Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Western Michigan 86, Miami 75
Central Michigan 87, Kent State 53
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan weathered a late rally by Miami, defeating the RedHawks in overtime Wednesday at University Arena, 86-75. With the win, WMU improves to 4-2 in Mid-American Conference play and 8-9 overall. The Broncos are off to their best conference record since 2008 when the team lost its MAC opener and then won its next six games.
Sophomore Miracle Woods led Western Michigan with her second double-double of the season, scoring a career-high 31 points while hauling in 12 rebounds and recording three blocks. Woods was nearly perfect from the free throw line, making her first 15 attempts before missing a 16th. Her free throw total ranks as the third most made in WMU single game history.
WMU also got notable efforts from juniors Marquisha Harris and A.J. Johnson, who routinely made big plays for Western Michigan down the stretch. Harris finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Johnson’s final line read 15 points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Western Michigan used efficient shooting and a stingy defense to build a nine-point halftime lead, 41-32. The Broncos shot 50 percent from the floor, while holding Miami to 33.3 percent. The margin would have been bigger, but the RedHawks made the most of their 3-point attempts, going 5-for-9 from behind the arc.
Jazmine Windham was an extra scoring threat for WMU in the first half, where she scored all 10 of her points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Western Michigan stretched its lead to 52-35 over the first five minutes of the second half but then hit a cold spell. After going up by 17, the Broncos didn’t score for the next five and a half minutes. Miami worked its way back to within three, 52-49, by the 9:28 mark.
Harris got the offense back on track with a much needed three-point play on WMU’s next possession and from there the Broncos had to fight tooth and nail to hold off the RedHawks.
Hannah Robertson hit a number of huge shots for Miami. Her three-pointer with 2:44 remaining tied the game at 65-65, knotting the score for the first time since the opening minutes. Harris however answered again with another three-point play regain the lead for WMU.
With her team up two, Woods sank a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left in regulation. Miami got a quick bucket on an offensive putback and fouled WMU point guard Alex Morton. Morton missed the first free throw and made the second to put WMU’s lead at three. Miami took the ball over with 3.8 seconds on the clock and the length of the court ahead. The RedHawks fired a long inbounds and eventually found Robertson for the game-tying three-pointer from the right wing as time expired.
Harris stepped up once more to knock down the first bucket of overtime, which was followed by a pair of free throws by Woods and a deep 3-pointer by Johnson to give WMU an 80-73 advantage.
The defense locked down and held Miami to 0-for-6 shooting in overtime to secure the win. The quick start resurged the offense which returned to its first half form, going 4-for-7 from the floor in OT.
Jillian Spurlock led Miami with 22 points, Robertson recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Miami shot 33.8 percent for the game while WMU shot 45.3 percent.
The Broncos made a season-high 32 free throws on 39 attempts.
The Broncos host rival Central Michigan Saturday at 2 p.m. to conclude a three-game homestand. The Chippewas are undefeated in league play with a 6-0 MAC, 10-8 overall record. Western Michigan then heads to Ball State next Wednesday for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Cardinals.
KENT, Ohio – Kent State (3-14, 0-6) couldn't outscore a hot-shooting Central Michigan (10-8, 6-0) at the M.A.C. Center Wednesday night (Jan 22), dropping the game by a score of 53-87.
Both teams shot well in the first half, as Kent State made ten of their 23 attempts. Central Michigan gained an early advantage with an 18-for-36 first half performance that also included seven made three-pointers. The Golden Flashes went on a 12-0 run to bring the lead within 14 points with 2:11 to go in the first.
However, in the second half Kent State's shooting percentage declined to 32% while Central Michigan stayed hot as the Chippewas maintained the lead to take the win.
The battle on the boards was close, as Kent State picked up 36 rebounds while Central Michigan grabbed 41. Kent State finished with a season-high 16 assists.
Amber Dunlap continued her great play in conference games this season. The senior had a career-high 22 points, setting a new career-high in scoring in the second consecutive home game. Montia Johnson led the team with seven rebounds. Rachel Mendelsohn led the team with six assists.
Kent State now hits the road for games at Miami on Saturday (Jan. 25) at 2:00pm and at Northern Illinois on Wednesday (Jan. 29) at 8:00pm. The Golden Flashes return home on Sunday, January 2 for a 2:00pm game versus Ball State. Tickets for all home games are available at kentstatesports.com or by calling the ticket office at 330-672-2244.