Last night in MACsketball:
Bowling Green 62, Miami 53 — How wild is this? Only three games are in the books for most teams, but BGSU is now atop the MAC East at 2-1, and tied with MU and Kent State. Enjoy this while it lasts; the logic dictates that the regression to the mean will be quick and painful. But for now, this is a team tied for first with the team they just thrashed (Miami) and the team that thrashed them last week (Kent State).
It's a team that's terrible at shooting threes. They're a team whose bench played more minutes (112) than the actual starters (88). The leading scorer in a win was A'uston Calhoun with 11. Eleven! I can't figure it, but neither can I understand what the the heck Jordon Crawford is doing on the bench in the first place. What a game: 10 points, eight assists, and five steals.
For Miami, their starting five must've been extra winded; four starters played at least 36 minutes apiece, while Orlando Williams led everybody with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the 3-point line. Julian Mavunga played the role of point-forward with a 10/7/7 night. But they were never able to make much of a run in the second-half to threaten a lead at any point. They did start the game with a 10-2 advantage, but then the reserves came in.
Buffalo 73, Akron 70 — Need more proof that the East is all smushed together? Buffalo is the last team to notch their first conference win, and that puts them at 1-2, now tied with Akron and OHIO. Yes, everybody is one game away from each other. Cozy!
The catalyst in the game was Byron Mulkey, who's typically the enabler (although he did have five assists), but yesterday he went crazy on threes (5-of-6) and ended with 17 points. Dave Barnett contributed 15 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists. The win was iced when little-used freshman Jarod Oldham stole the ball and hit some free throws to give them 73 total.
Akron was unable to hold a 10-point lead they cherished with under 10 minutes to play. Zeke Marshall had to sit for several minutes because of foul trouble, and the team actually shot rather well everywhere that wasn't a free throw line. Brett McClanahan led the McAkrons with 15 points fueled by three 3-pointers. Alex Abreu brought it with seven assists and eight points. However, Buffalo just became spicy hot (even Caribbean jerk) at the right time to pull ahead and seal the win.
Western Michigan 65, Eastern Michigan 48 — And what does a team without the best forward in the MAC look like? Sort of like Toledo, actually. By this, we mean that they hung tough for a half, and then after the Eagles took a slim 30-29 lead, we can only describe what happened as a "blistering Western Michigan 26-3 run." As expected, the large numbers came via WMU's forwards in Brandon Bowdry's absence, who was suspended for this game. Matt Stainbrook gave the home team 17 points and six boards, while Nate Hutcheson had 16/7.
The best that EMU could hope for was some crazypants 3-point shooting, but they took a rather modest 16 shots (by their standards). Derek Thompson was the only one who regularly connected (5-of-8) to lead the team with 17 points. But the next highest scorer was Bowdry's replacement, Jamell Harris, who finished with seven, five rebounds, and two blocks. Hopefully Bowdry learned his lesson, whatever that lesson may be, because we didn't get to hear what he did wrong.
WMU is now 2-1 in the MAC West, while EMU falls to 1-2.
No games until Wednesday.