MAC Basketball Review: The Charge That Wasn't

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 25: Gorgui Deng #10 of the Louisville Cardinals shoots the ball while defended by TyQuane Goard #32 of the Ohio Bobcats during the game at KFC YUM! Center on November 25, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

No. 7 Louisville 59, OHIO 54 — They had 'em all the way. They had 'em so much, the Bobcats were at one point on a 17-2 run to steal away a six-point lead inside of four minutes, mostly thanks to D.J. Cooper and his magic bag of trick shots. Kyle Kuric answered with a pair of 3-point shots, and after a powerful Chane Benahan dunk, Cooper responded with another 3-point shot.

This set up the controversial play: Walter Offutt stepping up to get in the way of Peyton Siva. With a one-point lead in the final minute, it would've given OU likely the penultimate possession to take the lead. Instead, Offutt picked up his fifth foul and Siva sank free throws to hoist the lead up to three. A couple of excellent looks a 3-point shots by OHIO clanked off harmlessly and the Bobcats became the last team to finally lose.

Here's video of what might've been that favorable home call on Offutt:

It's close. Honestly, it could've gone either way. It didn't go OHIO's way, but it's not the reason they lost — although games so close can usually be decided by one or two plays.

Despite his second-half surge, Cooper didn't have an amazing game: 16 points on 17 shots, three assists, three turnovers. Reggie Keely contributed 11 points and six rebounds, and everybody did well to slow down this long Louisville team.

CMU 82, UC Irvine 72 — And the Chippewas' endurance tour of North America continues in Alaska, while Trey Zeigler decided to have neat games where nobody can see him. Zeigler finished with 21 points on 17 shots, but the star was Olivier Mbaigoto, who started slingin' threes like nobody's business, making 4-of-7 and getting 23 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Andre Coimbra added four more blocks (12 for the team) as the Chips enjoyed a double-digit lead for pretty much the entire second half.

Women's games:

Toledo 69, Indiana 58 — The obvious good thing: a win in a Big Ten gym. The obvious loss: Naama Shafir, who exited the game after a minute after crashing into an IU player, favoring one of her knees. Despite the senior point guard's absence, Haylie Linn did enough to manage the game while Courtney Ingersoll provided the punch: 20 points and eight rebounds from the senior guard. Andola Dortch contributed 13 points and seven steals.

Great win, but we'll see if the Shafir injury doesn't hurt this team going forward. At least it didn't affect them too much in this one.

EMU 54, Cornell 52 — It wasn't the most plentiful of games for Tavelyn James, but they made 'em when they mattered. She hit a 3-pointer with her team down one point in the final two minutes, then laid in the winning basket with 17 seconds to play. James had just 16 points on as many shots.

Stetson 71, Miami 62 — No bad loss here: Stetson is now 5-1 with this victory, powered by 18 steals. Miami had a -9 turnover ratio, and that pretty much deflated their halftime lead. Courtney Osborn still had a great game with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Akron 97, Loyola-Chicago 86 — This is what we call a shooter's delight. Both teams combined for 58 percent shooting (mostly the Ramblers') but five UA players ended up in double-figure points. Rachel Tecca chipped in with a double double, going for 19 points and 14 rebounds. In high-scoring games like this, any lead is erasable; Loyola had a 12-point lead in the first half.

Cleveland State 72, WMU 66 (OT) — And the Broncos basketball teams are searching for their first victory. This might've been their closest taste of it, but the Vikings nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds left to force overtime. A lethal combo of momentum and free throws took off from there. Miame Giden led the Lady Broncs with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Maria Iaquaniello also had 16 points. Maybe next time.

Dayton 94, Buffalo 74 — Look, if the Flyers want to join the MAC, all they have to do is ask. In four games they've played three MAC teams. But they seem to enjoy launching 3-points shots way more: Dayton took 42 3-point attempts, making 15 of them. Guard the perimeter, ladies. Brittany Hedderson guided UB with 22 points.

Utah Valley 46, Kent State 45 — Yikes, what a pace, and what a lack of shooting (about 30 percent combined shooting). Spanish freshman Itziatr Llobet led the way with 14 points and five assists, for what it's worth.

Today's men's games:

4:00 p.m. — WMU at Gonzaga
4:00 p.m. — Miami at Southeast Missouri State
7:00 p.m. — Detroit at Akron
7:00 p.m. — Illinois-Chicago at Toledo
9:00 p.m. — NIU at Boise State

Today's women's games:

2:00 p.m. — Chicago State at OHIO
4:05 p.m. — Kent State at Northern Arizona
5:05 p.m. — NIU at Illinoi State
7:30 p.m. — Buffalo at #2 UConn

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