Happenings in women's MACsketball:
OHIO 60, Bowling Green 56 — Not sure anybody saw this arriving. I sure as heck didn't, and I'm the consummate neurotic BGSU fan.
The Falcons had won their last eight games against the usually mediocre Bobcats and once again they are not considered a major factor in the MAC race. But OU's senior leader Tenishia Benson was a major player tonight. With the game tied and essentially the final possession, Benson had the play of her career at the right time: a driving layup, plus the foul, whose ensuing free throw she missed and rebounded herself, forcing a jump ball and getting the possession back. It was essentially a huge final 10 seconds, and a normally composed Falcons team was caught with their pants down.
Hey, if you can't win the tournament, make it difficult for someone else to.
Benson scored 21 points and nine rebounds in perhaps her final game at home and Shavon Robinson added 20 points. For BGSU, Alexis Rogers had an unmatched 24 points and 16 rebounds, but EMU now matches their MAC record at 12-2.
So with that, the regular season title remains unclaimed, but if the Eagles and Falcons win out, BGSU still takes the top seed. Additionally, Toledo still needs help to win it, notably a loss by EMU. Miami is a modestly distant fourth but still in the hunt.
Miami 84, Akron 76 — A noon start time, if nothing else, gave them something to do in the evening, such as celebrating Miami's clinching of a first-round bye.
Courtney Osborn had a monster game, going for 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Kirsten Olowinski was a force inside for 14 points and 10 rebounds. Maggie Boyer shot for 15 points.
Jasmine Mushington had a great inside game as well, leading the Zips with 17 points and Carly Young had a good double-double of 12 points and 14 assists, but the loss puts them out of an already longshot consideration for a first-round bye.
Western Michigan 67, Ball State 65 — If only this one had some implications in the top half of the standings! Nonetheless it was a tight game with WMU escaping with a road victory. She had seven turnovers but Corie Buchanan led the Broncos with 13 points, nine assists, four steals and four rebounds. Three Cardinals hit double figures but Suzanne Grossnickle had the most complete game with eight points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Both teams are now square at 4-10 in the MAC.
Central Michigan 73, Northern Illinois 50 — No use in looking back at their midseason swoon; all CMU can do is return to beating up teams with high-paced games. Taylor Johnson led the Chips with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Courtney Shelton was the NIU high scorer with 12 points.