It was a good weekend to be on the road if you were a Horizon League women’s basketball team. On Thursday, three of the four conference games were won the visiting team, and the trend continued on Saturday as road teams captured four of the five games. Overall, seven of the nine league games played this weekend were won by the visiting team.
Saturday saw Detroit, Green Bay, UIC and Wright State all pick up road victories with only Butler winning on its own home court.
With the season now at the midpoint of the conference schedule, the supposed homecourt advantage did not come into play in the first half of the league slate as home teams in conference games are just 23-22.
Butler 76, Milwaukee 63
Sophomore Sarah Hamm had 30 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks and the Butler women's basketball team had its best offensive outing of the season in a 76-63 win over Milwaukee Saturday afternoon.
Hamm finished her best game as a Bulldog with 11-for-19 shooting. She made two 3-pointers and all six of her foul shots. Hamm set the tone offensively in the first half with 18 points and then pulled in eight rebounds and blocked four shots in the second half.
On a season in which no Butler player had a double-double after 19 games, both Hamm and junior Becca Bornhorst accomplished that against the Panthers. Bornhorst finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Sophomore Jenna Cobb chipped in a career-high 16 points.
Two days after shooting 18 percent in a loss to Green Bay, the Bulldogs were at their best offensively in the first half on Saturday. BU shot .533 and built a 44-37 lead. Butler made eight of its first nine field goal attempts after making eight baskets all night on Thursday. The Dawgs led by as many as 13 late in the first half.
As BU appeared to take command, Milwaukee made some shots down the stretch to hang around. UWM cut the lead down to 59-58 at the 7:04 mark to force a Butler timeout. Hamm scored on the next two possessions to put Butler up 63-58. With BU leading 67-60, Hamm had a steal on a loose ball that led to a Cobb lay-up to put Butler ahead 69-60. Butler then iced the game by handling UWM's press and making foul shots.
Milwaukee's Courtney Lindfors scored 19 points and blocked four shots. Ashley Green added 13 points for the Panthers (6-13, 2-7).
Butler (8-12, 4-5) is next in action Thursday when it travels to Northeast Ohio to face Cleveland State. Milwaukee only has one game on its schedule next week, traveling up the state to face first place and undefeated Green Bay on Saturday.
Detroit 50, Cleveland State 43
The Detroit defense held Cleveland State to just 25% shooting as the Titans came away with a 50-43 win at the Wolstein Center on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Shareta Brown led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds, while junior Yar Shayok tallied a season-high 14 points and six boards off the bench.
The suffocating Detroit (10-11, 6-3) defense forced Cleveland State (8-12, 3-6) into a 13-of-52 performance from the field and just a 3-of-18 effort from three-point range. The 13 field goals were the fewest by from a Titan opponent since Marygrove had 11 in a 68-27 win last season. The Titans also outrebounded the Vikings, 42-32, and forced 13 turnovers.
Detroit was down, 23-21, at the 15:32 mark in the second half when UDM scored six-straight points to take the lead for good. Cleveland State would get back to within one twice, the latest at 34-33, with 7:40 remaining, but the Titans held strong and went on an 8-0 run to open a nine-point lead. Senior Jalesa Jones started that spurt with a layup and then Brown and Shayok followed with baskets of their own. Brown then nailed two free throws with 4:12 left to put the Titans up, 42-33.
After a free throw by CSU, Brown got inside again for another bucket and the red, white and blue had its largest lead of the contest, 44-34, with 2:52 left. The Titans then let the Vikings back in the game after key missed free throws in the next two minutes as CSU cut the Titan lead down to three, 45-42, but sophomore Senee Shearer and Brown each connected on a pair in the last 15 seconds of play to seal the victory.
Jones ended the contest with three points, three steals, seven rebounds and three assists. The three helpers moved her pass Jocelyn Boyd for second place all-time in school history with 453. She is now just 34 away from the Titan record.
Senior Lauren Allen pulled down a season-high eight rebounds and handed out a team-best four assists, while sophomore Megan Hatter ended the game with five points and two rebounds.
It was a defensive battle right from the start as both teams shot less than 30% from the field and combined for 17 turnovers taking a 17-17 game into the locker room. UDM held the Vikings to just 5-of-24 (20.8%) from the field and 0-of-10 from behind the arc, but the Titans were only 6-of-22 (27.3%) themselves in the first half.
Each team led three times in the opening stanza and there were four ties. UDM's largest lead was at 15-11 after scoring five-straight points. Shayok got inside for a jumper and then Hatter hit the Titans' only 3-pointer of the game with 6:05 left in the first period.
Shalonda Winton was the only Viking in double figures scoring 15 points and also pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. The Titans will now return home for a pair of games starting with Loyola on Thursday. Cleveland State remains at home and hosts Butler on Thursday.
Green Bay 65, Valparaiso 37
The No. 12/9 Green Bay (19-0, 9-0) women’s basketball team closed the first half of its Horizon League season with a 65-37 win over Valparaiso (5-15, 1-8) Saturday at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind.
For the second consecutive game, senior Julie Wojta wrote her name in the Green Bay record books with a game-high 10 rebounds, placing her at No. 10 on the record list with 700 career boards. Wojta added a game-high 19 points to tally her 10th double double of the season.
In Green Bay’s win at Butler Thursday, Jan. 26, Wojta moved to No. 10 on the all-time career scoring list. Wojta is one of seven players in Phoenix history to be in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.
Green Bay jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Valpo scored its first bucket at the 15:40 mark. Adrian Ritchie answered with the first three of the game before the Crusaders scored the next four points to cut the Phoenix lead to three (9-6), forcing a timeout by the Phoenix.
With 12:09 to play, after a three-point play from Wojta, Green Bay switched to its Buzz defense forcing frustration and turnovers from Valpo and an 18-2 run by the Phoenix. Lydia Bauer drained her lone three of the contest from the top of the key with 10:38 to play to boost Green Bay’s lead to 19-8. Lukan later found Hannah Quilling with a lob pass and bucket with 7:38 remaining and the 25-8 advantage.
Throughout Green Bay’s 18-2 run, the Buzz defense forced four turnovers and held the Crusaders scoreless for four-and-a-half minutes before sinking a free throw with 6:53 to play in the first half. With 4:49 to play, Wojta received a pass inside and in mid air tipped the ball to Quilling on the left wing for a three to boost Green Bay’s lead to 32-11 as the Phoenix fans in attendance jumped to their feet with excitement.
Green Bay closed the half outscoring the Crusaders 14-6 in the final 5:50, leading by as many as 24 with 1:36 remaining after a Wojta free throw.
Wojta led all players with 14 points and seven rebounds as Bauer and Ritchie each chipped in seven in the opening half of play. The Phoenix scored 20 of its first half points off Valpo’s 15 turnovers and scored 18 in the paint while turning the ball over just five times.
The Crusaders opened the second half matching Green Bay point for point before Ritchie scored four consecutive points for the Phoenix. After a free throw from Valpo to make it 48-24 with 12:33 to play, Stephanie Sension scored back-to-back buckets for the Phoenix to boost its lead 52-24 with 11:24 to play.
With 8:19 to play, Wojta grabbed her 10th rebound of the contest, moving her into 10th place on the career record list with 700 career boards. With 7:19 to play, Sarah Eichler found Wojta for her lone three from the top of the key to boost the Phoenix lead to 30 (59-29).
Green Bay scored 24 points in the second half while shooting 30 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line.
Including Wojta, three players scored in double figures for Green Bay including Bauer and Ritchie who chipped in 11 and 10 points respectively. Sension added eight points and grabbed five rebounds in 13 minutes of play.
Valparaiso was paced by Gina Lange who had 18 points and nine rebounds.
Green Bay returns home and hosts Milwaukee on Saturday, while Valparaiso goes back on the road and faces Youngstown State on Thursday.
UIC 57, Loyola 56
The UIC women’s basketball team picked up its fourth-straight win with a 57-56 triumph at Loyola on Saturday afternoon. The Flames improve to 13-7 overall and 6-3 in the Horizon League.Senior Kiara Strickland set a new career high in rebounds with 14, while totaling 11 points. Senior Shamiea Green scored a team high 16 points as sophomore Emily Kobel recorded 11. Loyola’s Abby Skube led all scorers with 21 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting.
The Flames shot a dismal 30.5 percent from the floor and 22 percent from three-point range. UIC’s deep threats in junior Taylor Foulks and senior Jasmine Bailey both went 1-of-8 from the outside.
One clear advantage for UIC was on the boards as the Flames out-rebounded the Ramblers 47-25, including 28 offensive boards which produced 17 second chance points for UIC.
At the 16:15 mark of the first half with the Flames down 7-4, UIC administered an 8-1 run over the next four minutes, gaining control of a 12-8 lead.
With 9:38 on the clock Kobel checked in off the bench and drilled her first three of the game, extending UIC’s edge to 17-12. From that point, Loyola triggered an 11-3 spurt and brought the score to 23-20 with 4:10 remaining in the period.
The Flames regained the lead at the 1:32 mark on a Bailey trey only to see it slip away as LU’s Skube nailed a three of her own 24 seconds later, giving the Ramblers a 26-25 advantage.
With 30 seconds on the ticker, Kobel swished her second first-half deep ball to retain the 28-26 edge for UIC as both teams headed into the locker room.
At the half, Green piloted the Flames with seven points, while Strickland owned six points and seven rebounds.
Both teams clamped down on defense to open the second half as each squad posted a mere five points in the first seven minutes.
With 1:38 left in the game and score tied at 53-53, Foulks connected on her only three of the afternoon, yielding the 56-53 lead to UIC.
After a failed offensive possession for the Ramblers, Green sank 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to go up four with just under 16 seconds remaining.
LU’s Monica Albano made good on a buzzer-beater three to finalize the Flames victory, 57-56.
The Flames resume play at Wright State on Thursday, Feb. 2 while Loyola play Thursday night at Detroit.
Wright State 71, Youngstown State 66
Kim Demmings scored 25 points, 10 coming in overtime, and was one assist shy of a triple-double as the Wright State women's basketball team defeated Youngstown State 71-66 Saturday at the Beeghly Center.
The Raiders took an early 8-3 lead on threes from Courtney Boyd and Demmings, only to see the Penguins answer with eight straight to go back in front. Shaunda Sandifer broke a 14-14 tie with two foul shots at the 8:59 mark and WSU later went up 22-16 on a Kayla Lamotte jumper before going into the break ahead 26-22.
Wright State shot 36 percent in the opening 20 minutes compared to 30 percent for Youngstown State.
WSU came out hot to start the second half as after YSU cut the deficit to two, the Raiders scored 10 unanswered, including threes from Boyd and Lamotte. The Penguins closed to within six before Wright State took its biggest lead of the night at 51-36 on a Breanna Stucke free throw at the 10:23 mark.
The margin was still 10 at 57-47 with 5:07 to play, but the Penguins forced the extra period by outscoring the Raiders 12-2 the rest of the half, including a three and layup by Macey Nortey in the final minute.
Demmings scored the first four points of overtime, only to see YSU tie it at 63 on another Nortey layup. Demmings followed with a three, but again the Penguins would even up the score on three foul shots.
Demmings, though, finally put the Raiders ahead for good as she converted a three-point play at the 50.4-second mark and Molly Fox provided insurance with two foul shots with 7.8 seconds remaining.
It was the second overtime win of the season for Wright State, the other coming at home against Milwaukee on January 14, and was the first overtime win away from home for the program since defeating Milwaukee 93-91 in double overtime on February 10, 1994, breaking a 10-game losing streak in such contests (one of the 10 was on a neutral court).
WSU shot 39 percent for the game and was 10 of 16 at the foul line while Youngstown State shot 33 percent and was 10 of 13 at the stripe. The Raiders outrebounded the Penguins 53-37, including 17-9 on the offensive end, and held a 24-7 advantage in second-chance points.
Demmings led all scorers with 25 and nearly posted a triple-double as she collected a season-high 14 rebounds and dished out nine assists, also a season-high. Fox recorded a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards as did Sandifer, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Boyd added nine points and Lamotte seven.
Brandi Brown paced Youngstown State (9-11, 3-6) with 11 points while Kenya Middlebrooks and Heidi Schlegel each had 10.
Wright State (14-7, 7-2) starts the second round of Horizon League play Thursday with a home contest against UIC. Youngstown State remains at home and hosts Valparaiso.
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