Notes from a day in MAC women's basketball, where comebacks were the soup of the day:
WESTERN MICHIGAN 76, BALL STATE 64 — Head for the hills. WMU is 2-0 in this early season, improving to 5-10 overall. They're in sole possession of first place, too. Didn't expect that already. Especially when BSU began the game with a 21-3 run. But Tasha McDowell's women did not give up; they chipped the lead down to seven at halftime and kept their vehicle in fourth gear.
Maria Iaquaniello had 14 of her 18 points in the second half, while Corie Buchanan had 13 of her 19 in that same time-frame, to go along with 12 rebounds. Freshman Julia Henson also added a spark with a career-best 12 points in 15 minutes.
For Ball State, Shanee' Jackson had 16, Brittany Carter added 15 and Shelbie Justice finished with 11. But the Cardinals only came down with four offensive rebounds.
TOLEDO 58, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 53 — Another almost-shocker here. CMU had a hefty 20-7 lead halfway through the first, then after the Rockets battled back to a three-point deficit nearing the end of half, the Chips built it back up to 12 with 15:30 to play.
It was fitting that Andola Dortch, who had 12 points in the second half (14 overall), had a lay-up with 3:12 left in the game to five UT their first lead. Game on after that. Haylie Linn drained a daggeresque 3-pointer with 29 seconds to play, and that was that. Linn finished with 12 points and Lecretia Smith (not pictured) had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
CMU saw a good line from Crystal Bradford spoiled: 23 points, 10 rebounds, three steals. Jessica Green was a bit off on her shots, going 3-for-17 and mustering 12 points, also fouling out. Tough loss to swallow on the road, because this could've really put UT behind the 8-ball in the standings early in the season.
EASTERN MICHIGAN 64, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 52 — No comeback was possible here, although EMU certainly busted out to a large lead worthy of coming back, given the day it was. Even though the Eagles didn't hit a three all game (0-for-6) and that's much of what NIU did (7-for-14), it was getting to the free throw line and making their shots which proved to be the difference. A very balanced stat sheet for the Eagles: Paige Redditt with 17 points and eight rebounds, Tavelyn James with 16 points and five steals, Natachia Watkins with 13 points and nine rebounds and Olivia Fouty with 11 points and eight boards.
Satavia Taylor continued her above-average production in MAC play for the Huskies, leading the team with 14 points. Courtney Shelton added 12 points and four assists.