(Click links for box-scores.)
Bowling Green took early control of this game by forcing a rash of first half turnovers by Akron. The Falcons controlled the duo of Tecca and Luburgh enough to hold Akron to 18 points under its season average. As a result, the Falcons now have firm control of the MAC's Eastern Division.
Click HERE for a complete recap of the game (courtesy of @StatManMatt).
All reports of Central Michigan's demise were completely exaggerated. The Chippewas improved to 3-0 in the MAC with their second straight cross-division win over a contender from the East. Crystal Bradford added to her legend with one of the best games in CMU history by achieving a rare triple-double. Is there anything she can't accomplish?
Read the recap of yesterday's game by Thomas McElgunn by clicking HERE.
Youth brings with it inexperience, and inexperience inevitably brings inconsistency. This is especially true when the glare of road conference games shines bright. Eastern Michigan is at that point right now, and the glare has been no harsher than yesterday's 23-point loss at Northern Illinois.
The Huskies' Amanda Corral sank a three-pointer just 1:38 into the game to give NIU a 5-2 lead. Neither Corral nor her teammates let up after that. When Corral converted a layup with 4:59 elapsed in the first half, the Huskies took a 15-4 lead. The margin would remain double-digits for the rest of the game. An 11-1 run later in the half pushed the Eagles' deficit to 20 points (30-10), and they could get no closer than 16 points for the rest of the half. When the horn sounded for the half, NIU held a 36-19 advantage.
The Huskies cruised in the second half as the two teams played (essentially) even for the first 16 minutes of the period. Over the final 3:05, Northern Illinois pushed their lead up to a game-high 28 points (77-49) before Eastern Michigan scored the last five to make the final score 77-54.
Corral made 10 of 16 shots for NIU and scored 30 points to go with six rebounds and four assists. Jasmine Harris added 14 points off the bench, and Jenna Thorp led NIU with 13 rebounds. Freshmen Janay Morton and Cha Sweeney led EMU with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The Eagles shot just 29.5% from the floor.
NIU improves to 6-7 (2-1 MAC), while EMU falls to 11-3 (1-2 MAC).
Kent State scored 13 points in the first half and 39 overall on Thursday night against Bowling Green. That will NOT go down as their worst performance of the week on offense.
The Golden Flashes set new season lows for offensive futility on Sunday afternoon at Ball State by scoring just ten first-half points and only 31 overall. They made only 12 field goals and shot 24% from the floor. The Flashes were only 2-for-17 (11.8%) from three-point range and were even futile at the free throw line, where they were an astonishing 5-for-16 (31.3%).
Much like Thursday night, Kent State's opponents didn't exactly shatter records on offense, but Ball State did more than enough to rout the Flashes. Kent State actually scored the first points of the game just 29 seconds in, but they did not score again until 8:07 remained in the half. Despite shooting just 25% in the first half, the Cardinals actually led 17-6 until KSU scored with 2:04 before halftime, and they ended the half with a 21-10 lead.
Ball State used an 18-1 run in the second half to build a 41-15 lead with just 8:00 to play. At that point, one had to wonder if KSU would even reach 20. However, Rachel Mendelsohn came off the bench to score seven straight points (including two three-pointers) to make the score 41-22. Eventually, the Cardinals finished off a 55-31 win.
BSU shot just 31.8% in the second half and only 28.3% overall, but they made 17 second-half free throws. Ball State also had 23 turnovers, but they allowed KSU to score just eight points as a result. Meanwhile, Kent State had an incomprehensible 32 turnovers -- yes, the Flashes had more turnovers than points. Those resulted in 25 points for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals were led by Nathalie Fontaine, who scored 11 points. Mendelsohn's seven points late in the second half were all she scored, but she led Kent State in points. She also led the team with eight rebounds.
Ball State is now 7-7 (2-1 MAC), and Kent State falls to 3-11 (0-3 MAC).
For the second consecutive game, the Rockets built a big halftime lead at home. This time, they refused to allow Miami to sneak back into the game. Toledo used arguably its best defensive effort of the season to win 68-52. The 52 points were the second-fewest scored against Toledo this season, and Miami's 30.4% shooting was the worst by any Toledo opponent thus far.
Janelle Reed-Lewis began the scoring with a jumper just 1:10 into the game, and she combined with Inma Zanoguera to score 11 of Toledo's first 12 points. Janice Monakana then scored three straught as Toledo built a 15-5 lead with 14:09 left in the half. Miami would not get closer than ten points for the rest of the game. The Rockets scored only eight points over the next eight minutes, but the RedHawks accomplished even less on offense as Toledo led 23-9 with 6:16 to go in the half. A 15-4 run gave Toledo a 20-point margin, its biggest of the half, with 1:31 left. They eventually settled on a 37-21 halftime edge.
The Rockets scored the first basket of the second half and eventually built their lead to 26 points (60-34) before Miami went on an 18-8 garbage-time run during the final 6:30.
UT shot 45.3% overall but struggled from long-range as they went just 2-for-20 (10%). However, the Rockets were impressive on the inside, as they outscored Miami 24-14 in the paint. Also, their 15 offensive rebounds led to a 24-9 edge in second-chance points. They added 20 takeaways and held a 15-9 advantage in points off turnovers. Zanoguera led Toledo with 18 points and nine rebounds, and she also contributed four assists. Miami played 13 players, 11 of whom scored. In fact, 34 of their 52 points were from bench players. Jessica Rupright led the RedHawks with nine points.
Toledo improves to 7-7 (2-1 MAC), and Miami drops to 4-10 (0-3 MAC).
Remember what we said above about youth ultimately leading to inconsistency? Ohio is on the positive side of that scale right now. The Bobcats used strong defense and an efficient offense to earn a decisive 70-52 victory over the Broncos on Sunday afternoon.
Ohio forced 17 turnovers and pulled down 51 rebounds, including 17 on offense. The Bobcats combined for 29 points as a result of those turnovers and offensive rebounds. On the opposite end, they gave up just seven turnovers and allowed only seven offensive rebounds to Western Michigan. The Broncos were able to convert those 14 opportunities into only 15 points.
WMU actually held a 6-4 lead after a Marquisha Harris jumper just 4:46 into the game, but Kiyanna Black sank a three just ten seconds later. That three gave Ohio a lead they would keep for the rest of the game. The Broncos kept the game close, and an A.J. Johnson layup with 7:05 left in the half made the score 19-16. However, WMU missed their final five shots and committed seven turnovers over that final 7:05 as Ohio went on an 11-1 run to close the half with a 30-17 lead.
Western Michigan tried to get back into the game in the second half, and they had the Ohio lead cut to nine with 11:28 left. Ohio responded with a 17-4 run over the next four minutes that was keyed by Black's nine points. She capped the run with a three that made the score 57-35 with 7:07 remaining. Black later hit another three to give the Bobcats their biggest lead, 26 points, at 65-39. WMU finished the game on a 14-5 run to make the final margin just 17.
Black led all scorers with 29 points, and she also had seven rebounds. Quiera Lampkins added 19 points for the Bobcats. Lexie Baldwin (10) and Hannah Boesinger (13) each had double digits in rebounds. The Broncos were paced by A.J. Johnson's 11 points, and Michelle O'Brien. Harris followed her 33-point effort against Buffalo with just seven versus Ohio.
Ohio improves their record to 7-7, while WMU falls to 6-8. Both have 2-1 records in MAC play.
Now, here's a look at the updated MAC standings...
|Eastern Division||Won||Lost||Won||Lost||Next Game|
|Bowling Green||3||0||13||2||at Ball St. (1/15)|
|Ohio||2||1||7||7||at Kent St. (1/15)|
|Akron||1||2||7||7||at Miami (1/15)|
|Buffalo||0||3||7||7||vs Toledo (1/15)|
|Miami||0||3||4||10||vs Akron (1/15)|
|Kent State||0||3||3||11||vs Ohio (1/15)|
|Central Michigan||3||0||7||8||vs NIU (1/15)|
||2||1||7||7||at Buffalo (1/15)|
||2||1||7||7||vs BGSU (1/15)|
||2||1||6||7||at CMU (1/15)|
||2||1||6||8||at EMU (1/15)|
||1||2||11||3||vs WMU (1/15)|