Saturday MAC Basketball Review: Loosiers

Butler 88, Ball State 55 — A 33-point win? Ferseriously? The Cardinals could only make this a game for the first six minutes before multiple 10-0 runs vaulted the national champion runners-up into a rout before halftime. Weak shooting and minimal 3-point attempts didn't help the cause either, although Malik Perry finished with a nifty 13 points. So that's something to build on. Ball State's next game: Thursday 11/25, 1:45 a.m., vs. St. John's in the Great Alaska Shootout

Akron 91, Youngstown State 84 (OT) — Probably your funnest game of the day, if you're into frenetic scores and baskets aplenty. The game was tied 18 times ... eighteen freaking times. On the 16th tie, however, Brett McClanahan drained a buzzer-beating three to force overtime, at which point Akron took over and went off for 14 more points. Sadness engulfed the nearby Penguins. McClanahan and Zeke Marshall both finished with 22 points, but Nikola Cvetinovic was the high man with 27. Put that three-headed cerberus together, and you have 78 percent of their scoring. There's balanced, and there's getting the job done. Akron's next game: Wednesday 11/24 vs. Cleveland State (SportsTime Ohio)

Miami 59, IUPUI 58 — Also sorta exciting, but the first half was cut from the "defensive struggle" mold, which is what Charlie Coles-coached teams have pretty much done since 1922. Then everyone's shootin' touch got loose in the second 20-minute frame as both teams shot better than 50 percent. Thank Julian Mavunga for his 17 points and going for 8-for-11 free throws. Each one of those was vital. Miami's next game: Today vs. Green Bay

Buffalo 87, Towson 76 — Always tip your cap to a man who gets to the free throw line enough to make 10 of 'em. Byron Mulkey went 10-for-12 from the freebie line to finish with 14 points while Zach Filzen's 23 mostly happened while the clock was ticking. They were at 51 at halftime. Jeez, save some for the rest of the season. You're gonna need 'em. Buffalo's next game: Tuesday 11/23 at Canisius

Rhode Island 76, Toledo 65 — Game Two of the re-rebuilding process showed a little more promise, because URI's shooting was just something the Rockets couldn't defend. And when they found themselves down 21, they fought back to a 7-point deficit, but it was too late by then. In a mostly sloppy game, Zack Leahy shot decently to scrape together 17 points. Toledo's next game: Today vs. College of Charleston

South Alabama 82, Central Michigan 76 (OT) — Honestly, schedule. What did you do to poor CMU to warrant such travel? They were pushed to the limits in Hawaii. Now they're playing long-ass games in Mobile, Alabama, perhaps taunting them in a city in which another MAC football team will play a bowl game, while their team sits home. Bring them home already! They can't take any more of this. They were freakin' close to pulling out a win, but Trey Zeigler is not a magic man yet, although he led his boys with 21 points and 10 rebounds. USA had enough of these shenanigans and scored 18 points in overtime to put this one away. FINALLY ... now they're going to ... CMU's next game: Wednesday 11/14 at Illinois-Chicago ... OH COME ON NOW.

Loyola-Chicago 82, Western Michigan 64 — Talk about a big home letdown. LUC finished the first half on a 15-0 run to quiet the WMU offense in a way that Kent State football could not (sport crossover!) and the Broncos just couldn't claw back at all. Either it was a turnover or a missed threeball (2-for-16) ... nothing really worked. Flenard Whitfield had a salvageable day with 17 ponits and eight rebounds. Everyone else probably feels bad though. WMU's next game: Tuesday, 11/12 at Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Canisius 71, Eastern Michigan 51 — Canisius is also in Buffalo ... so let's just say the football team (sport crossover!) did better in town. When the game was already decided, EMU had a couple ejections for players leaving the bench during an apparent scuffle for a loose ball. But other than Brandon Bowdry's obligatory 13 points, nothing else really needs to be mentioned here. EMU's next game: Saturday, 11/27 at James Madison

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