Women eyes Bull for second

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GoZips

Kerri McMahan looking down the court to eye up KSU’s defense.

By Khalil Smith, Sports Writer

The women’s basketball team will need to bounce back versus the Buffalo Bulls on Wed. Feb. 11 after loss to Northern Illinois last Saturday, 62-56.

The Zips held a comfortable double-digit lead leading into the final stretch of the second half, but the Huskies stormed back with an overwhelming 26-5 run of their own, in which the Zips couldn’t answer. Northern Illinois boasted the best scoring defense in the MAC, only allowing 54.7 points per game, and the Zips will encounter a Bulls squad that too boasts a tough defense.

The Bulls (13-8, 6-4) are currently riding a four game winning streak and sit third in the MAC-East division heading into Wednesday night’s contest. They also had their leading scorer, Senior Kristen Sharkey (14.8ppg, 8.1 rebounds per game), named MAC Player of the Week.

The Bulls struggle to put the ball in the basket at only 64.2 points per contest, but their team is built on their defense. The stingy Bulls defense lead the MAC in categories such as steals (11.1 per game), defensive 3-point FG percentage (26 percent per game), and rank second in total FG percentage defense (35.7 percent per game), and blocks (4 per game). Although the Zips as a team leads the MAC in scoring by a significant margin (76.1 ppg), they’ll need more from their supporting cast in order to avoid the same result they did against Northern Illinois, a game where junior Anita Brown (19 ppg, third in the MAC) had a nightmare offensively (3 of 14 shooting).

The Zips (17-5, 7-4) currently sit in second place in the MAC-East division and will need to return to their winning ways to keep pace with the first place Ohio Bobcats (18-3, 9-1), winners of eight straight games. Wednesday’s matchup with Buffalo is the start of a three game home stand for the Zips. In order to have a shot in catching Ohio in the East division, they’ll need to protect their home floor, something they’ve done extremely well this season with a home record of 10-1 at home, with their lone loss coming from Ball State by a score of 77-73.