Notes from the MAC East opener in women's basketball. Updated Thursday morning with previous single-game records:
MIAMI 95, AKRON 85 (OT) — Come for the women's basketball information, stay for the Saturday Night Live mid-level skit references. But even sans gimmicky reasons to click-thru and read, this was truly a wild back-and-forth game. Courtney Osborn had an eye-popping game: 48 points, the most by a Division I player in the last two years. (Women's BB State season stats go back to 2010-11, so it's likely the streak goes back a bit further than that ... but who among us would know?) (Update: Swish Appeal notes that Memphis' Brittany Carter scored 49 in 2009.)
This is also a single-game MAC record and school record. The MAC record was previously held by Kent State's Lindsay Shearer in 2005 (44) and the old school record was set by Kim Lancaster in 2001 (40). Ten of Osborn's 48 points came in overtime when MU ran roughshod over the Zips with a 21-11 advantage.
Osborn could not miss — well, technically she did. A lot. But 6-for-8 on threes is pretty righteous and 14-for-17 at the free throw line demonstrated she could score in all sorts of ways. In all MU took 44 free throws, and that's probably why Akron had four players foul out (three in OT).
But credit Akron for just getting to that point after blowing a great start. They began the game on a 17-3 run, had an eight-point lead, and was up by as many as 11 with 11 minutes to play before the RedHawks went on a run of their own.
Akron was down six points in the final minute. Taylor Ruper hit a three to halve the deficit, Natasha Williams's layup cut the lead to one, then after Miami's Kirsten Olowinski swished free throws, Ti'eshia Stubbs drilled a 3-pointer with one second left to force overtime.
Olowinski had a neat game too: 10 points, 19 rebounds. Haley Robertson added 17 points. Miami outrebounded UA on the offensive board 20-9. For Akron, Stubbs led the team with 18 points while Ruper and Sina King finished with 15 points each. Kacie Cassell had nine points and eight assists.
OHIO 73, BUFFALO 64 — Another near comeback happened here, although this time there was no fanciful overtime to be had. The slightly-better Bobcats had a 12-point lead that winnowed away to a tie thanks to a 13-1 run that lasted under five minutes. Suddenly it was competitive until OHIO made their free throws and UB couldn't buy a bucket to save their hides.
Four OHIOans had double-figures: Mariah Byrd topped the team with 21 and Tenishia Benson had 19. Shavon Robinson did a tad of everything with 12 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. For Buffalo, Brittany Hedderson had 15 of her 25 points in the second half and Beth Christensen played nice defense to the tune of four points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
BOWLING GREEN 76, KENT STATE 57 — Here's your key stat: KSU had 22 overall rebounds, while BGSU had 22 rebounds just on the offensive side. That kind of night for the Golden Flashes, who will get better but not this season. Chrissy Steffen is starting to make such nights a routine for her: 27 points and 10 rebounds, although those were career highs in both marks, also making this her first double-double. So I guess this particular game isn't routine yet, but— ah, you know what I mean. Alexis Rogers also had a double-double: 16 points, 11 boards.
Melanee Stubbs was the high scorer for Kent State with 12. And as a testament to the young team, only 14 turnovers against this defense is pretty good.