Thursday's MAC Women's Results

Updated 11/16/2012


Thursday's Women's Basketball Results
Bowling Green 79, Niagara 74
Miami 70, Robert Morris 56
Eastern Michigan 49, Michigan State 60
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Bowling Green 79, Niagara 74
The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team got a career-high 28 points from senior Chrissy Steffen and held off a charging Niagara University club down the stretch, posting a 79-74 victory Thursday night (Nov. 15). The non-conference game was held at the Gallagher Center.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 2-0 on the young season, while the Purple Eagles drop to 1-2.
Steffen made 10 of her 15 shots from the field on the night.  She scored 17 of her points in the first half, including 11 in the first five-plus minutes, helping the Falcons surge to a 24-8 lead.  The Purple Eagles would respond, however, cutting the BG lead to as few as five points late in the first half.
BG led by as many as 12 in the second period, but the hosts kept coming back, closing to within three points on two occasions in the final seconds.  But, the Brown and Orange salted the game away at the free-throw line.
The Falcons went 29-of-37 from the stripe in the game, including a 7-for-9 effort in the final minute.  Steffen and junior Jillian Halfhill each made a pair of tosses in the final 15 seconds to help clinch the road win.
Steffen's previous career high of 27 points came in the Falcons' win over Kent State in last season's Mid-American Conference opener at the Stroh Center (Jan. 4, 2012).
Halfhill joined Steffen in double digits with 14 points on the evening.  Her point total included a 10-of-12 from the stripe.  Steffen was 5-of-7 from the line, while both senior Danielle Havel and freshman Miriam Justinger were a perfect 4-for-4.
Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers had nine points on the night, tying for game honors with seven rebounds.  Havel and Justinger each scored seven, and Havel also had seven boards as the Falcons held a 42-35 advantage in that category.
Newcomers Katrina Salinas and Bailey Cairnduff had six and five points, respectively, in the victory.
Lauren Gatto paced three double-digit scorers for the hosts, with 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting.  Chanel Johnson and Meghan McGuinness had 14 and 13, respectively, in the game.
Steffen gave the Falcons the lead right away, hitting a layup only seven seconds into the game. McGuinness responded with a three-pointer, but moments later, a Halfhill runner tied the game at 5-5, and the junior split a pair of free throws to give the Falcons the lead for good.  Clearly, though, the outcome was far from decided.
The visitors were heating up, however.  Halfhill found Steffen spotting up for a three-pointer on the break, and the Falcons' lead was 9-5.  Gatto hit a jumper in the paint, but Steffen split a pair of charity tosses, then stole the ball and scored an uncontested layup.
Justinger drove the lane, drew a foul and hit both shots for a 14-7 lead, and Halfhill drove and dished to Steffen for another trey.  Then, Steffen found Cairnduff for a triple and a 20-8 lead.  When Justinger took a pass from senior Allison Papenfuss and knocked down yet another long-distance shot, the Falcons were up by 15.  A Papenfuss free throw completed a 15-1 run and gave the visitors a 24-8 advantage.
Niagara, however, responded with a 9-0 run in a span of just under two minutes.  That run started with a Taylor McKay layup, and continued with Shy Britton's jumper.  Then, McGuinness hit a second-chance three-pointer, and Britton scored inside again. BG's lead was just 24-17.
Salinas snapped the Falcons' scoring drought with a putback, and hit a long two-pointer just over a minute later.  Two free throws from both Steffen and Salinas gave the visitors a 32-19 margin at the 7:15 mark.
McKay scored for the home side, but Steffen went through, around and under several would-be defenders for a layup with six minutes left before the half.
McGuinness reeled off five-straight points, then got a steal that led to a Gatto layup in transition, and BG's lead was back down to six points, at 34-28.
The Falcons got several points at the stripe over the next few minutes, building the lead to nine points, but Niagara cut the margin to five on a pair of free throws and another Gatto layup. Steffen, though, hit a shot from just inside the three-point line as the first-half buzzer sounded, giving the Falcons a 41-34 lead at the break.
BGSU enjoyed a 24-12 rebounding advantage in the first half, with the Falcons' 10 offensive boards nearly matching the Purple Eagles' total at both ends of the court.
Each team had three players pick up two fouls in the opening half, and that foul trouble multiplied in the early stages of the second period.  No fewer than four players - two from each side - picked up their third foul within the first four-plus minutes of the half.  That group included the Falcons' Rogers and Halfhill, and the Purple Eagles' McGuinness and Britton.
Halfhill drove the lane and drew the third foul on McGuinness at the 18:33 mark, sinking a pair of free throws for a nine-point advantage, and Steffen's layup gave BG a 47-36 lead.
Rogers, however, was whistled for a foul on a slightly dubious call as she went the the floor for a loose ball after knocking it away from an NU player.   Havel drew Britton's third foul and sank a pair of free throws, but Halfhill then was called for her third foul as the teams headed into the first media timeout of the half.
Havel hit a big shot, calling for the ball, receiving it from Cairnduff and knocking down a three-pointer for a 52-41 BG lead with just over 14 minutes left.  Then, Salinas took a pass from Steffen at the right elbow and made the extra pass, finding an open Cairnduff in the corner.  The freshman hit a shot from just inside the arc.
Kayla Stroman knocked down a three for the hosts, but Steffen answered with a triple of her own from the right elbow,giving the Falcons a 57-46 lead.  Papenfuss hit a shot, and Havel drove the fourth foul on Britton with 11:01 left, sinking each of the resulting tosses for a 61-50 margin.
The teams traded layups, and Steffen answered a Chanel Johnson free throw by driving down the lane for a layup and a 65-53 lead with 8:23 on the clock.  Moments later, Rogers went left-to-right across the lane and scored on a finger-roll layup, and BG was ahead, 67-55.
Back came the hosts, as a layup by Gatto cut the Falcons' advantage to 69-60 with just over six minutes left.  Neither team would score for the next three-and-a-half minutes, before Johnson's layup made it a seven-point game.
The Falcons were called for a foul on that Johnson layup, but the ensuing free throw did not drop.  NU's Britton came up with the rebound, however, keeping the possession alive. That possession ended with a pair of Britton shots from the stripe, cutting BG's lead to five points with 2:15 remaining.
A Steffen shot was off the mark, but Rogers knifed between two NU players to grab the rebound. She drew a foul and hit one of the two throws, putting the Falcons up by six points with 1:47 left.
Two McGuinness free throws cut the lead to 70-66 with 1:33 left, but Rogers hit a driving layup with 1:07 on the clock.
Gatto answered with a layup, but Halfhill made a pair of free throws with 53.2 seconds left.  After a Stroman bucket, the Purple Eagles fouled Steffen, who missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, but the hosts could not convert at the other end, and the ball went back to BG on alternate possession as the teams battled for a rebound with 24.3 seconds left.
Rogers was fouled and split a pair of free throws, but the Falcons fouled Val McQuade, who made two tosses to cut BG's lead to 75-72 with 14.4 seconds remaining.
Johnson fouled Steffen in the backcourt on the ensuing inbounds pass, and the senior hit both throws for a 77-72 lead with 12.6 seconds left.  McQuade made two more free throws, but Halfhill sealed the victory with a pair of tosses with just 5.8 seconds left.
The Falcons shot 11-for-28 in each half, and BG was 6-of-15 from three-point land on the night, led by Steffen's three triples.  The hosts shot 43.3 percent from the field in the game, and went 5-of-15 from long distance.  McGuinness made three treys to lead Niagara.
The Falcons continue a four-game road swing with a Monday (Nov. 19) contest at nationally-ranked Purdue University.  That game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
Miami 70, Robert Morris 56
OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University women's basketball played great defense to begin the second half, holding Robert Morris to only two points over the first eight minutes. That allowed the RedHawks to break open what was a three-point halftime lead as they went on to defeat the Colonials, 70-56, Thursday evening. Miami improves to 2-1 on the seasons, while RMU falls to 0-3.
Courtney Osborn led the way for the 'Hawks with 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting. It was the 38th 20+ point game of her career, which ties Amanda Jackson (2003-08) for the school record.
With the score tied at five, Robert Morris went on an 8-0 run to take a 13-5 lead early. Osborn and Haley Robertson quickly got the RedHawks back into it with back-to-back threes. Miami would then tie the score at 15 off a pair of Erica Almady free throws with 12:11 remaining in the half.
Tied at 19, another three-pointer from Osborn would give the 'Hawks a 22-19 advantage at the 8:22 mark. The Colonials would regain the advantage at 28-25, but a Haley Robertson trey began a 7-0 run that put Miami up four with 1:41 to go. RMU hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to make it 32-30, RedHawks, at the half.
Osborn led Miami with 15 points during the opening period. The Red and White shot 40.7 percent (11-for-27), while holding Robert Morris to 32.3 percent (10-for-31) shooting.
While Miami was holding RMU scoreless to begin the second half, Kirsten Olowinski had a pair of layups, while Kristin Judson nailed a jumper to put the RedHawks up 39-30. After the Colonials finally scored their first basket of the period over five minutes in, a jumper by Hannah Robertson and two more layups from Olowinski gave Miami a 13-point lead at 45-32. The RedHawks continued to feed it inside as Judson and Simon each put in short jumpers. A three-pointer from Maddie McCallie would give Miami its largest lead at 60-42 with 7:14 to go.
A 5-0 run by RMU would cut the deficit to 13 at the 5:51 mark. Osborn answered with a pair of free throws and a layup to make sure the Colonials would not get any closer. They would score only eight points the rest of the way as Miami finished off a 70-56 win.
Osborn had six steals and three assists to go with her 23 points. Olowinski added 10, while Judson nearly recorded a double-double with eight points and a career-high seven rebounds. The RedHawks shot 48.1 percent (26-for-54), while holding Robert Morris to 33.9 percent (19-for-56) shooting. They forced to the Colonials into 22 turnovers.
Miami will be off until after the Thanksgiving holiday. The RedHawks return to action on Friday, Nov. 23 when they host College of Charleston at 6 p.m. They will also take on Youngstown State on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. For only $20 fans can attend both games, as well as the football game on Friday vs. Ball State, the men's basketball game against James Madison and the volleyball match vs. Cincinnati on Saturday.
Eastern Michigan 49, Michigan State 60
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( –– The Eastern Michigan University women's basketball team suffered it first setback of the season falling to Michigan State University, 60-49, at home Tuesday night, Nov. 15, here at the Convocation Center.
The game marked the return of former EMU head coach Suzy Merchant who has been at the helm of the MSU women's team for the past six seasons.
After a 28-28 halftime tie, EMU (1-1) struggled from the field in the second half while MSU (2-0) relied on hot shooting from three-point range, going 8-of-18 (44 percent) coupled with two runs off 11-5 and 10-0 to pull away and put the game out of reach.
EMU was led by senior Miranda Tate (Bolingbrook, ILL-Bolingbrook (Providence) with 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting and 4-of-10 from behind the arc. Junior India Hairston (Flint, Mich.-Hamady) added 10 points with a team-high nine rebounds while junior Natachia Watkins (South Euclid, Ohio-Brush) chipped in which 11 points.
Michigan State was paced by junior guard Klarissa Bell with 20 points and senior guard Jamine Hines with 13.
MSU moved ahead, 22-15, after the second media timeout due to hot outside shooting as the Spartans went 4-for-4 from behind the arc. EMU responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead, 23-22, capped off by Watkins' lay-up and ensuing free throw after being fouled. MSU hit two more three-pointers while Bird added a jumper followed by a three-point bucket to knot the score 28-all at the half.
Michigan State opened the second half with an 11-5 run and outscored the Eagles 18-9 overall to increase its lead to 44-37 by the midway point. EMU got a jumper from Hairston and free throw by Amber Bogard (Cleveland, Ohio-Beachwood) to pull within six points, 46-40. However, the Spartans once again went on another 10-0 run to increase the lead to 56-40 and eventually close out the game. 
The Eagles continue their five-game homestand Sunday, Nov. 18, with a 2 p.m. tilt against the University of Detroit Mercy.