We had our first unclose game for in the MAC women’s tournament Friday.
Northern Illinois pounded Western Michigan 83-55 in the first semifinal game at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Huskies will play Toledo, the team that knocked Kent State out of the tournament, for the championship at 11 a.m. Saturday. Toledo beat Buffalo 72-65 in the other semifinal. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Northern Illinois, the No. 4 seed, came from a record 22 points down to beat Ohio in its quarterfinal game 72-71. That was a low-scoring game for the Huskies, who are fifth in the country in scoring at 85.7 points a game.
They were back to form Friday, with five players scoring in double figures. NIU pretty much led all the way. Ally Lehman had 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6six assists and added 4 steals.
Saturday will be the first time the Northern Illinois woman have ever played in a championship game since they rejoined the league in 1997-98.
No. 6 seed Toledo led Buffalo by double digits much of the game, then held off a late rally. The Bulls got within four points with three minutes to go and six with a minute and a half, but Toledo made its foul shots at the end.
Toledo had beaten No. 3 seed Kent State 67-63 Wednesday.
Northern Illinois (21-10) and Toledo (24-8) split their regular season games, each winning by four points on the other team’s home floor.
It should be a very good final.