback followed by a pair of Loesing charity tosses, and the Bulls took a 12-4 lead into the first media timeout of the game. Then, however, BG proceeded to go on an 8-0 run to tie the game.
Justinger was key in that run, taking a pass from Rogers after an offensive rebound and hitting a three-pointer, then converting a Stein pass into another trey. The Falcons then tied the score when Stein found Rogers for a layup.
With Loesing out of the game due to an injury suffered with 14:50 to go in the half, the Bulls regained the lead on a Gupilan jumper. But, Justinger's third triple in just over three minutes gave the Falcons the lead for good. Rogers hit two free throws, then knocked down a pull-up jumper, and BG had a 19-14 lead.
Midway through the half, Joanna Smith's three-pointer cut BG's advantage to three points, at 20-17, but the Falcons scored the next seven points for a double-digit lead.
First, Stein scored in the paint after a feed from junior Deborah Hoekstra. Then, freshman Rachel Konieczki's pass resulted in a three-pointer by junior Jasmine Matthews. When Rogers grabbed an offensive rebound and laid the ball back up and in, BG had a 27-17 lead with just under seven minutes left in the half.
As was the case all day, however, the Bulls remained within striking distance. Jenna Rickan hit a three, and after a pair of Stein free throws, a triple by Karin Moss cut the Falcons' lead to six. Neither team would score for nearly three minutes, until Justinger hit a long two-pointer with just under a minute to play in the half. Rickan answered with a layup, making it a 31-25 BG lead at the intermission.
In the second half, senior Jillian Halfhill opened the scoring with a transition layup just over a minute in, after Stein had deflected a Buffalo pass, and BG's lead was eight. That Falcon lead stayed between seven and 10 points for the next eight minutes.
Junior Erica Donovan hit a layup after a nifty play by Justinger. The sophomore rose as if to shoot, whipping an overhead pass at the last instant. That pass found a wide-open Donovan cutting to the bucket, and her shot gave BG a 35-26 lead.
Ricken hit a layup, but Stein drove and drew a foul on Christa Baccas -- her fourth of the game -- while hitting a layup. Stein completed the three-point play by sinking the free throw, and the Falcons had a 38-28 lead at the 15:30 mark.
The teams traded points until a Halfhill jumper was followed by a pair of Rogers charity tosses, giving the hosts a 12-point margin, 44-32. Gupilan came up with a steal and layup, but a Hoekstra steal resulted in a Halfhill hoop in transition.
Smith knocked down a triple try, however, and Gupilan drained a pair of free throws out of the eight-minute media timeout. Baccas, back in the game with four fouls, stole the ball on the ensuing possession, and Smith's jumper made it a five-point game, 46-41, with 7:29 remaining. But, the hosts would respond.
On the next possession, Donovan found Rogers for a back-door layup with the shot clock winding down. BG forced Gupilan into a miss, and Donovan rebounded the ball. Then, the redshirt sophomore found Rogers in the lane again. This time, Rogers kicked the ball back out to Donovan for a three-pointer and a 51-41 lead with 6:31 left.
BG was not out of the woods yet, as layups by Smith and Sharkey reduced Buffalo's deficit to six, 53-47, with 2:52 on the clock. But, after the latter bucket, Rogers beat the Bulls down the floor, and Konieczki fired a long pass ahead to the fifth-year senior for a layup.
Sharkey misfired on a three-point try, and Stein grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Her free throws made it a 57-47 game with 2:28 remaining.
Each team went 0-for-2 at the line in their next possession, and after Gupilan missed a three-point shot, Stein found an open Hoekstra in the corner, in front of the BG bench. The junior's three-point try found nothing but net, and the Falcons had a 60-47 lead with 1:13 to go.
Moss hit a trey of her own to cut the lead to 10 points, but UB could get no closer. Hoekstra hit two free throws to close the scoring.
Halfhill and Hoekstra scored six points apiece, while Donovan had five points and six rebounds in just 13 minutes of action.
The Falcons will open the road portion of the MAC schedule with a Thursday (Jan. 9) game at Kent State, before returning home to face Akron on Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Stroh.
DeKALB, Ill. - Earning its first Mid-American Conference opening win since January 2009, Northern Illinois dominated its way to victory against Ohio at the Convocation Center, 73-51. The Huskies (5-6, 1-0 MAC) shot 53.1 percent (26-for-49) from the field and made 73.3 percent of their shots from the free throw line (22-for-30). In addition, five different NIU players scored in double-digits and its defense only allowed the Bobcats (5-7, 0-1 MAC) to shoot 25 percent from the field.
Redshirt junior Danny Pulliam (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) paced Northern Illinois with a career-high 17 points and freshman Ally Lehman (Nineveh, Ind./Indian Creek) recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, all off of the defensive glass. Other starters to score in double figures were Amanda Corral (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) and Natecia Augusta (Peoria, Ill./Limestone), who added 12 and 11 points respectively. Freshman Jazmine Harris (West Allis, Wis./Heritage Christian) was the lone player from the bench to score in double digits, dropping 15 points in 18 minutes.
The Huskies last had such a performance Nov. 16, 2011 versus Western Illinois, when NIU had six players score 10-or-more points. Northern Illinois defeated the Leathernecks that evening, 91-84, in double overtime at the NIU Convocation Center.
"We really had great options tonight," said Head Coach Kathi Bennett, "We worked hard to feed our post players a lot and work the ball high and low. That attack is only going to get better I think as Jenna (Thorp) continues to make outside shots.
"Natecia played great. She was catching the ball in traffic and really allowed herself to get to the line," continued Bennett. "Ally has such a great feel to the game and her smarts are starting to show. She's playing a ton of minutes as a freshman and is watching a lot of film so that helps her out.
"Danny was an early scoring option for us and she's such a great competitor. She was talking to the team throughout the entire game and she brings that energy to the floor. She's always up. If I had to look at Ohio's scouting report, I'd say they worked really hard to deny Amanda in the game. She did a good job letting the game to her and then attacking in the second half."
Ohio managed to capture the lead in the game as it took its only lead of the game at the 5:00 mark. Mariah Byard drained a three point basket to put the Bobcats up, 24-23, but the OU lead was short lived, as Harris converted a layup 45 seconds later to put the Huskies back on top, where they remained for the rest of the game, 25-24.
NIU surpassed the 50 percent mark from the field for the first time this season and last did so against Ohio last season, shooting 59.2 percent on February 6, 2013. While the Huskies shot 48.1 percent in the first half, they nearly surpassed the 60 percent clip in the second frame as NIU was 13-of-22 (.591) from the field.
Northern Illinois was also an impressive 22-for-30 (.733) from the free throw line, marking the first time since February 12, 2012 that the Huskies made 20-or-more shots at the charity stripe. NIU was 23-of-26 (.885) versus EMU.
Defensively, the Huskies were on point, allowing a season-low 51 points against the Bobcats. Northern Illinois stymied Ohio with its constant gap pressure as OU only made 14 of its 56 shots in the game for a field goal percentage of 25 percent. It was the lowest percentage by an NIU opponent since Eastern Illinois on December 19, 2012.
Lehman, who had a group of her former teammates from Indian Creek High School in the stands, became the second different NIU player to record a double-double this season, joining Augusta. It is the fourth-time in 2013-14 an NIU player has recorded such a performance.
Harris' 15 point performance only came in 18 minutes on the floor, as she was 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line. Pulliam surpassed her season and career-high in the contest, scoring 10 points from the field and converting seven points from the free throw line. She also dished a game high four assists with zero turnovers.
While Augusta was the second Huskie to join double figures, also making seven free throw shots, Corral was the last to score at least 10, shooting 5-of-9 from the field and going 2-for-2 at the charity stripe.
Northern Illinois totaled 28 points in the paint and tabbed 23 points from the bench. The Huskies also scored four points on fast breaks and added 11 points off of turnovers.
NIU will return to action Thursday, January 9 for a brunch matchup with Toledo at 10 a.m. Central. The game will be shown on tape delay on Time Warner Cable Sports. Check local listings. Radio will also be on tape delays. Fans can listen to Andy Garcia on the call, starting at 1 p.m. Central on WLBK 98.9 FM and 1360 AM. The NIUtube stream will be live for fans with a subscription.
KENT, Ohio - Kent State suffered an 88-70 loss to Eastern Michigan in its Mid-American Conference opener despite a career-high 17 points from freshman Krista White and double-double performances by CiCi Shannon and Montia Johnson on Saturday at the M.A.C. Center.
The Golden Flashes by as may as 22 points in the first half before going into the halftime locker room trailing the Eagles 46-30. Kent State pulled as close as 11 during a spirit second half that saw Eastern outscore Kent State by a slim 42-40 margin.
"I feel positive about our second-half performance," said Kent State head coach Danielle O'Banion. "I thought there were some good things we could take away from that second half ... It could have been a very competitive game if we would have avoided turning the ball over 13 times in the first half."
The Flashes turned the ball over 27 times overall against Eastern Michigan's full-court pressure, but those miscues led to the Eagles owning a slim 26-20 advantage in points off of turnovers.
Kent State won the battle of the boards 40-33 thanks. Johnson pulled down 12 rebounds to go with her 11 points while Shannon added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
White's 17 points came on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Fellow freshman Larissa Lurken chipped in 15 points while going 3-for-6 from three-point range.
"Earlier this week I was talking about how Krista and Larissa have really found their voices," said O'Banion. "So it's not surprising to see Krista have a game like she had. At the same time, she can't have five turnovers if she is going to play 31 minutes like this. But that's one of the many great game-teaching points we can take from this one."
Like Kent State, Eastern Michigan finished with four double-digit scorers. Janay Morton led the way with 21 points followed by 19 points from Cha Sweeney, 15 from Desyree Thomas and 10 from Natachia Watkins.
The Eagles improved to 11-1 overall while the Golden Flashes fell to 3-9 on the season.
Kent State continues its MAC season on Thursday night when Bowling Green visits the M.A.C. Center for a 7 p.m. tip.
OXFORD, Ohio – A spirited comeback from a 15-point deficit led to two attempts at 3-pointers to tie the score, but the Miami University women’s basketball team’s shot went cold in the final four minutes as Western Michigan took an 88-78 victory in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams on Saturday. The RedHawks fall to 4-8 overall and 0-1 in the MAC, while the Broncos improve to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in the MAC.
Senior guard Hannah Robertson had a strong game for Miami, leading four players in double figures with 18 points. She also had nine rebounds four assists and two steals in 33 minutes of action.
Western Michigan was hot from the field the entire game, finishing 28-for-52 (53.8 percent) from the field. It was helped by 31 RedHawk fouls, which it converted into 26-for-40 (65.0 percent) free throw shooting. MU finished the game 28-for-64 (43.8 percent) from the field and 17-for-22 (77.3 percent) from the free throw line.
The Robertson twins got Miami off to a great start right off the tip. An opening jumper by Hannah Robertson was followed by finding her sister, senior guard Haley Robertson for a three-point bucket to give the RedHawks a 5-0 lead. Hannah Robertson then hit another jumper to make it 7-0 and force WMU to call timeout only 55 seconds into the game.
The Broncos fought back to within one at 9-8, but the RedHawk offense continued to shine early. Back-to-back layups from senior forward Erica Almady and junior guard Kindsay Brandt made it 13-8 at the 13:18 mark. Haley Robertson also hit a jumper to give the ‘Hawks a 15-11 advantage, but Miami’s offense went cold as Western Michigan went on a 9-3 run to take its first lead at 20-18 with 9:50 to go in the half.
The Broncos eventually pushed the advantage to seven at 31-24, but a jumper from freshman guard Jillian Spurlock, along with five straight points from Hannah Robertson were part of a 11-7 run that made it 39-35 with 2:46 to go. WMU used a transition attack to close the half on a 12-2 run and take a 51-37 lead into the break.
The Broncos shot 17-for-31 (54.8 percent) in the first half, including 4-for-8 (50.0 percent) from behind the arc. Miami shot 14-for-32 (43.8 percent) in the period, and was led by Hannah Robertson and Spurlock with nine and eight points respectively.
Hannah Robertson had a three-pointer, while senior center Kelsey Simon had a pair of layups to help the Red and White close to within seven at 57-50 with 15:43 remaining in the game. The Broncos answered with a 13-5 run to create their largest lead at 70-55 at the 9:42 mark. But Miami had one more comeback left in it.
Spurlock started the RedHawk comeback attempt with a jumper. After free throws from Brandt and freshman forward Nicole Anderson, an old-fashioned three-point play by Hannah Robertson made it 73-64 with 7:19 to go. A layup by Simon cut the deficit to seven before WMU hit a free throw to make it 74-66 at the 6:42 mark.
Brandt hit a layup on Miami’s next possession and was fouled. She converted the free throw to pull the ‘Hawks to within seven. Brandt followed with another layup and a three-pointer to make it a three-point game at 77-74 with 4:44 to go. After forcing the Broncos to miss their next shot, Anderson and Hannah Robertson each had great looks at a tying three-pointer. Both times the shot just rimmed out. WMU grabbed the rebound and scored a bucket on the other end to change the momentum. Miami’s shot went cold from there, allowing the Broncos to finish the game on an 11-4 run to secure an 88-78 win.
In addition to Hannah Robertson’s 18 points, Spurlock finished with a career-high 16 points. She was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Brandt finished with 13 points, while Simon contributed 12. Western Michigan was led by Michelle O’Brien with 22 points. Miami outrebounded WMU, 37-36, for the game.
The RedHawks return to action on Thursday when they travel to Ohio for a 7 p.m. contest. Tim Bray has the call and it can be heard live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription. It will be joined in-progress on WMOH at the conclusion of John Cooper’s HawkTalk.