A full day of basketball mid-week is great thing. When it’s our favorite conference, it’s fantastic. If the games are as nail biting as they were today, then it’s marvelously exquisite. Here is a break down of the days action.
#8 Western Michigan Broncos 67, #1 Central Michigan Chippewas 63
Central charged out to a big lead, but Western Michigan battled back a bit and kept within in striking distance. The last minute and a half was sheer basketball awesomeness.
#4 Northern Illinois Huskies 72, #5 Ohio Bobcats 71
Ohio jumped all over the Huskies early, playing great defense and leading after the first quarter, 23-10.
By halftime, the Bobcats had stretched the lead to 41-24.
Northern Illinois played a little better in the third quarter, but there was a sense that time was running out. They were down 62-50.
After the Bobcats stagnated a bit in the 4th quarter, Quiera Lampkins drove to the basket, getting a couple free throws the first time, and making a layup the second, putting the Bobcats back up by 9 with 5:31 to go. The Huskies had fought hard to get back into the game, and I felt like they might be out of gas.
I was wrong. Five different Huskies scored in the ensuing run that gave the Huskies the win.
The comeback was the largest in Huskie WBB history.
Lampkins had 17 for the Bobcats, and the only freshman I didn’t have on my 5 freshman to watch to make the All-MAC freshman team, Amani Burke, added 16. My apologies, Ms. Burke. Jasmin Weatherspoon had a great game, scoring 11 on 2-3 shooting from the floor and 7-8 from the line. She also had 10 rebounds.
Mikayla Voigt led the Huskies with 19, and Ally Lehman added 17 and 7 rebounds. Her driving to the basket was key to the Huskies comeback.
Courtney Woods and Renee Sladek added 12 each. Kelly Smith led the Huskies with 9 rebounds, and added 7 points.
#7 Buffalo Bulls 69, #2 Ball State Cardinals 65
Ball State had a slight lead in the first quarter. Buffalo battled back to take a 7 point lead into the half.
They were tied up after 3, before the Bulls closed it out.
They won by playing great defense, and with everyone stepping up and scoring.
8 players saw action for the Bulls, and 8 players scored. They were led by Stephanie Reid who had 18 points and 6 assists. JoAnna Smith also had a great game, with 14 points and 9 rebound. Not bad for a 2. Cassie Oursler and Mariah Suchan both just missed a double-double by a few points and rebounds.
Summer Hemphill, the freshman phenom added 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists off the bench.
Moriah Monaco had a monster game for the Cardinals, scoring 27 and grabbing 5 boards. Carmen Grande added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Toledo Rockets 67, Kent State Golden Flashes 63
The Rockets started off on a run, eventually going up 11-6 on a nifty lay-up by Jay Bravo-Harriott. Kent State battled back, and took the lead on a Jordan Korinek three, 14-13.
The lead was short lived, as Toledo made a run and ended the first quarter with a 22-16 lead.
The Rockets battled Larrissa Lurken, and things were pretty even in the 2nd quarter, with the Rockets going into the half with a 39-35 lead.
Lurken was fantastic and had 16 at the half for the Golden Flashes, while Jay Bravo-Harriott had 9 for the Rockets. Sophie Reecher added 9 off the bench for the Rockets.
With 5:10 left, Alexa Golden made a nifty pass to Korinek to give Kent State the lead. A writer that is more clever than I would make a play on Alexa’s last name in a flash to create pure sports writing magic. Hustle Belt readers will have to suffer with me.
A dead ball technical on the play gave Kent State two shots and the ball. A free throw and a three put the score at 48-43 with 4:36 left in the third.
Santucci, the Brass Bull from Bologna made a couple free throws, to make sure Toledo stayed in the game. Full disclosure, I stole the name from the Brass Bull of Milan, Mario Del Monaco. Also, the nickname would be much better if she played for Buffalo. It was clearly a reach by me. But if she keeps playing like she has her freshman year, I am going to start calling her the Brass Bull of Bologna. Deal with it.
Lurken hit a jumper to put the Golden Flashes up by 8 with 1:18 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Kent State took a 6 point lead going into the 4th quarter.
Megan Carter hit a huge three with 8 minutes left to put the Golden Flashes up by 7.
Mikaela Boyd made a nice pass to Reecher for a layup, and then scored on her own, to make it a 3 point game with 6:43 left. Boyd was not done, scoring to make it a one point game.
Santucci then dropped a three, for Toledo to take a 2 point lead. Of course Lurken had an answer, and the score was tied at 61 with 4:43 left. It was a nifty little left handed scoop for those scoring at home.
At this point I was brain dead, and probably a little drunk. The score was 66-63 with 16.9 seconds left. Toledo had the edge, and Kent State had the ball. Part of me wanted the three, for more great basketball, and part of me wanted to eat and go to bed.
I got bed. I can’t say I was totally disappointed. I was tired. My daughter was home from school because too many teachers were “sick”, so I spent my day with my babies, and watched great basketball. That being said, I could have lived with overtime.
I expected one or two great games, but got four.
All the Rockets played great, with Monakana scoring 15 and Bravo-Harriott adding 14.
Larrissa Lurken ended her career with 25.