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Nick Perkins, Buffalo
Forward, Senior, Ypsilanti, MI (Milan)
Senior Nick Perkins was dominant in Buffalo's two games this past week as they closed out the regular season. UB won its ninth straight game as Perkins averaged 19.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the two games. On Tuesday, Perkins had 17 points in Buffalo's road victory at Ohio where he added eight rebounds. Picking up his first start of the year on Senior Night Friday, Perkins had a game-high 22 points in a win over Bowling Green, adding six boards. Perkins is second on the Bulls in scoring and he leads UB in rebounding.
MAC West Division Player of the Week
Larry Austin Jr., Central Michigan
Guard, Senior, Springfield, Ill. (Vanderbilt)
Senior guard Larry Austin Jr. put the finishing touches on a standout and history-making regular season last week. For the two games, Austin averaged 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 3.0 steals. On Tuesday, Austin flirted with a triple-double for the second time in three games, posting 19 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against NIU. His double-double was the seventh of the season. On Friday, Austin helped CMU secure a season sweep of rival Western Michigan, scoring 20 points to go with nine assists and a career-high five steals in the 82-75 win. Recording a steal early on in the game, Austin became CMU's single-season record holder with 68 in total. He also moved into third place on the single-season assists list with 181, 16 shy of the record. Austin ranks fifth in the MAC in scoring (17.0 ppg) and first in assists (5.8 app) and steals (2.2 spg).
Daniel Utomi, Akron
Wing/Forward, Junior, Houston, Texas
Junior Daniel Utomi (Houston, Texas) averaged 21.5 points per game last week, scoring 43 total points while leading the Zips to a 1-1 record to complete regular season play. He shot 53.3 percent from the field (16-of-30), including a 10-of-20 (.500) effort from beyond the 3-point arc. Utomi grabbed eight rebounds (4.0 per game), dished out three assists (1.5 per game) and captured one steal (0.5 per game). Utomi was one of three Zips to score 20-plus points against the MAC’s top-ranked Bowling Green Falcons, scoring 21 points in a 91-67 win at James A, Rhodes Arena. He shot 8-of-14 (.571) from the field and 4-of-9 (.444) from long range with five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Against Kent State, Utomi notched a game-high 22 points on 8-of-16 (.500) shooting from the floor which included a 6-of-11 (.545) from long distance. The Zips fell 68-65 at the M.A.C Center.
James Thompson IV, Eastern Michigan
Forward, Senior, Baton Rouge, La. (Parkview Baptist)
Senior James Thompson IV made Eastern Michigan history in the Eagles' 68-61 win over Ball State March 4, putting up 20 points and pulling down 23 rebounds to pass all-time great Kennedy McIntosh for the EMU career rebound record. Needing 18 to pass McIntosh's record of 1,426, Thompson secured a new Convocation Center record with 23 boards, grabbing 13 in the first half alone. His 1,443 career rebounds is tops in the NCAA among active players.
For the week, the Baton Rouge, La. native averaged 14 points and 17 rebounds per contest while shooting 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the floor. Thompson followed it up with an eight point, 11 rebound showing in the regular season finale at Toledo, March 8. He was able to move to the top of the MAC overall rebounding list, finishing as the regular season rebound king for the second straight season and third overall.
Nike Sibande, Miami
Guard, Sophomore, Indianapolis, Ind. (Crispus Attucks)
Sibande became the 35th member of Miami's 1000-point club this week in the RedHawks game at Ohio. He is the first player in school history to accomplish this during his sophomore season. For the week, Sibande averaged 21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field. Against Kent State on Tuesday, he recorded his second career double-double, scoring 21 points and bringing down 10 rebounds, while also blocking a shot and getting three steals. He followed that up with 22 points, seven rebounds and two steals at Ohio on Friday.
Levi Bradley, NIU
Wing, Senior, Milwaukee, Wis. (Pius XI)
NIU senior Levi Bradley led the Huskies to a pair of road victories in the final week of the regular season. Bradley averaged 24.0 points and 4.5 rebounds as NIU earned wins at Central Michigan and Ball State. Bradley opened the week with 26 points and six rebounds in an 89-86 victory over the Chippewas. The Milwaukee, Wis., native went 13-of-14 from the free-throw line in the win at Central Michigan. In the regular season finale at Ball State, Bradley netted 22 points, his sixth 20-plus point game of the season and the 13th of his career. Bradley went 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in Muncie to finish the week shooting 94.4 percent (17-of-18) from the free-throw line.
Jason Carter, Ohio
Forward, RS Sophomore, Johnstown, Ohio / Johnstown-Monroe
RS Sophomore Jason Carter led the Bobcats over the final week of play, helping Ohio to a 1-1 record. Overall, Carter averaged 20.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He shot 60.0 percent from the field and 94.1 percent from the free throw line. He also dished out two assists, has one steal and two blocks. On March 5 against No. 19 Buffalo, Carter scored 15 points, going 5-of-7 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out one assist and had one steal in the 82-79 loss. On March 8 against Miami, Carter scored a career-high 26 points going 7-of-13 from the field and 11-of-12 fro the free throw line, while also grabbing five rebounds and drawing 10 fouls in 33 minutes.
Nate Navigato, Toledo
Forward, Senior, Geneva, Ill. (Geneva)
Senior Nate Navigato averaged a team-high 13.5 points and shot 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the field and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from three-point range in Toledo’s victories over Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Navigato tallied a team-high 17 points vs. the Broncos and was 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range. In UT’s win over the Eagles, he was 4-of-8 from the field and 2-of-4 from three-point range.
Seth Dugan, Western Michigan
Center, Senior, Otsego, Mich.
For the second straight week senior center Seth Dugan averaged a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds while shooting a staggering 59.3 percent from the field. On Tuesday at Toledo, Dugan came one rebound shy of another double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Against the Rockets, Dugan was 5-of-12 from the field and had one assist and one block in 34 minutes played. On Friday’s Senior Night, Dugan recorded his 15th double-double of the season with a game-high 26 points and 15 rebounds. Dugan moved into sole possession of second for most double-doubles in a single-season and is one shy of the school record set by Booker James (16) back in 1986-87. Against CMU on Friday, Dugan was 11-of-15 from the field and recorded his 20th game shooting over 50 percent this season. With one guaranteed game remaining, Dugan is 29 points shy of eclipsing 1,000 for his career.