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MAC Basketball Update
Stainbrook stands up
It was a very bad night for Western Michigan’s Matt Stainbrook in Wednesday’s loss to Toledo. His worst game of the season ended with a goose egg in the point column, 0 for 5 from the field and 0 for 1 from the line. The freshman showed some moxie though Saturday. He scored 18, including the game-winning layup at the buzzer to deliver the Broncos a victory.
Rollin’ through the West
Ball State is undefeated after one go through each of its West counterparts. It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals fare when they go up against the perennially stronger East coming up. Ball State looks solid with the combo of a stud big man Jarrod Jones and solid point guard Randy Davis. Ball State’s seven game win streak was snapped last night in a tight two-point loss to out-of-conference opponent Morehead State.
Javon McCrea is just a freshman but he leads the MAC in field goal percentage. He’s hitting a whopping 67% of his opportunities. The 6-6, 225 McCrea proved a matchup problem for Ohio, who could not stop him getting through the lane. He will be one to watch up in Buffalo.
Eastern Michigan 41, Central Michigan 38
No, this one wasn’t decided by a field goal. You’re not looking at a football score. This was indeed a basketball game. It featured more rebounds from each team than points. You don’t see that too often. Central Michigan shot 23% from the field, Eastern Michigan 33%. That shooting figure usually isn’t good enough for victory but in this very ugly one it got the job done. Of the total 102 shots taken, 28 were made.
Ohio blows 18-point lead
It looked like the Bobcats were about to get a bounce back blowout at home following a road loss at Bowling Green. Buffalo struggled in the first half and got down 43-25 at the break. It was an uninspiring 18-point lead but it was still an 18-point lead. It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to hemorrhage it though. By the 9:38 mark of the second half, Buffalo had already tied it at 51. With 7:45 left the Bulls took a lead and would not lose it again. Ohio’s D.J. Cooper was stymied, held to just six points. That was nowhere near enough to keep up with the lights out shooting of the Bulls in the second half, 72%, to outscore the Bobcats 48-25 and drop the defending MAC Tournament champions to 1-4 in the conference.
Turnovers were rampant in weekend action. Miami with 22 in its loss, Toledo 21, Bowling Green 20, Akron 16, Buffalo 16, Ball State 16, Ohio 15. Only Kent State didn’t reach double-digit giveaways, registering just eight in their win against the Redhawks.
It’s that time of year again. Cross-division scrums are set to commence. Will the East once again prove dominant?
Buffalo at Western Michigan- The Bulls’ three game win streak comes to an end, as the trips to Athens, then Kalamazoo prove too taxing.
Bowling Green at Toledo- Malcolm Griffin’s got game- the rest of the Rockets…not looking as bad as last year but not there yet. Bowling Green holds Toledo in check and back under 60.
Eastern Michigan at Ohio- both return to the court following performances they would probably like to forget. The Eagles got a win, the Bobcats a loss. This time it will be the other way around.
Akron at Northern Illinois- the Huskies have lost two two-point games in a row. This won’t be so close but still a loss.
Kent State at Ball State- the best of the weeknight matchups. Greene gets the best of Jones. Flashes get the best of Cardinals.
Miami at Central Michigan- the Chippewas will score more than 38 this time. But Charlie Coles gets Miami back on track after the turnover-ridden loss.
By Connor Kiesel