Mid-American Conference NCAA Basketball Sports

Inside MAC Basketball 2017-18: Week Five

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Last week in the Mid-American Conference, as far as the teams go both Buffalo and Toledo won both their games to increase their winning streaks to nine and seven respectively as we have reached the half way mark on “The Road to Cleveland” and the 2018 Mid-American Conference Championship

There were two outstanding individual efforts during the week. The first was in Kalamazoo when Western Michigan’s Thomas Wilder scored 42 points in the Broncos loss to West Division leading Toledo.


He went 11-of-24 from the field and 15-of-17 from the free throw line along with five rebounds four assists and two steals. He is the first Bronco to score 40 or more points in a game since 1987 and moved into second place on WMU’s all-time leading scorer list

The second game in Muncie when Akron’s Jimond Ivey scored a school record 48 points including a three at the buzzer to second the game into a second overtime it was not enough as the Cardinals came up with the victory

Here is “The week that was” on the hardwoods of the MAC

EASTERN DIVISION:

AKRON:

The Zips faced Ohio Tuesday night at Rhodes Arena and won consecutive games for the first time in MAC play this season and overall since early December when they beat the Bobcats 72-68. Jimond Ivey led the Akron Blue and Gold with 17 points, four assists and a steal while Malcom Duvivier scored 16 points (going four-of-six from beyond the arc).Daniel Utomi added 13 and eight rebounds.

Saturday at Ball State, the Zips road woes continued losing to the Cardinals 111-106 in double overtime. However, Jimond Ivey put his name in the Akron basketball record books as he scored a school record 48 points against the Cardinals eclipsing the mark of 47 set by all-time great Joe Jakubick in 1983 against Murray State when the Zips were in the Ohio Valley Conference…The Junior went 13-of-23 from the field going 9-of-12 from three-point range including a three to send the game into a second overtime. He added 9-of-10 free throws eight rebounds, two assists, to steals and a blocked shot while playing 49 of the 50 minutes….Duvivier had 22 and Vishon Cotton added 13

This week UA head to Miami to battle the Redhawks before returning home on Saturday to face West Division leading Toledo for the second time this season

BOWLING GREEN:

The Falcons began this two-game road trip Tuesday night at Northern Illinois and were soundly defeated by the Huskies 93-62. It was BGSU’s second straight loss and third in the last four games. Rodrick Caldwell led the orange and Black with 13 points while Demajeo Wiggins added 11 with eight rebounds

Saturday the Falcons made the short trip up I-75 to Toledo and were dominated by the Western Division leading Rockets in every facet of the game their largest defeat in the 171-game history of the series and their third consecutive loss and fourth in the last five games. Dylan Frye led BGSU with 13 points while Justin Turner had 13 with four rebounds and six assists.

This week the Falcons are home this week in the Stroh Center hosting Ohio on Tuesday night before Kent State comes to town on Saturday

BUFFALO:

The Bulls opened play this week at home against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night and extended their winning streak to eight overall and remain the only MAC team undefeated at 7-0 as they routed the Eagles 83-69. UB put the game away midway through the first half when they scored 26 unanswered points after EMU opened a 13-11 advantage. Jeremy Harris led the Bulls with 22 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. Wes Clark, the transfer from Missouri who became eligible to play when the MAC season began added 13 with five boards and four assists. Nick Perkins again came off the bench to score 17 and seven caroms

Friday night, the Bulls traveled to Athens and defeated the Bobcats before a national television audience 73-66 for their ninth straight win and finished the first half of the MAC season a perfect 8-0. Perkins in his usual role coming off the bench, led all scorers in the game with 29 points as he reached the 1000 point mark for his career. He was one of four UB players to score in double figures Harris added 17 and 10 rebounds and Ikenna Smith had 10 and 14 rebounds.

This week, the Bulls lead to Kent State on Tuesday then return home to Amherst on Friday for their second meeting with Western Michigan

KENT STATE:

Coming off their tough loss on Saturday at Toledo, the Golden Flashes faced Ball State at home. They had the lead for most of the game however the Cardinals erased a nine-point lead in the closing moments to force overtime. In the overtime session, the Flashes used a 10-0 run to take control and win the games 88-80 their seventeenth win in the series over the Cards. Six KSU players scored in double figures led by Kevin Zabo who had 21 points while Danny Pippen had 11 but pulled down a career high 16 rebounds. In addition his post up jumper in OT gave the Flashes the lead to stay

Following their thrilling win over BSU, the Golden Flashes made the long trip to Central Michigan and made it a winning one defeating the Chippewas 84-76 to sweep the season series. In addition, it was the first time KSU had won on the road in the MAC this season as well as overall play as they collected their fourth win in the last five games. Zabo led the Flashes with 22 points while Jaylin Walker scored 21 with 16 of them coming in the second half to become the 32nd players in KSU history to score 1000 points in his career. De La Rosa added 1 and 10 rebounds as the Flashes used a 15-6 run in the second half to take the lead, shot 50 percent from the field, and hit13-of-17 free throws in the second 20 minutes.

This week KSU faces East leading Buffalo at home Tuesday night then head to Bowling Green on Saturday

MIAMI:

Following their home win over Ball State on Saturday, the Redhawks made the long trip to Central Michigan and defeated the Chippewas 70-61 as MU picked up consecutive victories for the first time since December. Nike Sibande led the Hawks with a career high 22 points as he went 8-of-12 from the field. Logan McLane added 13 with rebounds and eight blocked shots and Isiah Coleman-Landis had 12 with six boards, three assists and three steals.

Saturday the Hawks returned home to face Eastern Michigan. It was a defensive battle as MU had trouble all afternoon trying to solve the Eagles two-three zone defense. The visiting Eagles used a 13-0 run early in the second half to take the lead. Miami came back late closing to within three in the closing moments bur could not get any further as they fell 58-48 ending their two-game winning streak. Dalonte Brown led MU with 17 points and five rebounds. However, he scored only three in the second half while Sibande one of the top freshmen in the MAC this season added 10 with a pair of assists.

This week the Redhawks host Akron on Tuesday then travel to Northern Illinois on Saturday

OHIO:

The Bobcats traveled to Akron on Tuesday ending this two-game road trip and held their own against the Zips 71-68. Trailing by nine midway through the second half, the Cats battle closing their deficit to a single point with 91 seconds remaining but could not get any further. Gavin Block led the cats with 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Teyvion Kirk had another solid outing with 16 points, six assists and two steals

Friday night at the Convo, the Cats gave East Division leading Buffalo all they could handle trailing by much as 14 in the second half, the green and white cut the deficit to five with 95 seconds remaining. However, the Bulls made five-of-seven free throws to secure victory and hand Ohio its fifth loss in the last six games. Kirk led led Ohio with 18 points and 10 rebounds. One major stat in the setback was shooting only 33.8 percent from the field.

This week the Bobcats head to Bowling Green on Tuesday to battle the Falcons then return home Saturday to face Central Michigan

WESTERN DIVISION:

BALL STATE:

The Cardinals opened the week with a trip to Kent State on Tuesday night, trailing for most of the game BSU used a 14-5 run late in the second half to tie the game on a three by Tayler Persons. In the end however, the home standing Golden Flashes used a 10-0 run in overtime to take control and an 88-80 victory. Persons led the Red, Black, and White with 19 points and seven assists as well as hitting a season-high four three-pointers as the Cardinals hit a season-high 11 from beyond the three-point line. Sean Sellers added 15 in a losing effort

Saturday at home against Akron, the Cards survived a 48-point barrage by the Zips Jimond Ivey the most points ever scored in the history of Worthen Arena to edge the visitors 111-106 in double overtime ending their three-game losing streak. Tahjei Teague and Persons led BSU with 26 points (Teague added 12 rebounds six assists and a blocked shot) each while Trey Moses added 20 points 12 of 14 from the free throw line, 11 rebounds five assists and three blocked shots

It’s the road this week for BSU beginning in Toledo on Tuesday to battle the Rockets then north on U. S. Route 23 to Eastern Michigan to battle the Eagles for the second time this season

CENTRAL MICHIGAN:

The Chips returned home to the friendly confines of McGuirk Arena however the Miami Redhawks were not hospitable guests as they sent CMU top their fourth loss in the last five games, 70-61. The home team trailed most of the evening however they used a 10-2 spurt to close to within three with 2:24 remaining however MU was too strong down the stretch. Kevin McKay came off the bench to lead the Chips with 17 points and eight rebounds. Shawn Roundtree added 15 with three assists and three steals while Cecil Williams added 14 with four rebounds, two helpers and a pair of thefts

Saturday the CMU woes continued as they fall at home to Kent State 84-76 losing to the Golden Flashes for the second time this season while amassing their fifth loss in the last six games. A 15-6 run in the second half proved to be their undoing. Roundtree led the Chips with 17 points and five assists while Luke Meyer added 15 with five rebounds and a pair of assists. In five of their six MAC losses CMU fell by 11 points or less in addition they were within one of two possessions in the closing moments.

This week the Chips finish this three games homestand against Northern Illinois before heading to Ohio on Saturday

EASTERN MICHIGAN
The Eagles traveled to Buffalo to battle the East Division leading Bulls Tuesday night and lost 83-69. EMU had a two-point lead midway through the opening half, however the UBN went on a rampage scoring 26 unanswered points to take firm control of the contest. It not helps their cause as the Eagles shot just 6-of-26 in the first half. Paul Johnson led the Green and Hite with 20 points all of them coming in the second half. James Thompson IV had only eight points but pulled down 16 rebounds

Saturday at Miami, the Eagles returned to their winning ways as they defeated the Redhawks 58-48 ending their two-game losing streak. The Green and White took control in the second half with a 13-0 run and then used their two-three defense to stifle MU picking up their first MAC road win of the season and overall since mid-December when they won at Long Beach State. Paul Johnson led EMU with 15 points while Thompson IV added another double-double and remains the only player in the MAC this season averaging double-digits in points and rebounds.

This week the Eagles have a pair of home games as Western Michigan on Tuesday and Ball State on Saturday visit Ypsilanti

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

After being routed last week on the road by Buffalo and Akron, thje Huskies returned home and emphatically defeated Bowling Green 93-62 at the Convocation Center in proving their mark to 8-1 at home. Five NIU players scored in double figures as they shot 61.3 percent from the field in the first half and bettered that ion the second hitting a sizzling 75.9 percent from the floor. Eugene German had 19 points hitting a perfect seven-of-seven from the field. James Lacey added 15 while Levi Bradley scored 14 with four rebounds three assists and a steal. One main key as well to the victory, NIU committed just seven turnovers

After ending their losing streak on Tuesday against Bowling Green, the Huskies returned to the road and fall to Western Michigan 79-72 their fifth consecutive loss in Mac play despite hitting 50 percent from the field. The Red, Black, and White closed a deficit to five on three-occasions late in the second half but could not get any further. German, currently the leading scorer in the conference led NIU ith 21 points while Bradley added 20.

This week, the Huskies finishes a four-game stretch in five on the road with a stop in Central Michigan then return to De Kalb on Saturday to battle Miami

TOLEDO:

The West Division leading Rockets survived a major scare on Saturday narrowly beating Kent State, Tuesday night they headed to Western Michigan and defeated the Broncos 85-81 to sweep the regular-season series. In addition, Ut added to their lead in the West and picked up their sixth consecutive victory. Tre’Shewn Fletcher, the transfer fropm Colorado led UT with 22 points and six rebounds and five assists while Jaelan Sanford added 21.

Saturday was the I-75 battle as arch-rival Bowling Green traveled to Savage Arena and the Rockets dominated the Falcons 101-75 as they kept pace with Buffalo for the overall MAC regular-season title and won their seventh straight to continue their hold on first place in the Western Division. Fletcher came very close to garnering a triple double with 26 points (going 12-of-15 from the field) 12 rebounds and eight assists. He was one of four UT players in double figures as they shot 67.2 percent from the field, going 8-of-17 from three-point range while registering the largest margin of victory in the 171-game history of the series.

This week Midnight Blue and Gold entertains Ball State at home before traveling to Akron on Saturday to battle the Zips.

WESTERN MICHIGAN:

The Broncos suffered their third straight loss on Tuesday night as they fell to West division leading Toledo 85-81 despite 40 points from Thomas Wilder. The senior went 11-of-24 from the field and 15-of-17 from the free throw line along with five rebounds four assists and two steals. He is the first Bronco to score 40 or more points in a game since 1987 and moved into second place on WMU’s all-time leading scorer list. Josh Davis was the only other WMU player with 11 points and nine rebounds. However, Wilder’s great night would not stop the Rockets sweeping the season series.

Western Michigan rebounded from their loss to the Western Division leading Rockets as they defeated Northern Illinois at University Arena on Saturday 79-72 as they shot 60 percent from the field in the second half (10-of-27 from beyond the arc) and went 57.8 percent from the floor as they snapped their three-game losing streak. Wilder had another strong game for WMU with 25 points going 8-of-12 from the floor with two rebounds, five assists and a steal. Davis added 15 as all five starters hit for double digits

This week, the Broncos on the road first to Eastern Michigan to battle the Eagles then to Buffalo on Friday night to battle the East Division leading Bulls for the second time this season.

There you have it…Inside MAC Basketball for week number five.

The week upcoming has Kent State-Buffalo and Toledo-Ball State on Tuesday night while the Saturday slate has the Rockets batting the Zips and the Bulls and Broncos both for the second time this season as the key games

SEE YOU COURTSIDE!!!!

E.

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