MAC Basketball Review: The Power Of McWatt

Buffalo 68, Cornell 59Javon McCrea can't lead Buffalo to victories by himself. Not every night, at least. If his help arrives in the form of Mitchell Watt ... look out. This team could manifest as a dark horse given those forwards.

They acted like clones against their Ivy League opponent: both had 19 points, 2 assists, a steal, and three blocks. Watt and nine rebounds and McCrea finished with 10. There's your one raw stat difference. But Watt had a better game, though, getting his points on fewer shots and making all his free throws. The Bulls defense held the Big Red to just 38 percent shooting (the guards especially, who were under 30 percent) and maintained the lead for pretty much the entire game. Impressive all around.

They're now 2-0 in this short season.

MAC women's games:

NIU 91, Western Illinois 84 (2OT) — Now THIS is a freakin' game. Connoisseurs of women's hoops would've loved this one. It was a relatively clean game (just 23 combined turnovers in 50 minutes of play) that NIU was able to put away in the second frame thanks to rebounding and some endurance by those who remained in the game. Three Lady Huskies were fouled out before everything was said and done, but six of them scored in double figures. Freshman Jenna Thorp had the most with 18 points (on just eight shots) and nine rebounds.

Green Bay 84, Toledo 68 — Youch. The Lady Rockets' winning streak dating back to last year's WNIT has finally snapped. And not to pile on, but UT lost the last true road game they played. Unfortunately for the Rockets, GB shot remarkably well (an eFG% of 66.666666 repeating) and despite a decent offensive day they just couldn't keep up. Courtney Ingersoll had the most for Toledo with 17.

Miami 56, Marshall 49 — The RedHawks kept Marshall at bay for pretty much the entire game powered by excellent defense, keeping the Herd to under 30 percent shooting. A solid road win at an ex-MAC school was marked by Courtney Osborn's 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals.

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 68, Ball State 56 — It was close at half and then it wasn't. How's that for a summary? Jazmin Hitchens scored a team-high 14 points.

Today's men's games:

10:30 a.m. — Temple vs. WMU in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Tip Off) (ESPNU)
8:00 p.m. — NIU at Iowa

Today's women's games:

7 p.m. — Purdue at BGSU
7 p.m. — WMU at Michigan State

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