Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE
Bowling Green and Miami rolled in their opening round matches while Buffalo eventually pulled away from NIU and Western Michigan won their road matchup without ever trailing.
(5) Bowling Green 76, Kent State 35
This was not supposed to be a close game, and I didn't see how a 3-win team was going to hang with the Falcons. BGSU took a 24-4 lead after eight minutes. It was 44-16 at halftime, and it never got better.
Jillian Halfhill, BGSU: 10 points (1-3 FG, 7-7 FT), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Allison Papenfuss, BGSU: 13 points, 10 rebounds
Alexis Rogers, BGSU: 13 points (5-5 FG), 3 rebounds
Tamzin Barroilhet, Kent State: 12 points, 7 rebounds
(6) Miami 83, (11) Ohio 61
This one wasn't nearly as bad, but what strikes me as odd was Courtney Osborn playing most of the game to the point that she racked up 39 points. Perhaps a bit overdoing it, given the competition, no?
Courtney Osborn, Miami: 39 points (12-17 FG, 8-8 FT, 7-9 3PT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists
Kirsten Olowinski, Miami: 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks
Symone Lyles, Ohio: 11 points, 5 rebounds
(7) Buffalo 56, (10) Northern Illinois 46
One of the better games, obviously. Buffalo again had some superior play by Christa Baccas and freshman Mackenzie Loesing. What a nice bounce-back year after a dismal 2011-12 season. They're going back to Cleveland. NIU struggled to shoot the ball, which made it difficult to ever gain control of the game. Amanda Corral, in particular, had a tough game, mustering just seven points on 3-for-14 shooting.
Christa Baccas, Buffalo: 8 points, 14 rebounds, 6 steals, 6 blocks
Mackenzie Loesing, Buffalo: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Natecia Augusta, NIU: 10 points, 4 rebounds
(9) Western Michigan 80, (8) Eastern Michigan 72
Despite being the closest game according to margin of victory, WMU never trailed in the game, keeping a double-digit lead for most of the second half. The Eagles could at times get within six or eight points, but then they couldn't get a defensive stop when they needed it. EMU beat WMU twice in the regular season, which is why "it's tough to beat a team three times in a season" remains a tired cliché - for its accuracy. But the game also featured five incredible stat lines:
Desyree Thomas, EMU: 19 points (8-11 FG), 10 assists, 9 rebounds, 5 steals
Miracle Woods, WMU: 29 points (12-17 FG), 10 rebounds, 3 blocks
Julia Henson, WMU: 21 points (7-12 3PT), 4 assists, 2 blocks
Corie Buchanan, WMU: 14 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
Natachia Watkins, EMU: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals
SECOND ROUND, MARCH 13
(5) BGSU vs. (9) WMU
As previously mentioned, it looks like a likely win for the Falcons but Western did edge BGSU for a win in Kalamazoo earlier this season.
(6) Miami vs. (7) Buffalo
Clearly the RedHawks will be favored, but oddly enough these two teams split the season series with wins at each others' arenas.