Central Michigan, which is on a four-game winning streak, has momentum and is coming off an 88-61 thumping of Kent State in Mt. Pleasant. CMU started the streak with a 72-49 demolishing of Ohio. However, the only road game in that four-game stretch was at struggling Miami.
Facing Akron (18-4, 7-2 MAC) on the road will be a significant challenge as the Zips are undefeated on home hardwood this season. One of the two conference setbacks, however, was at Central Michigan (92-81).
Saturday’s lineup is also full of key games for contenders in both divisions. For the schedule, team notes and standings, click the Read More button at right . . .
Akron Zips (18-4, 7-2 MAC)
The Zips are riding a five-game winning streak with three consecutive wins at home and two road victories. Akron is 10-0 at James A. Rhodes Arena, 5-4 in away contests, and 3-0 in neutral site games this season. Four Zips are scoring in double figures, and six players have connected from downtown on at least 20 occasions with four posting 30+ triples this season. The Zips have made at least one 3-pointer in 501 straight games.
Ball State (14-8, 5-4 MAC)
The Cardinals overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half to defeat Bowling Green, 72-64. BSU held Bowling Green to 4 for 22 shooting in the second half and outscored the Falcons 39-24 after the break. Franko House led Ball State with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Francis Kiapway also scored 16 points and hit four of the Cardinals’ 10 3-pointers.
Bowling Green (13-9, 4-5 MAC)
The Falcons have been road warriors thus far this season, as head coach Michael Huger’s squad is 6-3 overall in true road contests thus far this season. BGSU is 3-1 in MAC road contests on the year and have won four of its last five games on the road this season. Spencer Parker is looking to become just the 43rd player in BGSU men’s basketball 100-year history to score over 1,000 career points as a Falcon. The senior from Detroit, Mich. enters Saturday’s game with 983 career points, only 17 shy of the career milestone.
Buffalo (13-9, 6-3 MAC)
The Bulls enter this weekend’s action with 12-9 record and a 6-3 mark in conference play and have won five of their last six games. UB is beginning a stretch where it will play five of its next six games in Alumni Arena. Bowling Green is 13-9 on the season and 4-5 in conference play entering this weekend’s action.
Central Michigan (13-9, 6-3 MAC)
The Chippewas are coming off an 88-61 home victory over Kent State, which entered that game tied with Akron for the top spot in the East. CMU continued its string of smothering defensive performances against the Golden Flashes, holding them to nearly 16 points below their season average while shooting a season-best 60.7 percent from the field. In its last four games, CMU has held each of its opponents to an average of more than 16 points below their season average, and those four foes have shot a combined 37.3 percent from the floor.
Eastern Michigan (11-11, 3-6 MAC)
In a historic performance, EMU redshirt junior guard Raven Lee put together one of the most prolific offensive outputs in Eastern Michigan history in the Eagles’ victory over Miami, Feb. 2. The Detroit, Mich. native went for 46 points, which is one point shy of the most in a game by an Eagle, on 11-of-16 shooting, including a scorching 9-for-11 from downtown. The nine triples ties Derrick Dial for the most three-pointers hit in a single game in Eastern Michigan history. His 46 points rank as the most scored by a student-athlete in Convocation Center history, while it also tied Buddy Hield of Oklahoma and A.J. English of Iona for the most points scored in an NCAA game this season. Additionally, he broke the Convo record for three pointers in a game. The 6-foot-3 combo guard did all of the damage in just 24 minutes on the court.
Kent State (15-7, 6-3 MAC)
Kent State suffered an 88-61 loss to Central Michigan on Tuesday at McGuirk Arena despite a near double-double by Jimmy Hall. Hall fell one rebound shy of his fourth double-double in the last six games in a 24-point, nine-rebound performance. Kellon Thomas added 12 points, but the Golden Flashes fell to 15-7 overall and 6-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
Miami (7-15, 1-8 MAC)
Senior forward Chris Bryant scored a career-high 18 points and tallied a game-best nine boards in a loss to Eastern Michigan on Tuesday. Bryant was 7-of-8 from the field for Miami. Sophomore guard Ali Barnes was the other RedHawk to score in double figures with 12 points.
Northern Illinois (16-6, 5-4 MAC)
Northern Illinois saw its 15-game home win streak come to an end on Tuesday night as the Huskies fell, 90-78, to Buffalo at the NIU Convocation Center. Freshman Marshawn Wilson scored a career-high 25 points, sophomore Marin Maric recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Jaylen Key posted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ohio (13-8, 4-5 MAC)
Junior forward Antonio Campbell recorded his 10th double-double of the season with a team-high 18 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Mid-American Conference East Division-leader Akron (18-4, 7-2 MAC) defeated the Ohio men’s basketball team (13-8, 4-5 MAC), 80-68, on Tuesday (Feb. 2) at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio. Campbell finished in double digits in points for a team-high 18th time this season and 39th time in his career. Campbell led the Bobcats in scoring for a team-high eighth time this year. He also led the Bobcats in rebounding for a team-high 16th time this season. Campbell recorded a double-double for the ninth time this season and recorded double digit rebounds for the 10th time this season.
Toledo (13-9, 4-5 MAC)
The Rockets will look to build off Tuesday’s convincing 89-62 home victory over Western Michigan, a victory that snapped UT’s season-high three-game losing streak (its longest in three years). The Golden Flashes have dropped road decisions in their last two outings at Ohio (72-61) and Central Michigan (88-61). Toledo’s Nathan Boothe and Jon Jon Williams rank among the MAC’s top scorers with Boothe setting the pace at 19.2 and Williams in third place at 18.1 ppg. Boothe also is first in the MAC with 7.3 defensive rebounds per game, third with a team-high 9.2 rpg, seventh with 3.6 apg, eighth with a 51.4 FG%, and ninth with a 1.7 assist/turnover ratio.
Western Michigan (9-13, 3-6 MAC)
Western Michigan was slow getting out of the gates and never really found a rhythm, suffering an 89-62 setback at Toledo Tuesday. Sophomore point guard Thomas Wilder totaled 20 points, three rebounds and three assists in the loss for Western Michigan. Freshman Josh Davis hit a career-high four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. Junior Kellen McCormick had three triples for nine points.