Last week in the Mid-American Conference…Both Buffalo (nine) and Toledo (seven) saw their winning streaks come to an end. Kent State and Ball State (the teams that ended the streaks respectively) fell on Saturday while Ohio and Central Michigan played a double-overtime game in Athens arguably one of the best games of the MAC season so far
Here is “The week that was” on the hardwoods of the MAC
After losing a heartbreaker Saturday at Ball in double overtime despite a school best 48 points from Jimond Ivey, the Zips road woes continued Tuesday night in Oxford losing to Miami 79-64 keeping them winless away from the Rubber City both overall and in MAC play. The Redhawks used a 10-0 second half run to open a 15-point lead and put the game out of reach. Malcolm Duvivier and Daniel Utomi led UA each with 13 points with Duvivier adding a career best 13 rebounds
The Zips returned hom Saturday before a national television audience and started strong against Toledo. However, the Western Division leaders used a 19-4 run that spanned both halves to take complete control of the game and rout UA 77-56. It was only Akron’s second home loss of the season both coming against the MAC division leaders (Buffalo being the other). Utomi led UA with 17 points going four-of-five from three-point range while Virshon Cotton added 12 with five rebounds two assists and a steal.
This week the Zips travel to Ohio on Tuesday to battle the Bobcats then return home to face Central Michigan
After being whacked by arch-rival Toledo on Saturday, the Falcons ended a three-game losing streak with a 66-50 win over Ohio at home on Tuesday night. It was the Brown and Orange’s first win at home since beating Northern Illinois in early January. Demajeo iggins led BGSU with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Antwon Lillard came off the bench to score 13 with eight boards and four steals
Coming off their victory over the Bobcats, the Falcons trailed Kent State by as much as 18 points in the first half. However, they got their game on track scored 46 points in the second half and pull off an improbable 70-62 win before 3,540 the fourth largest in the history of the Stroh Center. Justin Turner, one of the top freshmen in the MAC led four BGSU players in double figures with 20 points (14 coming in the second half) with three rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Wiggins added 13 and nine boards to lead the Orange and Brown to their first win over the Golden Flashes since 2014 and the first time they have won consecutive games since early January
This week BGSU is on the road Tuesday night at Ball State then return home Saturday to battle Eastern Michigan
The Bulls traveled to Kent State on Tuesday night and suffered their first MAC loss of the season. Leading most of the game UB squandered a 13-point halftime lead and a double-digit lead in the second half dissipate as the Golden Flashes went on a 20-4 run to take the victory 82-79 that also ended the Bulls nine-game winning streak. Jeremy Harris led the Blue and White with 20 points and four rebounds while Nick Perkins, in his customary role this season, came off the bench to score 15
Friday night UB returned home and before a sellout crowd of 6,670 at Alumni Arena and a national television audience they rebounded from the loss at Kent State to defeat Western Michigan for the second time this season 92-86. With the victory, UB matched their win total for all of last season as they connected on 58.6 percent from the field. Five Bulls scored in double figures led by CJ Massinburg with 26 points eight rebounds, and four assists while Perkins added 17 and six boards.
This week the East Division leaders are on the road first to Western Michigan on Tuesday and Northern Illinois on Saturday
The Golden Flashes came up with their biggest victory of the season so far and one of the upsets in the MAC on Tuesday night as they came back from an 18-point deficit in the first half and 13 at halftime to defeat East Division leading Buffalo 82-79 at the MAC Center. Danny Pippen led KSU with 21 points along with 13 rebounds and four assists and it was his layup with 39.7 seconds remaining that capped a 20-4 run in the second half to pick up the Flashes third straight win their longest of the season and fifth overall at home. Adonis De LaRosa added 20 with six boards and five assists (including Pippen’s winning layup) and Jaylin Walker added 13 as four KSU players scored in double digits
Saturday at Bowling Green, the Flashes kept their momentum they had late in the win over Buffalo as they opened as much as a 19-point lead in the first half. However, in this matchup the Falcons got hot shot 60 percent from the field in the second half scored 46 points and defeated KSU 70-62 ending the Flashes three-game winning streak. Both Walker & De La Rosa each scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds (de LaRosa had a blocked shot while Walker had a steal)
This week KSU is home to Eastern Michigan then head to Ball State on Friday for a nationally televised battle with the Cardinals’
The Redhawks Tuesday night picked up their third win in the last four games as they defeated Akron at Millett Hall 79-64. MU used two spurts to secure victory a 12-0 run in the first half after the Zips had gained an early lead then a 10-0 spurt to open a 15-point lead in the second half in which they could not be caught. Dalonte Brown led five Redhawks in double figures with 17 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots while Darrian Ringo collected his sixth double-double of the campaign with 12 points and 11 assists
Saturday the Hawks traveled to Northern Illinois and defeated the Huskies 81-65 for their third win in the last four games and second straight road win for MU. Nike Sibande, one of the top freshmen in the MAC led four Miami players in double figures with 20 points and seven rebounds as the Hawks shot 68.2 percent from the field in the second half as well as using a 14-2 run to put the game out of reach.
This week the Redhawks travel to Kalamazoo for a battle with Western Michigan then return home on Friday to host Toledo
The Bobcats suffered their third consecutive loss and sixth in the last seven games Tuesday night at Bowling Green falling to the Falcons 66-50 as the Green and White were held to just 19 points in the first half and shot only 32.8 percent for the game and only 2-of-17 from three-point range. Teyvion Kirk led all scorers in the contest with 20 points with seven rebounds and three steals
The woes continue for the Green and White as they dropped their fourth straight game and seven in the last eight Saturday falling to Central Michigan at the Convocation Center in double overtime 101-98. Ohio tied the game in the late seconds of the second extra period on a Doug Laster layup but CMU was fouled attempting a three with 00.9 seconds remaining and made all three throws to seal the Bobcats fate. Five Bobcats scored in double figures led by Kirk and Laster each with 24 points while Doug Taylor added 14 and 10 boards
This week Ohio hosts Akron on Tuesday then travels to Western Michigan on Saturday
The Cardinals fresh off their double-overtime win over Akron on Saturday headed into Toledo on Tuesday night and surprised the Western Division leading Rockets 75-63 the first time BSU has won consecutive games since their nine-game winning streak Tahjai Teague led the Cards with 21 points with 11 rebounds and two assists while Taylor Persons had 16 with eight boards and eight helpers. A key stat in the game was the Cardinals pulling down 58 rebounds
After beating Toledo on Tuesday night, the Cardinals traveled north on US 23 to battle Eastern Michigan and were surprised by the Eagles 58-41 being held to their lowest point total since 2010 and shot just 26.7 percent from the field and just 4-of-21 from beyond the arc. Trey Moses led the Cards with 17 points and nine rebounds while Kyle Mallers had 10.
This week BSU has a pair of home games first against Bowling Greenm then on Friday night against Kent State
Tuesday night, the Chippewas salvaged the final game of this three-game home-stand as they defeated Northern Illinois 81-67 ending a two-game losing streak. The night was special for Josh Kozinski as the senior scored 24 points connecting on eight three-pointers becoming CMU’s all-time leader in made threes. It was part of an evening that saw the Chips make 17 baskets from beyond the arc. Kozinski was one of four players in Double figures as David DiLeo added 17 with 11 rebounds his third double-double of the season
Saturday in one of the top games in the MAC so far this season the Chippewas defeated Ohio on the road in double overtime 101-88 the first time since December that CMU registered consecutive wins. Cecil Williams had a career best 27 points but it was Cleo who got the game winning points fouled while shooting a three with the game tied with 00.9 seconds remaining he made all three free throws to cinch the victory
Tuesday night the East Division leading Buffalo Bulls pay a visit to Mount Pleasant then head to Akron on Saturday
The Eagles Tuesday night lost to Western Michigan 71-57 ending a six- game home winning streak against the Broncos. James Thompson IV led EMU with his 15th double-double of the season with 24 points (going seven of eight from the field) and a season high 15 rebounds while Tim Bond came off the bench to score 11 with four assists and three steals
The Eagles Saturday faced Ball State and ended a five-game losing streak to the Cardinals with a 58-41 home victory as they shot 52.3 percent from the and defensively held BSU to their lowest point total in eight years while registering 13 blocked shots. Elijah Minnie led EMU with 22 points adding seven rebounds two assists and three blocked shots while Thompson picked up his 16th double-double of the season ith 11 points and 14 boards. He remains the only player in the MAC in double digit scoring and rebounds (both overall and in conference play)
This week the Eagles are on the road first to Kent State on Tuesday and then to Bowling Green on Saturday’
Tuesday night the Huskies traveled to Central Michigan and could not withstand a barrage of baskets from the three-point line by the Chippewas falling 81-67 for their fourth loss in the last five games and their ninth straight away from home. Eugene German led four NIU players with 21 points and seven rebounds while Dante Thorpe added 17. The Huskies shot 51.9 percent from the field and 67.9 percent in the second half. However, CMU hit 17 threes in the contest while 14 Huskie turnovers gave CMU 20 points
Saturday, the Huskies returned to the Convocation Center and were beaten by Miami 81-65. It was NIU’s third straight loss and fourth in the last five games. German, who is tied for the MAC scoring lead had 10 points while Jalen Thames had 14 for the home team.
This week NIU is in Toledo top battle the Rockets on Tuesday then home to the leaders of the Eastern Division Buffalo on Saturday
After their 101-75 rout of arch rival Bowling Green on Saturday, the Rockets faced Ball State Tuesday night and were ambushed by the Cardinals 75-63 ending their seven-game winning streak (first loss since the MAC opener at Buffalo and first loss at Savage Arena since beating beaten by Wright State the current leaders of the Horizon League in December) UT only shot 34.7 percent from the field and gave up 58 rebounds. Tra’Shaun Fletcher led Midnight Blue and Gold with his tenth double-double of the season with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists while Jaelan Sanford had 14
Saturday the Rockets traveled east on the Ohio Turnpike and started slowly against Akron. However, a 34-19 run that spanned both halves put the game squarely in the hands of Midnight Blue and Gold en route to a 77-56 victory sweeping their two-game series and picking up their sixth win in the last seven games against the Zips. Fletcher had a monster game with 23 points nine rebounds and five assists. He is second in MAC scoring at 18.8 points per game and is the only player so far in the conference to be in the top three in points-rebounds-and assists
Tuesday UT is on the road first to DeKalb to battle Northern Illinois then travel south on I-75 to Miami to battle the Redhawks.
The Broncos began their two-game road swing this week with a stop in Ypsilanti and defeated Eastern Michigan 71-57 it was their second consecutive win after three straight defeats. WMU scored 51 points in the second half going seven-of-nine from beyond the arc. Brandon Johnson led the Broncos with 14 points and eight rebounds. He was one of four in double figures as WMU won consecutive games for the first time since the start of the MAC season (vs Akron & at Miami) and their first win in the Convocation Center since 2011
Traveling further east, the Broncos pulled into Western New York Friday and narrowly went down to the East Division Buffalo Bulls for the second time this season 92-86 in a game that saw WMU come back late closing their deficit to six in the closing moments but could not get any further. Thomas Wilder, who is currently leads the MAC with 19.4 points per game, had 34 in the loss going 10-of-17 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free throw line while also pulling down six rebounds. The fourth time this season the senior has scored 30 or more points in game so far this season as he led four Broncos in double figures.
This week WMU has a pair of games at home Tuesday against Miami and Ohio on Saturday
There you have it…Inside MAC Basketball for week six. The division leaders bounced back after suffering their first losses in conference play while the Flashes stubbed their toe in a chance to put some distance in the current three seed in the upcoming 2018 MAC Tournament’
This week Buffalo heads way out west (in MAC terms) for a pair of games. Kent State and Ball State face each other for the second time this season on Friday a game with huge implications while the Rockets like the Bulls have a pair of road tilts at NIU and Miami
SEE YOU COURTSIDE!!!!