Kent State, at 6-1 MAC, is one step ahead of Akron in the East and Northern Illinois in the West. Both are 5-2. Akron heads to Ball State (3-4 MAC) Saturday, while NIU visits Oxford to play a banged-up Miami team that is currently on a 10-game slide.
Other Saturday games are:
Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan (2 p.m. ET)
Bowling Green at Central Michigan (4:30 p.m. ET)
Buffalo at Toledo (7 p.m. ET)
FOR MORE ON EACH TEAM, CLICK READ MORE . . .
Akron Zips (16-4, 5-2 MAC)
Junior forward Kwan Cheatham, Jr. led the Akron men's basketball team through an intense battle with Northern Illinois, as the Zips defeated the West Division leaders, 76-66, in front of an electric crowd at James A. Rhodes Arena on Tuesday night. With the win, the Zips remain an undefeated 10-0 at home, improving to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in MAC play.
Ball State (13-7, 4-3 MAC)
Jeremiah Davis scored a team-high 13 points, all in the second half, for the Cardinals in a 76-64 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday. Bo Calhoun recorded his second straight double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Trey Moses also finished with 11 points.
Bowling Green (13-7, 4-3 MAC)
BGSU is just one of two Mid-American Conference teams remaining that is still undefeated on the road in league play this season. The Falcons are 3-0 on the road in MAC play with wins on the road at Ohio, at Eastern Michigan and at Western Michigan. The only other team that is still unbeaten on the road in MAC play is Kent State, who leads the MAC regular season standings at 6-1 in league play.
Buffalo (11-9, 4-3 MAC)
The Bulls returned home in front of a packed student crowd on Star Wars Night this past Thursday and defeated the Ball State Cardinals, 76-64. The win was UB's third in its last four games as the Bulls improve to 11-9 on the season and 4-3 in MAC play. Lamonte Bearden finished with a game-high 18 points, while adding six assists and four steals.
Central Michigan (11-9, 4-3 MAC)
Central Michigan put the clamps on Miami (Ohio) Tuesday, holding the RedHawks to 36.8 percent shooting in posting a 68-51 Mid-American Conference win at Miami's Millett Hall. It was CMU's second-straight win and its second-straight outstanding defensive performance, lifting it to 11-9, 4-3 MAC. Chris Fowler scored 21 points and dished our nine assists (against just two turnovers) to lead the Chippewas, while Braylon Rayson added 14 points and Rayshawn Simmons had 12.
Eastern Michigan (10-10, 2-5 MAC)
It will not come as a shock to see James Thompson IV as one of the top freshmen in EMU history. Posting 12 double-doubles this season, the Baton Rouge, La. native has already made his mark in the Eastern Michigan record books. The 12 double-doubles ties him for seventh-most recorded all-time in EMU history, while his 310 points place him seventh in the most points scored by a freshman. In addition, Thompson has 221 rebounds this season which puts him 22 rebounds shy of the top-20 mark in a single season in EMU history. On his current rebounding pace of 11.1 per game, at the end of the 2015-16 regular season, Thompson would accumulate 343 prior to the MAC Tournament. That rebounding number would tie the 6-foot-10 center with Kareem Carpenter (1994-95) for the fourth-most in a single season in Eastern Michigan history.
Kent State (15-5, 6-1 MAC)
Khaliq Spicer dominated both ends of the floor and Kent State's offense found its stride against Eastern Michigan's daunting 2-3 zone while pulling away to a 73-58 victory on Tuesday night at the M.A.C. Center. Win No. 5 in a row for KSU, combined with a Northern Illinois loss on Tuesday, gives the Golden Flashes (15-5, 6-1) sole possession of first-place in the Mid-American Conference standings. Spicer finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots and a steal while going 9-of-12 from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line in 31 minutes.
Miami (6-14, 0-7 MAC)
Miami fell to Central Michigan on Tuesday, 68-51. Sophomore forward Rod Mills paced the RedHawks with 13 points, while senior guard Geovonie McKnight was the other RedHawk to score in double figures with 10 points.
Northern Illinois (16-4, 5-2 MAC)
Northern Illinois fell, 76-66, to the Zips on Tuesday night at Rhodes Arena. Freshman Marshawn Wilson scored a team-high 15 points as the Huskies fall to 16-4 overall, 5-2 in Mid-American Conference play. Senior Travon Baker and junior Aaric Armstead each added 10 points for the Huskies. Akron went 26-of-35 (74.3 percent) from the free-throw line while NIU was just 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from the charity stripe.
Ohio (12-7, 3-4 MAC)
Through seven MAC games in 2016, the Bobcats are scoring 73.9 points per game while allowing the opposition to average 78.3 points per game. Campbell leads the team with 16.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Simmons is averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 7.7 assists per game. Kaminski is also averaging double digits in scoring in league play with 13.6 points per game. Freshman guard/forward Gavin Block (Lincoln, Ill.) (8.7 points per game) and Setty (7.7 points per game) round out the top five in scoring for the Bobcats in conference play.
Toledo (12-8, 3-4 MAC)
Senior center Nathan Boothe registered his eighth double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds against Ohio. He has led or shared the team lead in scoring a team-high 12 times and rebounding on a team-best 15 occasions. Boothe became Toledo's all-time blocked shot leader with 139 following his rejection of Trey Setty on Tuesday evening with 16:40 remaining in the first half.
Western Michigan (8-12, 2-5 MAC)
Western Michigan maintained a lead a majority of the game, but Bowling Green found a way to slip past the Broncos in the final minutes, handing WMU a 79-78 home loss Tuesday evening. Tucker Haymond led all scorers with 20 points and had six rebounds. Thomas Wilder followed with 17 points, with 10 of those coming at the charity stripe. Haymond and Wilder each had four assists.
• The Mid-American Conference is ranked 10th overall in the latest RPI (courtesy of RPIRatings.com). The highest the MAC has ever finished as a conference in the RPI rankings is 12th (2007-08, 2013-14 & 2014-15)
• Akron (79th), Kent State (85th) & Northern Illinois (89th) are currently ranked within the Top 100 of the RPI.
• The Mid-American Conference announced today that a men's basketball game has been added to the MAC basketball television package on ESPNU.
• Kent State (15-5, 6-1 MAC) will host Akron (16-4, 5-2 MAC) in front of a national TV audience on Friday, February 19th at 6 p.m. ET.
• MAC Men's Basketball teams have protected home court, boasting a record of 74-9 (.892) vs. non-conference opponents this season.