Murphy drops 22, Lady Zips drop Rockets

“By Brian Matzye vdorsey@buchtelite.com The University of Akron’s women’s basketball team atoned for last week’s debacle as they defeated the Toledo Rockets 64-62 in a see-saw match-up at the James A. Rhoades Arena this past Saturday. The lady Zips, playing in game two if a double-header, came out of the gate strong as they converted five of their first seven shots.”

The University of Akron’s women’s basketball team atoned for last week’s debacle as they defeated the Toledo Rockets 64-62 in a see-saw match-up at the James A. Rhodes Arena this past Saturday.

The lady Zips, playing in game two of a double-header, came out of the gate strong as they converted five of their first seven shots.

Toledo would not make this an easy one, as they would go on a 15-4 run.

Akron would respond with a 14-5 run of their own to seize control of the first half.

However, the Rockets stole a lot of the momentum going into the intermission as Jessica Williams would bank in a 3-pointer from half court as time expired the first half to tie the contest at 40.

The second half would be a slugfest as both teams appeared to match the other shot for shot.

With only twenty-six seconds to go, sophomore Kara Murphy was able to nail a mid-range jumper to give the Zips the lead, and ultimately the victory.

In all the game was tied eleven times, as well as eight different lead changes throughout.

Murphy would lead the Zips with 22 points, but Akron head coach Jodie Kest acknowledged that the win was a team effort.

It was a great team effort today, Kest said. I’m really proud of the way we responded following a tough loss to Ball State last week.

The entire team was involved as every Zips player who dressed saw action in the contest.

Kest was proud of her starters but was especially please with her team’s play off the bench.

I thought Jasmine (Mushington) provided a big spark off the bench and Ashley (Veal) gave us a lift defensively, Kest said. Everyone played a role in this win.

Freshman center Kyle Baumgartner was again an impressive inside force as she contributed seventeen points and nine rebounds.

Coach Kest felt that the team executed the basics, which played a crucial outcome in the final score.

We took care of the ball, we played solid defense, and we shot the ball well, she said.

The solid defense Kest was referring to was responsible for converting eighteen Toledo turnovers into twenty-one points.

The Zips also managed to win the battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Rockets thirty-two to twenty.

Having a huge offensive day didn’t hurt either.

The Zips shot forty-nine percent for the game as well as scoring a season-high twenty-eight field goals.

With her twenty-two point performance, Murphy is now the Mid-American Conference’s leading scorer, as she hit double-digit points for the sixteenth time this season.

Win the victory, the lady Zips improved to 8-12 overall with a 3-4 record in the MAC.

The three conference victories as well as eight overall wins already top last year’s totals in both categories.

The Zips will hit the road as they will travel to Evanston, Illinois to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies before returning back to the JAR to host the Eastern Michigan Eagles.