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Inside MAC Basketball 2017-18: Week Three

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Last week in the Mid-American Conference, the Buffalo Bulls showed the rest of the basketball nation that they are as of now the team to beat in the MAC with two impressive wins including Friday night at Western Michigan

In the West, Toledo played two of the top teams in the Eastern Division and came away with solid defeats. Western Michigan stumbled twice while Ball State moved into a tie with the Broncos for second place.


Here is a look at the week that was on the hardwood in the MAC

EASTERN DIVISION:

AKRON:

After their thrilling win over Bowling Green on Saturday, the Zips took to the road to Eastern Michigan and lost to the Eagles 63-49. So far, this season, UA has failed to win a ‘true’ road game away from Rhodes Arena have lost four of their last five games in MAC play and seven of their last nine overall. Zips shot only 30.9% from the field including 7-of-29 from three-point range. Eric Parrish led the Blue and Gold with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals while Malcolm Duvivier added 12.

The Zips bounced back on Saturday following the loss at EMU by defeating Northern Illinois at the JAR 82-67 for their second MAC win of the season and improve their home record to 9-1 overall. UA used a 17-2 run midway through the first half to take complete control. They tied a season mark with 15 three-pointers. Duvivier and Cotton led the Zips with 17 points each. Jimond Ivey had 15 and 10 rebounds while Utomi had 16 all in the second half going four-of-six from beyond the arc

This week the Zips host Ohio on Tuesday before traveling to Ball State on Saturday.

BOWLING GREEN:

The Falcons bounced back after their heartbreaking loss at Akron on Saturday, the Orange and Brown traveled down I-75 to Oxford where they defeated Miami 81-70 to gain a split of the season series. BGSU shot 60 percent from the field overall and a sizzling 69 percent from the floor in the second half in which they scored 51 points. Demajeo Wiggins led four Falcons in double figures with 22 points with 15 rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot his seventh double-double of the season

Saturday the Falcons dropped their third in the last four games this time at the hands of Central Michigan losing to the Chippewas 84-75. It was the only home game in a five-game stretch for BGSU who led by three points at halftime and by as much as 15 in the second half. The visitors then went on a tear from three-point range hitting seven of eight from beyond the arc to take a lead they would not relinquish. All five starters scored in double figures led by Rodrick Caldwell with 16 points and four assists with Wigging collecting his fifth double-double of the season with 13 and 11 rebounds.

The Orange and Black are on the road this week, first to Northern Illinois on Tuesday then on Saturday their annual battle with their “neighbors’ up I-75 the Toledo Rockets.

BUFFALO:

The Bulls ran their winning streak to six games overall and remained perfect in MAC play at 5-0 as they defeated Northern Illinois at Alumni Arena 85-67 as they shot 63.9 percent from the field and 63 percent from beyond the arc. The 5-0 start is the best for UB since 1997-98 the year before they moved into the MAC. Nick Perkins came off the bench to score a career high 26 points while CJ Massinburg added 16 and Jaylen Graves scored 12 with six rebounds, two assists and three steals

Friday night before a national television audience UB traveled to Western Michigan and extended their winning streak with an 84-74 win over the Broncos their seventh straight win overall and sixth in conference play as they opened a 12-point lead in the first half bt led by only four at halftime then in the second half, UB took control shooting 57 percent from the field while going 5-of-13 from three-point range. Harris & Massinburg led Buffalo with 20 points each while Perkins had 18 and nine rebounds.

This week Buffalo plays both games at home beginning with Eastern Michigan on Tuesday then Ohio comes to Amherst on Saturday.

KENT STATE:

The Golden Flashes Tuesday night defeated Western Michigan 73-71 at the MAC Center as Mitch Peterson put in a follow-up shot with two-tenths of a second remaining. KSU outscored the Broncos 25-9 to take an 18-point lead the first of two by the home team. They survive furious comeback that saw WMU tie the score in the closing moments but they held on for their third win in the last four games. Kevin Zabo led four Flashes in double figures with 23 points with Adonis de Larosa adding eleven with twelve rebounds

Saturday night the Flashes traveled to Toledo and gave the Western Division-leading Rockets all they could handle leading by two with four minutes remaining. In the end however UT made the big plays late and came away with a 72-65 victory. Zabo led KSU with 20 points while Jaylin Walker added 19.

This week the Flashes entertain Ball State at the MAC Center then head to Central Michigan on Saturday

MIAMI:

The Redhawks lost their second straight and third in the last four games falling at home to Bowling Green 81-70 as the two teams split their regular season series. BGSU shot 69 percent while scoring 51 points in the second half. Nike Sibande led MU with 20 points while Darrin Ringo added nine points with six assists and four steals

Saturday the Hawks returned to the win column with a dominating 71-53 home win over Ball State as they used a 15-2 run to take control of the contest and built as much as a 17-point lead. Ringo led MU with 21 points going a perfect five-for-five from beyond the arc with four assists and five steal with Logan McLane adding 20. They were pair of four Miami players in double figures.

This week Miami travels to Central Michigan to battle the Chippewas before returning home to face Eastern Michigan

OHIO:

The Bobcats were sent to third consecutive loss on Tuesday night at the hands of the Toledo Rockets using a 15-0 run midway through the first half to take command of the game and routing the Cats 91-57. It was not a good night for the green and White as they shot just 35 percent from the field and only 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. Doug Taylor led Ohio with a career high 15 points with five rebounds and two assists while Treyon Kirk added 10 and five boards

The Green and White bounced back from their loss to the West leading Rockets traveling to Eastern Michigan on Saturday and defeating the Eagles 72-66 ending this three-game losing streak. After going 6-of-20 in the opening half, the Bobcats shot 63 percent from the field in the second. Jordan Dardis led Ohio with 24 points with two rebounds and two steals while Kirk added 12 with three boards, three helpers, and four thefts.

This week is a crucial week for the Cats with a pair of Eastern Division battles. Tuesday night they travel to Akron to face the Zips then on Saturday division leading Buffalo comes to the Convocation Center.

WESTERN DIVISION:

BALL STATE:

The Cardinals stayed on the heels of Toledo and Western Michigan in the West as they improved to 9-1 at home this season with an 82-76 win over Central Michigan. Jeremie Tyler led BSU with 21 points going 5-of-10 from three-point range in all five Cardinals scored in double figures including Trey Moses who had 13 and 11 boards his third double-double of the season

Saturday BSU made the short trip to Miami and were routed by the Redhawks 71-53. Moses made his first nine shots from the field to lead the Cards with 18 points while Persons added 12 and Sean Sellers set a career high with 10 rebounds. A key stat in the loss to MU was a season-high 21 turnovers.

This week the Cards face the two MAC schools of Northeast Ohio as they travel to Kent State on Tuesday and then on Saturday host Akron

CENTRAL MICHIGAN:

Tuesday night the Chippewas traveled to ball State where they lost to the Cardinals 82-76, It was the fourth straight loss for CMU ho shot just 36 percent from the field. The Chips trailed most of the evening by double-figures however they closed their deficit to six in the final moments but could get no furthers. Luke Meyer led the chips with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Cecil Williams added 14 and seven rebounds while Shan Roundtree had 16 with six assists and two steals

The Chips traveled completed their two-game road trip Saturday in Bowling Green where they came back from a 15-point second half deficit hitting seven of eight shots from tree-point range part of a 23-6 run to defeat the Falcons 84-75 and end their four-game losing streak. In addition, they hit 54.8 percent from the field in the second half. Roundtree led CMU with 19 points with three rebounds six assists and a steal while Meyer and McKay (off the bench) each scored 16.

This week CMU is a home to face Miami on Tuesday and Kent State on Saturday looking for revenge for a loss early in the season to the Golden Flashes.

EASTERN MICHIGAN:

The Eagles got back into the win column Tuesday night as they defeated Akron 63-49 at the Convocation Center. The home team took control of the game with an 8-0 run midway through the first half building a seven-point lead at halftime and maintaining as much as a 10-point advantage in the second half. Elijah Minnie, the transfer from Robert Morris led EMU with 22 points with four steals, five rebounds and four blocked shots while Paul Jackson added 20 with eight boards and four assists

EMU faced Ohio on Saturday at home and fell to the Bobcats 72-66 as the visitors shot 63 percent from the field in the second half. The home team trailed by as much as 11 points in the second period closing their deficit to four with 92 seconds remaining but could get no further. Thompson, who remains the only player in the MAC this season averaging a double-double this season (points & rebounds) had his thirteenth of the season with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

This week the Green and White is on the road first to Buffalo to battle the Bulls then to Miami on Saturday for a meeting with the Redhawks.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS:

The Huskies began this two-game road trip in Buffalo on Tuesday night where they fell to the Eastern Division leading Bulls 95-67 losing for the 13th consecutive time to them. In addition, it was the third loss in the last for road games for NIU who have only one road win away from DeKalb so far this season. The Huskies trailed by only three at halftime however they were outscored 59-34 in the second half. Eugene German led the Red and Black with 17 points, three assists and two steals

NIU finished this two-game road trip through the Eastern Division on Saturday with a stop in Akron falling to the Zips 82-67. It was the fourth loss in the last five games for the Red, Black, and White as a 17-2 run midway through the first half by the home team proved to be the Huskies undoing. German and Dante Thorpe had 16 point each in the loss.

This week NIU is home to Bowling Green on Tuesday then travels to Western Michigan on Saturday.

TOLEDO:

The Rockets took the lead in the Western Division on Tuesday night as they traveled to Ohio and routed the Bobcats 91-57 it was UT’s third straight win in Athens as they 52 percent from the field and 59 percent from three-point range using a 15-0 run late in the first half to take complete control of the contest. Tre-Shawn Fletched led all scorers in the contest with 18 points with six rebounds, four assists and a steal. He was one of four Rockets in double figures which included Jaelan Sanford and Nate Navigato each with 16

The Rockets extended their lead in the West Saturday night defeating Kent State at Savage Arena 72-65 for their eighth win the last nine games (their only loss in the stretch was at Buffalo) as they came back from down two with four minutes remaining to take the victory in a hard-fought game. Fletcher, the transfer from Colorado, led four UT players in double figures with 17 points and 12 rebounds along with four assists.

This week UT travels to Western Michigan to battle the Broncos for the second time this season then returns home on Saturday for the annual battle with their “neighbors” down I-75 the Bowling Green Falcons.

WESTERN MICHIGAN:

The Broncos started the week at Kent State as they came back from a pair of 18-point deficits in both halves tying the score in the closing moments only to see the home standing Golden Flashes score with two-tenths of a second remaining to take a 73-71 win. The key stat in the game for WMU was going 16-of-24 from the free throw line especially in the second half. Josh Davis led four players in double figures with 16 points five rebounds, two assists, a steal and two blocked shots.

WMU returned home on Friday night to face East Division leading Buffalo and fell to the Bulls 84-74 before a national television audience. Similar to Tuesday night at Kent State, they trailed by as much as 12-points in the first half but battled back to be only down two at halftime. However, the Bulls used a 12-2 run early in the second half to take control of the contest. Five WMU players in double figures led by Davis and Wilder each with 16 points.

Tuesday night the Broncos complete their season series with Toledo at University Arena then on Saturday they face Northern Illinois also at home.

There you have it. INSIDE MAC BASKETBALL for week four.

The division leaders have put some separation between themselves and the remainder of the competition. However, there are key games this week with the Rockets battling the Broncos then the Falcons. The Bulls have a date with the Bobcats.

SEE YOU COURTSIDE!!!

E.

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