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Once again the Zips demonstrated why they haven't lost since December 15. But while Bowling Green had no chance of winning, signs are positive around the emergence of a third scorer.
It was a wonder how NIU would respond after scoring 25 points in a game. Never in our wildest imaginations did we envision a last-second jumper would propel them to victory against Kent State.
The Huskies totaled just four points at halftime, went 1-for-33 on 3-pointers and a fan made a halfcourt shot during a timeout. It was that type of game.
The Falcons finally found their team effort in a 70-55 victory over Kent State, who has still yet to win a game in the Stroh Center.
The Eagles took a victory against the RedHawks for the first time since the 1998 MAC Championship.
With their third close contest in MAC play, the Falcons' pint-sized point guard is finding himself in the spotlight of every outcome. It's not a bad thing; just be aware of it.
Everybody struck everybody in an ugly victory for the Golden Flashes, and another brilliant Javon McCrea performance hath gone to waste.
Rian Pearson had an inspired performance to score 29 points and snap a long losing streak against the Golden Flashes.
On the heels of Chris Bond's free throws with 0.6 seconds left, Ball State won their second straight game practically at the buzzer.
Despite losing a 23-point lead, Kyle Randall's 31 points let the Chippewas wipe their brow after a victory.
The Zips capitalized on an ugly opening for the Broncos to start MAC play off correctly.
Last place in our power rankings — and deservedly so entering the game — NIU opens conference play with a victory for the first time since 2010.
D.J. Cooper and Reggie Keely combined for 40 points and shot over 50 percent from the field.
Remember the last few years when the MAC's schedule was pretty simple: play your five division rivals, then crossover games, followed by rematches against your division opponents? No more of that business. The opener is a mix of crossover and divisional games. All games at at 7 p.m. EST and available on the MAC Digital Network:
Bowling Green (5-8) at Central Michigan (7-6)
Ah, a fine rematch of last year's MACT opening round, where CMU stunned the Falcons. The Chippewas' fast-paced offense plays a disciplined BG defense. Interesting to see how this one goes.
Ball State (6-6) at Eastern Michigan (7-7)
First to 60 wins, if it goes that high. Interestingly enough, EMU swept the season against Ball State last year, and this year the Eagles may actually be the ones better on paper.
Western Michigan (8-5) at Akron (9-4)
(Preview) Time for WMU to see if they can remain a nice story by dumping them straight into the JAR and see what they're made of. Just like that. Akron has a 7-game winning streak against the Broncos, dating back to 2008.
Toledo (4-7) at Kent State (9-5)
The Rockets haven't matched up well against the Flashes for years. Not only have they lost five straight games against them, they've all been by 16 points or more. How about a 15-point loss? Baby steps.
Northern Illinois (2-10) at Miami (5-7)
A bad draw to start the MAC season is "MAC West team at MAC East opponent," but this might've been about as decent a start as NIU could have hoped. There's a possibility they could pull this one out, given they beat the RedHawks last year with a largely nascent squad.
Buffalo (5-9) at Ohio (9-5) (STO/ESPN3)
A pretty decent one to televise. Last year's MAC semifinal featured a near-comeback by the Bulls, who have had trouble with the Bobcats as of late. (Then again, hasn't everyone?) As has been pointed out, UB hasn't had a ton of success this year but through all things McCrea anything is possible.
So many excellent games in this pile. We'll start with D.J. Cooper, because so do they, who scored 12 points, had six rebounds, four steals and a school record 17 assists.
Nick Kellogg shot 5-for-9 on threes to finish with 22 points, leading the Bobcats. Reggie Keely did work inside, scoring 18 points including 8-for-9 from the floor. Walter Offutt added 13 and Ivo Baltic had a diverse 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
It was a dynamic game offensively and defensively; OU had 16 steals, forcing a total of 26 Herd turnovers. And it was pretty much over by halftime, when Ohio went into the locker room with a 56-24 advantage.
And that, folks, is the Ohio Bobcats team we were looking for again. Granted, Marshall is having a down year (their best victory is perhaps Savannah State, RPI 172) but it's a rivalry game nonetheless, and winning in this fashion bodes well for what they should accomplish heading into the MAC season. They'll start off next Wednesday by hosting Buffalo on STO/ESPN3.
How bad are the Eagles playing right now? Not only did they suffer perhaps their worst loss in terms of margin of victory against Kentucky, but UMass - the kings of close victories - improved to 10-3 and won their first game by double digits. Their two largest wins have now come against MAC teams (the other: Ohio by 9). Eastern shot decently from the floor and won the rebounding margin, but their -6 turnover margin was probably the deciding factor. UMass had a 13-point lead at halftime, the Eagles got it down to six, but for the most part the Minutemen were in control.
Good luck to our half-MAC brothers as they try to win the Atlantic 16. Eastern, meanwhile, drops to 7-7 (4-7 against Division I) and hosts Ball State on Wednesday.
This game didn't count for either team, thankfully; UM-Dearborn is 3-13, playing in the NAIA. They lost to a startlingly similar score at EMU in the beginning of the year (82-38). It was the perfect night for Olivier Mbaigoto to push around some smaller people (UMD's tallest player is 6'5") to the tune of 20 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Exhibition games this late in the season are weird, but I suppose there is sympathy to be had here; CMU's last game that counted was a 15-point loss to Actual Michigan, so beating up one some guys wearing ridiculously similar jerseys ought to be therapeutic.
It's too bad UMass isn't a full MAC member because at a cursory glance, they'd be the most interesting team of them all. As mentioned yesterday, the Minutemen have yet to win a game by double-digits, but all three losses have been by 10+ points. Here's another case where they scratched and clawed out a win, cheating death and escaping with a narrow victory. They're now 9-3 and as Harry Plumer pointed out, they have a negative scoring differential.
In terms of yesterday's game, UMass built a 10-point lead late in the first half, but the second half saw five ties and six lead changes, and for the last 18 minutes the largest lead was four points. The last points were scored with 1:19 to go on a Chaz Williams jumper. Miami could've tied but Quinten Rollins missed the front-end of a one-and-one, and Will Sullivan having a "missed layup" with one second left doesn't look too good.
But that's how UMass is going to win games, apparently. By the hair on their nose.
A nice game from Allen Roberts, though: 21 points on 15 shots, including 5-for-9 on threes. But that darned rebounding was another red flag: the Minutemen won that 46-29, including 16 offensive boards.
Miami starts their MAC play next Wednesday as they host NIU. UMass hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Well, that wasn't entirely nice. Akron shot better and rebounded a LOT better (60-27) than the visiting Eagles. Notable in this game was Zeke Marshall's 1,000th career point coming on a dunk way early in the first half.
Also per the Zips athletic department, it's the first time three Akron players posted double-doubles in their Division I-A era, which dates back to 1980. Marshall had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Nick Harney added 14 points/11 rebounds and Jake Kretzer (the freshman!) gave them 14 points and 12 rebounds. It was the first double-double for either Harney or Kretzer. Demetrius Treadwell and Brian Walsh also had 13 and 14 points, respectively. Basically everybody was in on this. They just used Coppin State for their own personal gain. Make of that what you will.
And with that, Akron looks to be one of the favorites heading into MAC play. They're 9-4, winners of five straight, and will host WMU on Wednesday to kick off the MACness.
How this for an insane second half: Norfolk State went on a 12-0 run in a 4:14 span to tie it, then went on to lead by five. Ball State fought back and the lead changed three times in the final minute. After the Spartans sank two free throws with 0:05 left to give them a one-point lead, per the BSU Athletics account, Jesse Berry dribbled the length of the court, was tag-teamed, but still found a cutting Majok Majok in the key who dunked home the winning basket as time expired. How often do you see a buzzer-beating dunk?
Berry had a great game offensively, scoring 21 points (5-for-7 from threes) and Jauwan Scaife helped out with 18 points, hitting 5-of-8 threes.
Phew. I think BSU is ready for MACsketball. They'll take a 6-6 OOC record and head to Eastern Michigan on Wednesday.
I ask only because it's a half-serious question: where were the paramedics halfway through this game? By halftime it was 38-14 Wildcats, and the second half was only more painful; UK won that half 52-24. So EMU was unable to score more points in 40 minutes than Kentucky did in either half. Nothing about this was pretty: UK's field goal percentage was over twice that of the Eagles (52 to 24 percent) as was their rebounding numbers (43 to 28).
A 52-point loss when one scores only 38 points is ... unfortunate. EMU last suffered a 50-point loss in 2009 when they fell 111-60 to Ohio State. The last time they lost by 52 points was 1987, when Michigan thumped them 115-63.
Eastern did have a 3-0 lead, though. If only games were a minute long.
And that's enough discussion of that game. But it should be known that Eastern took a page out of the Miami Book of Torture by playing Kentucky, Michigan and Syracuse this year. But they also played Rochester College, Madonna and Siena Heights, meaning that if you schedule three NAIA schools in one year, you may become one.
Just one more nonconference game to go for the Eagles, who are now 7-6. and it's Saturday at UMass.
And suddenly, after 11 straight games of bliss against the MAC, Cleveland State is riding a two-game losing streak against us, and both of them pretty decisively. KSU didn't play like a team that let Fairmont State back into the game. There was a little fight in CSU, pulling to within four in the second half after a 10-point Flashes halftime lead, but this one looked dominant. Kris Brewer and Randal Holt both led the team with 17 points.
In all, pretty solid nonconference run for Kent State. They're 9-5 and running a four-game winning streak. First up for them next Wednesday is Toledo.
6:00 p.m. — Kent State at Cleveland State (Horizonleague.org)
Last year KSU lost a close one to the Vikings, 57-53. Always a frequent OOC opponent of the MAC, they're 3-1 against us this year, with the loss being a 30-point laugher against Akron. Before that, Clevleand State actually held an 11-game winning streak against the MAC. Perhaps it's time to start a new one; KSU didn't look too good against Fairmont State.
6:00 p.m. — Eastern Michigan at Kentucky (ESPNU)
Not entirely sure why this game exists, but I'm guessing it's because Kentucky wanted a win heading into SEC play. It's going to be on the Eagles defense to slow this down into a half-court game. It's their only chance of making the score respectable.
7:00 p.m. — Norfolk State at Ball State (MACDN)
Remember these guys? Norfolk State are the ones who took down Missouri in the first round of last year's NCAAT. Since then they've succumbed to two four-game losing streaks, and they're in one right now. Their last MAC game was last year at Ohio, in which they were drubbed 92-56. But Ball State has no wins over anybody decent, although both teams have very similar statistical profiles. Could be a close one, with the slight nod going to the home team.
7:00 p.m. — Coppin State at Akron (MACDN)
Out of the MEAC, the Coppin State Eagles are just 3-11 with two D1 wins and a difficulty scoring, ranking 315th in points per possession. This might be another time for Akron's offense to come out of its shell and run away with a victory.
7:00 p.m. — UMass at Miami (OH) (MACDN)
Miami's a curious team. Their record's right about where I thought it would be, and while this game won't make/break how competitive they'll be in the MAC, they smell like a team that can surprise some people. UMass, meanwhile, is winning all their close games. They're 8-3 with their largest margin of victory being nine points, and that was against Ohio. They were soundly beaten in their three losses (10+ points) and are coming off a five-point win at NIU, so they appear to be a team that's hanging on. The RedHawks might be able to do this.
8:05 p.m. — Buffalo at Tulsa
You could make an argument for Tulsa being the "Buffalo of the Midwest." The one time I visited Tulsa, it was hot. REALLY hot. I was there for two weeks and hotness was its main game. Tulsa basketball isn't a terribly hot thing, and neither is Buffalo. So that's something in common.
I officially don't get you, Toledo. This is how you end the calendar year? With a loss to Chicago State, a team with one other nonconference win in the last two season? Chicago State, whose last four games against MAC teams were losses of 29, 28, 38 and 12 (with the 12 being last year's Toledo team)? Chicago State, whose only other D1 win this year was against 2-11 Alabama State?
Chicago State. That's how they follow up a 19-point win over a very good UIC team.
Sigh. 2013 is a brand new year for you guys. You finished the nonconference at 4-7 and first battle Kent State on January 9. Good luck to you.
While other MAC teams were having trouble dispatching non-Division I teams, Akron struggled with but won a close game against a worthy opponent: Princeton has been trouble for just about everybody this year. Zeke Marshall had another terrific offensive game, even if the rebounds and blocks weren't there: 7-for-7 from the floor for 17 points. Nick Harney also provided some interior presence to finish with 16.
But more symbolically, this win was big in that it was Keith Dambrot's 300th as a collegiate head coach, if you include his time at Tiffin and Ashland, which ... why wouldn't you? If you include his three years coaching LeBron James in high school, he's actually at 369. Eight more wins — which should happen this year — and Dambrot will be at 200 for his career at Akron.
The Zips wrap up nonconference games on Wednesday against Coppin State.
Fairmont State is a curious little Division II school in West Virginia who averages 87 points per game, as well as 87 points in their two previous losses. If you're into Division II hoops, perhaps they're a keep to keep an eye on, because I don't see any abnormal wacky weird 3-point shooting rates on this team. In fact they were just 7-for-18 from three yesterday, and actually had a chance to swish a 3-pointer on the final possession to upset the Golden Flashes. Instead, it clanked harmlessly off the rim and Kent State, who beat Nebraska, narrowly avoided an embarrassing loss.
But it's the story arc of the game which should give the Flashes concern. FSU's last lead was with 9:08 left in the first half and at one point KSU was up by as much as 17 in the second. But Fairmont kept pecking away, including using a 10-0 run late to come within two points in the final minute. Kent State missed three of their last four free throws, which kept the door ajar.
But sometimes a two-point win against a D2 game is almost as eye-opening as a loss. Chris Evans scored 27 points and nine rebounds, sure, but his missed free throw at the end nearly gave Fairmont a chest-thumping moment.
Kent State ends their OOC slate on Wednesday at Cleveland State.
Well, I guess that's why basketball games are 40 minutes and come in two halves. You get the last 20 minutes to redeem yourself. Miami was only up 36-34 on this 4-7 Division III team, and the Quakers actually held a lead with about 12:46 left, and that's when the RedHawks finally prevailed with a 15-0 run in about three minutes to put away the game. Allen Roberts and Reggie Johnson both scored 16 points each for MU.
Miami improved to 5-6 and finishes their OOC schedule by hosting UMass on Wednesday.
So, what's in the news ... [digs hands in pockets] ... CBS's bracketology now has WMU as the MAC's automatic tournament bid? Did you see this? Did you hear about this? It's a bit surprising, but then again so is the Broncos nice start. And all the credit goes to them for being tied at halftime with the nationally-ranked Wolfpack. At that point, NCSU just took off.
Western did rebound well, grabbing 20 offensive boards to NCSU's 10. Darius Paul finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Nate Hutcheson scored a team-high 16 points and Shayne Whittington provided 14.
OK, what the heck happened here? UND entered the game winless against Division I, has trouble scoring, has trouble keeping someone from scoring, and doesn't rebound particularly well. Well, they corrected two of those three things against BGSU, closing out the win largely helped by a huge rebounding margin: 40-23, in fact, with 16-4 on the offensive rebounds.
It's a pretty bad loss for the Falcons, no doubt, and the second straight heartbreaking loss on the road, for different reasons. Now they have to play at Temple on Monday, and that's not going to be easy either.
The Bulls jumped out to a 22-8 lead and shot incredibly well from the 3-point line (12-for-24) to put this one away nicely against an NAIA foe
Buffalo is now 5-8 (2-0 against non-D1 teams) and will finish their nonconference schedule with a trip to Tulsa on Wednesday.
And that's a 7-5 record padded by three NAIA wins now. They're 4-5 against Division I competition, but at least this game was won handily. The halftime lead was 47-16.
Moving on, for some reason EMU plays at Kentucky on Wednesday. It'll be on ESPNU.
And we're back to basketball! There are some more games on Friday but for now Akron disposed of a one-win SWAC team rather easily.
The Zips took a 43-23 halftime lead with the simple notion of giving the ball to really tall people: Zeke Marshall had 15 points in the first half alone and Demetrius Treadwell had eight points, which equaled Texas Southern's first half total. Marshall finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five blocks and Treadwell put up 18 points and 10 boards. Alex Abreu also made some threes en route to a 14-point night.
Next up for the 7-4 Zips is a tough little battle on Sunday against Princeton.
Technically a neutral game but when it's in Seattle, Washington State's the home team. Buffalo did well, sneaking up with a late lead but the Cougars mostly had this one in hand. Javon McCrea looked to be in foul trouble as evidenced by his 18 minutes of play. Again, they're playing teams well, they're just not closing.
On Friday the 4-8 Bulls will host Notre Dame College (Division II).
This game was from Friday, but after being out of town, I couldn't help but pass this game by. Just read Voodoo Five's account of it. All the accurate information is there, from the buzzer-beaters, to the technical fouls, to THE FREAKING LIGHTS GOING OUT.
All in all it looks like a game BGSU should have won, but failed to close out, and as a result they put a good scare into a Big East team. This is becoming a them for the Falcons, sadly. They did the same thing against Cleveland State.
Next up for the 5-6 Falcons: 2-8 North Dakota at home on Wednesday.
Well, Keno Davis sure has the Chips scoring in bunches, doesn't he? They now have 172 points in their last two matches, and hey, outscoring the other team is the whole point. CMU led merely 42-40 at halftime and just got some extra juice to put away the Bobcats in the second half. The triumvirate of John Simons, Kyle Randall and Austin Keel combined for 52 points on 27 shots and made 16-for-19 free throws. Just an excellent showing for them.
And — history lesson time. It was the most points CMU scored in a game since a 100-96 win against Buffalo in 2007, but they required two overtimes for it. They had a 100-34 win over Division II Tiffin earlier that season, if you want to count it, which I won't. OK, the last non-overtime game where CMU put 92 points on a Division I team was March 14, 2003 against NIU in the MACT, where they won 94-72. Whew.
CMU is now 6-4 and gets an interesting neutral site game against Nebraska on Saturday.
Kent State began the game on a 23-1 run. TWENTY THREE TO ONE. Yes, it's a winless team, but with a schedule that included Penn State, Notre Dame, Lehigh and Bucknell … this 29-point loss is their worst of the year. (Previous worst was Bucknell by 27.)
Chris Evans led the way with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Kris Brewer gave a highly efficient 13 points on three shots, adding five assists. SFPA held their own on the rebounding margin but in every other fashion they were dominated.
The Golden Flashes broke a three-game losing streak, move to 6-5 and on Saturday they host their GoDaddy.com Bowl nemeses, Arkansas State.
The second-ranked team in the country showed up and took the Battle of Washtenaw Country in a 93-54 rout.
Youch. I guess the Huskies are not a fan of the Pacific Northwest? The RedHawks jumped out to a 20-7 lead early and never looked back. NIU shot under under 30 percent for the first half while Seattle was making just about everything (around 60 percent) and blazed to a 47-27 halftime advantage. They were also severely outrebounded 38-22. Just nothing pretty here. Antone Christian's 11 first half points led the team and Daveon Balls had eight. That was it.
NIU falls to 2-8 and will stay in the state to play Washington on Saturday.
So I'm not entirely sure what's happening here. UMass is perennially a strong team but they have not beaten anybody entirely badly this year. Their first six wins were by six points or less. To thrash the Bobcats by nine points is quite something. To hang 85 on them is something else entirely unreal. Isn't this team supposed to be defense first?
Ohio didn't have much of a problem scoring: DJ Cooper got his point guard double-double with 23 points and 10 assists. Walter Offutt had an excellent first half to polish off his 18-point night. And Nick Kellogg even got some buckets to wind up with 15 points. But the defense was not entirely present; they did get 10 steals but UMass shot 48 percent from the floor and made their way to the free throw line often. And again: 85 points. The last time they allowed that much was an 88-87 overtime win at Kent State in February 2011.
Yes, this part of the schedule was tougher. On the surface, they began 6-0 and are since 1-4. But there was more of an expectation to be 7-4 at this point. Alas, they are what they are: one of the better MAC East teams and the rest of the competition should still plan on this team being ready for MAC play, which is truly the more important part of the season.
Well, the good news is on Saturday they host winless Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Some night for Miami. They may have lost but at least they hit the other team in a plentiful manner.
A total of 31 fouls were called on the RedHawks, resulting in four disqualifications. Three of them were technicals: Allen Roberts blocked a shot and "said a profanity word," Quinten Rollins got one during a loose ball and head coach John Cooper was tagged in the final minute for yelling at the refs. Reggie Johnson and Will Felder fouled out the old fashioned way. All in all, productive night!
Before leaving the game Roberts had 16 points, which led the team. Jon Harris provided 10 points and six rebounds.As a team they actually shot well and held WSU to just 34 percent shooting but were manhandled on the boards (outrebounded 38-24) and the Raiders made all those juicy free throws (30-for-38).
Miami is now 3-6 and will play UIC on Saturday.
Hey, they were close. Just not close enough. Shayne Whittington had a singularly awesome performance with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and we like nice even numbers around here. Divide by 10, I always say. But the rest of the team had some difficulties shooting, and the Broncos never led, ever, ever.
WMU is now 7-4 and brings Mount Saint Mary's into Kalamazoo on Saturday. Be careful, they're supposed to get snow.
The Rockets scheduled this exhibition game because of their APR penalties slashing their nonconference schedule, so they arranged this little matchup to keep them fresh. And fresh they were, even if it was a 3-8 NAIA team. The SHU Saints were in it for about seven minutes before the Rockets started rolling.
The only notable thing about this game is that, with AJ Mathew having transferred away, they had an open spot on the team and invited a kid named Brandon Schwiebert, a senior with one semester left of eligibility, to walk on for the team. He's a former practice squad member for the UT women's team, and in 18 minutes Schwiebert scored nine points on 4-for-6 shooting, had one rebound and one assist.
So the win doesn't count for them, they remain at 3-6 and their next real game is December 29 against UIC.
An interesting thing about UAPB, other than their acronym being almost as long as Akron, is that they traditionally spend the entire nonconference playing on the road or at neutral sites. Their last home non-conference games was 2007, beating Louisiana Tech. Their job is to travel to sites, make some money and maybe get some experience. That has to be it, because other than a brief 6-5 lead, the Zips controlled the rest of the game.
By virtue of the blowout, everybody got some playing time and no one person had a huge game and nobody played more than 23 minutes. Most efficient was Zeke Marshall, who had 13 points, six rebounds and five blocks. Brian Walsh shot 4-for-9 from three to finish with 14 points. Freshman Reggie McAdams got in the action with 11 points. They did have 25 turnovers, but about 10 of them happened by the time they had built a 30-point lead.
But at least their losing streak is over. They improve to 5-4 and a slightly tougher challenge awaits Akron on Sunday when they host Cleveland State.
Very similar to the Michigan State game, the Cardinals remained competitive for most of the game, even if they never led often. With under seven minutes they were down just three points, but credit Purdue for never letting BSU sneak in for a chance at victory. Jesse Berry took the majority of the shots, including 4-for-10 on 3-pointers, finishing with 22 points — 13 in the second half. Marcus Posley was the secondary option, and he had 12 points.
So that makes the Cardinals 1-4 against in-state teams, with the lone win against Holy Cross College of the NAIA. Their tour of Indiana continues when they host IUPUI Sunday afternoon.
A stretch of 10 minutes without a basket just might've been the reason Michigan State pulled away in the Stroh Center.
I don't know if this would be a statement game for CMU, but it's definitely not one I had them winning. The Waves are not a terrific team but have had a decent start to their year. But young teams sometimes have trouble playing far away from home.
Not here. The Chippewas made Malibu their home for a night, shooting 50 percent from the floor and only committing eight turnovers in the game. Kyle Randall led the way with 21 points on 13 shots, but it was Christ Fowler who paced the offense with seven assists to one turnovers finishing with eight points of his own. Blake Hibbits was the deep threat, shooting 5-for-8 from three to land with 15 points. John Simons and Austin Keel both had 12 points. In all, freshmen accounted for 39 of the points.
Watch out for Central. They're playing well. They improve to 5-4 and will host Texas State on Thursday.
This would've been the goofiest Red Line Upset. NIU, they of one Division 1 victory, had a legitimate chance of taking a win against Big East cellar dweller DePaul, although they're actualy on a nice winning streak, improving to 8-3 with this win. NIU out-hustled them on the boards, winning the rebounding margin 33-23 and 14-4 offensively. But DePaul had to make free throws down the stretch and they did, to the beat of 21-for-25.
Could this game be a springboard into staying in games late against better competition? We'll have to see as NIU takes a west coast trip, starting with a Wednesday night date at Seattle.
Yikes, kids. WMU had a nice hefty lead on the road - at one point by 25 points - only to see High Point trim it all the way down to a 68-64 deficit with five seconds left. It was clearly too little too late, but still, dudes. Sheesh.
Darius Paul had 10 points and 10 rebounds, keeping his excellent freshman campaign going. Nate Hutcheson led with 19 points and Shayne Whittington contributed 15 points and nine rebounds. WMU outrebounding the Panthers 49-25 probably had something to do with this dominance, ya think?
The road trip continues for the Broncos on Wednesday when they head to Duquesne.
If only the Cardinals could play South Dakota EVERY game. The Cardinals swept the home-and-home against them in very similar fashion. Marcus Posley followed up his 12-point night against SD with 20 points and five assists. Jesse Berry led the team with 22 points, and Majok Majok double-doubled (wheeee!) with 11 points and 13 rebounds. BSU did a better job this time keeping turnovers to a minimum, losing it just 11 times.
Ball State is now 5-4 and their next game is not against South Dakota, which is a shame. Instead they go to Purdue on Tuesday, viewable on ESPN3.
Winthrop has a recent history of making the NCAA tournament out of the Big South Conference. However Winthrop is not a very terrific team this year. Their 3-4 record was misleading, as all three wins came over non Division I teams. So their first win that "counts" came AT the Ohio Bobcats. That's simply brutal.
The Eagles were averaging about 75 points defensively, so by holding an efficient offense like Ohio's, sure, give some credit to Winthrop. But 17 turnovers and awful shooting nights by DJ Cooper, Walter Offutt and Ivo Baltic (combined 4-for-27). Reggie Keely had a decent day, though: 6-for-6 from the floor for 14 points.
Now Ohio has lost three of four games, two of those to remarkably lesser talent. I'm not sure what's happening here, but there shouldn't be cause for panic. But they have some more touch nonconference bouts in the recent future, starting with UMass on Wednesday.
Welp, that's a letdown after beating Purdue. But UIC is a measurably better team than the Boilermakers, and EMU was only down 24-19 at halftime, but the Flames went on a second-half tear, shooting 60 percent in the second half and nearly 70 percent on threes. Leading the way for the Eagles was Glenn Bryant, who scored 10 points and brought down seven rebounds.
EMU drops to 6-3 and will play at Michigan on Thursday.
One of the tougher losses to swallow is one where you lead for the majority of the game. That's what Akron did, only tA game where Akron led for the majority of the contest, only to lose the lead with about five minutes to go. Demetrius Treadwell had a terrific showing: 20 points on 10 shots and eight rebounds. Chauncey Gilliam added 16 points on nine shots.
Akron will turn around and try to end this two-game losing streak with a matchup against noted nonconference patsy Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Tuesday.
It looked ugly after the first half: Kent State had a narrow 20-18 lead. Apparently nobody told Melvin Tabb it was supposed to be a lethargically offensive game as he scored 16 second-half points to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, easily Kent State's best performance of the day.
Unfortunately the entire XU team didn't get that memo either, shooting the lights out and making free throws down the stretch to more than double their first-half output with 44 second-half points.
An up-and-down season continues for KSU as their three-game losing streak drops them to 5-5. Things are looking up for their next few games, starting with winless Saint Francis (PA) on Thursday evening.
Well, Creighton's ranked 16th for a good reason: they don't mess around. Their top scorer, Doug McDermott, matched his season high with 30 points. They built a halftime lead and kept it like that for the second half.
Akron's strong points: they didn't put Creighton on the foul line very often and kept turnovers low, but the Bluejays' were lower. Nick Harney led the Zips in both points (14) and rebounds (5), if that says anything. Zeke Marshall had 12 points and two blocks, but his backup Pat Forsythe may have out-Zeked him with six points and four blocks.
The Zips are now 4-3 but it's their first loss after the three-game compliancesterf*ck. An admirable effort but not top 25-worthy. Their next game is Saturday at Detroit.
In many respects this year it's been a struggle to win games but UT, to their credit, went on the road and beat another struggling team, but in moderately convincing fashion. They just kept making baskets all game and finished with a 59% shooting percentage. Rian Perason had an efficient 22 points on 12 shots, adding nine rebounds. Dominique Buckkley gave them 13 points, four assists and four rebounds.
A loooong respite awaits the Rockets, then a tough test on December 29 at home against one-loss UIC.
Illinois State is darn good, but this one got away from WMU especially in the second half. Their best chance came with about seven minutes to play when ISU stalled for a bit and the Broncos cut the lead to nine, but the Cardinals finished the game on a 19-6 tear. Nate Hutcheson scored 15 points and brought down 10 rebounds. Darius Paul had 14 and Brandon Pokley added 13.
After winning six in a row, WMU has now dropped two straight tough contests. An easier challenge awaits the 6-3 Broncos when they travel to High Point next Sunday.
A harmless four-point halftime deficit turned into something much more foul as the depth of the RedHawks cost them again. Will Felder led the way with 18 points and Jon Harris' 4-for-8 night on threes helped him finish with 15 points. But another painful rebounding margin (44-21) didn't give MU much hope inside.
Miami falls to 3-5 and will keep this thing in-state with a trip to Wright State on Wednesday.
Three points by Javon McCrea and Buffalo wins by double digits? It's more likely than you think. Despite McCrea's foul trouble keeping him to three shots and 21 minutes, Will Regan had the game of his life: 26 points on 11 shots, connecting on three of his four 3-pointers, and bringing down eight rebounds was an unlikely and refreshing performance by someone else on the team. Jarod Oldham added 18 points and seven assists, while Tony Watson scored 14 points powered by 4-for-7 shooting threes. UB has now beaten their crosstown foes for four straight years.
It was for the best they won this game; now they have a 11-day break until their trip to Seattle to face Washington State.
And that's how you rebound from a difficult two-game skid after starting 6-0. But not unlike their season so far, the second half was a classic game of runs. The Bobcats were up 10 points early in the second half, then OU (the other OU) went on a 19-6 run to take a 53-50 lead with 12 minutes left, fueled by a man named Travis Bader, who sank threes all day to finish with 29 points for the Golden Grizzlies.
And then OHIO got back on track by finishing the game on a 25-11 run of their own. Business complete.
Scoring was disturbed well throughout the team, but Reggie Keely had the most efficient night: 10 points on six shots, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. DJ Cooper double-doubled with 10 points and 13 assists. Walter Offutt led them in scoring with 14 points.
Now at 7-2, Ohio will attempt to rebuild a winning streak as they host Winthrop.
All things considered, losing by 12 to an undefeated team isn't the worst thing in the world, especially considering where CMU has come from. Kyle Randall, as usual, led them with scoring with 15 points but also turned it over eight times. By comparison, the 49ers had nine team turnovers. Olivier Mbaigoto and John Simons each scored 13 point and Blake Hibbits chipped in with 11 points and seven boards.
Next up for the 4-4 Chippewas is a late night showdown at Pepperdine next Sunday.
Call it offensive futility or "actual defense," but Samford went about 14 and a half minutes in the second half scoring just three points, by which point BGSU went from down eight to up 16. As the dust settled, Samford got 15 points and nine turnovers.
Consequently, Jordon Crawford bounced back from an 0-for-9 scoreless half to pour in 14 second-half points after halftime. He finished with five assists and six rebounds. A'uston Calhoun added 12 points and eight rebounds.
And after defeating Wright State to 54-41 on Monday, here's a nugget from the BGSU SID department:
Last time BGSU men's basketball held back-to-back opponents to 42 points or less? December of 1949. #63years— BGSU Athletics (@BGathletics) December 8, 2012
Three months ago EMU football was blasted by the Boilermakers 54-16. Consider that game avenged, even more so considering their basketball team held them to fewer points.
All those turnovers didn't do them much good, but after being tied at halftime BSU did everything else better: shooting, rebounding and defense. Chris Bond scored 11 points and brought down 11 rebounds. Majok Majok was a point away from another MMDD: 9 points and 16 rebounds. Jauwan Scaife didn't shoot entirely well but landed with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Ball State is now 4-4 and will rematch South Dakota, this time at their place, next Saturday. Because when you are handed a chance to play South Dakota multiple times, you do it.
This is not on par with that crazy Dayton victory last year, but winning by 20 on the road against a Horizon League team — admittedly 2-5 — was pretty impressive for a UB team that needed something, anything to break their way. And that man's name is Javon McCrea, who had a game we were all waiting for: 31 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. God, it just felt good to type. McCrea did have seven turnovers, and that's the only thing UB did wrong: turn it over. They out-rebounded the Panthers 46-19 and Auraum Nuiriankh was also a reason for that: he had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
It was only their second D1 win of the season, and both have been legitimate W's on the road: this and Evansville.
Can they turn this into something? Buffalo will find out as they improve to 3-7 and host cross-town rivals Niagara on Saturday.
It's fair to say that football and basketball are miles apart at NIU, but it's getting there. Perhaps the magic of the BCS propelled the Huskies to their first win over a D1 nonconference opponent in 18 tries under Mark Montgomery. And it's not that they ran away with this one, but they stayed in control for both halves.
And of course, the game was almost a sideshow to the main attraction: a pep rally at halftime to honor the MAC champion and Miami-bound football team. It was evident in the attendance: for the SIUE game it was 2,750. Last Tuesday against UIC, the announced crowd was 947.
A rude couple of games have turned Ohio from an unbeaten 6-0 and a top 25 threat into a reeling albeit talented team after losses at Robert Morris and Memphis.
Youch. I wonder if Miami misses Bill Edwards? They also seemed to miss "defense," as the Aces shot 63 percent from the field, including 14-for-18 from three, and outrebounded them 32-11. ELEVEN REBOUNDS! That's not many.
Allen Roberts shot well, at least. He put in 15 points and Jon Harris scored 13. Their offense actually played rather well, but pity the defense didn't exist.
Miami falls to 3-4 and goes to Dayton on Saturday.
So there was this weird stretch of game where it went from a tight 59-57 Detroit lead to a 74-59 Detroit lead in about four minutes. What happened? Well, I counted three Titans dunks by Doug Anderson in that stretch. I count more turnovers in UT's side of the box score but I'd say their shooting and transition defense basically took them right out of the game at the end.
They did have some good games out of Juice Brown (20 points, five assists) and Rian Pearson (19 points, eight rebounds), and Matt Smith's perimeter shots also got him to 15 points.
Toledo falls to 2-6 and will travel to Eastern Illinois on Saturday.
Well, Ball State never trailed against this NAIA opponent, which is good, because that's what you're supposed to do. There was also a Majok Majok double-double (18 points, 17 rebounds) so all is right with the world. Freshman Marcus Posley added 14 points and five assists, easily his best game of his young career. The Cardinals just had five turnovers in the game, making this real simple for everybody.
A test more true to their talent awaits Saturday as 3-4 Ball State plays South Dakota.
Well it was a good run while it lasted, but #3 Michigan was too much for the young, under-matched Broncos to handle
Western Michigan shot 36% in the 1st half, including a measly 1-9 (11%) from 3, en route to a 35-21 deficit. They also turned the ball over 13 times. Darius Paul led the Broncos with 8 pts, followed by Nate Hutcheson with 6. Shayne Whittington, who picked up 2 fouls in the first 2 minutes, still managed 6 rebounds in the half. Michigan was led by Trey Burke (10 pts), with Tim Hardaway Jr and Jordan Morgan (6 pts each) pitching in as well.
In the second half, it was all Michigan. WMU only shot 21.7% from the field, and went a little better from 3, going 1-8. Michigan on the other hand hit 50% again including 5-11 from beyond the arc. Burke finished with 20. The bright spot for the Broncos? They weren't out-rebounded by much, and Darius Paul finished with a double-double (10 pts, 10 rebounds) as a freshman against a very athletic team.
I'll say this about WMU: they held on pretty well until the first under-8 timeout, when it was 20-15. From there, WMU had difficulty finding the middle of the rim. They shot 36 percent in the first half then a paltry 22 percent in the second half. When you're playing the third-best team in the country, these things are bound to happen. The Broncos have played well but it was quite an atrocious matchup. Darius Paul led the Broncos with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The next game should be more to their liking: Saturday WMU travels to Illinois State. (Perhaps they can leave with their football coach?)
So, Bucknell is darn good this year. Probably not Kent State's best game, but it may have made little difference.
The Flashes battled back well in the first half, erasing a double-digit deficit to take the lead briefly and be just down a point at halftime. But in the second half, KSU was profoundly outrebounded 18-8, Kent State grabbed just two offensive boards and the Bison shot nearly 60 percent.
Chris Evans, a scorching ball of fire this season (his season low was 14 points) got next to nothing: 2-for-12 shooting, no free throws and a total of five points and four rebounds. Devereaux Manley led the way with 15 points and Kris Brewer netted 10, both efficiently.
Now at 5-4, Kent State next plays Sunday at Xavier.
Despite the pace of the game being never-ending death, the Falcons probably stocked together their best game of the year. A'uston Calhoun muscled his way to 19 points on 11 shots (12-for-12 on free throws) and Richaun Holmes bounced back with a nice nine points, four rebounds and three blocks. They didn't shoot well overall, other than at the free throw line, but they did keep the Raiders to just two second-chance opportunities and created enough turnovers to make the score look ugly.
Moving on, the 4-4 Falcons play Samford on Saturday.
Although it kind of is. For the second straight year, Syracuse drilled EMU basketball 84-48. Of course the cast of characters is largely different on the Eagles, but the score could not change, and I hope they keep playing 84-48 games just to keep the balance of symmetry in college sports forever and ever, amen.
On the surface this was just another NIU loss, but the halftime score was 26-5.
The first half saw NIU go 2-for-19 from the field, 1-for-6 on free throws, commit 12 turnovers and 11 fouls, and somehow the rebounding margin 11-7, including six offensive. Akeem Springs hit a jumper on their first possession, then waited 16 minutes for their next point, a Travon Baker free throw, and Baker followed it up with a steal and jumper immediately following that.
After all that, Dayton admittedly had the game won, but NIU still won the half 38-34. Baker scored 14 more points in the second half to lead all players with 17 points. He also had four steals.
So, at least they finished well. NIU is now at 1-5 and plays Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Wednesday.
Shayne Whittington was on fire, and has full confidence in this new Bronco team as they downed the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 76-72 Saturday to move to 6-1 on the season. After the game, he said, "We don't lose in-state games, they are rivalries for a reason"
After a chippy first half, the Broncos led 40-36. There were 19 fouls between the two teams, and emotions were starting to get out of check. Nevertheless, it was a good half of basketball. Darius Paul and Whittington helped power WMU down low with 8 points each. Whittington also had 3 big blocks. Brandon Pokley and Jared Klein also had 7 and 6 points respectively. Oakland was led by Ryan Bass who had 10 points. The four other Grizzly starters had 6 points each.
In a back and forth 2nd half, WMU was forced into 11 turnovers, but shot well enough to stay in the tight game. Another 28 fouls were called, costing Whittington his game. However, he finished with a stat-stuffing 14 pts, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Paul finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Broncos shot 44% in the 2nd half, and made some key free throws down the stretch.
Up next for the Broncos? #3 Michigan on the road on Tuesday at 8:30 pm
WMU needed a strong push late in the 2nd half, and a buzzer beater to extend their winning streak to 5 games.
After the first half, WMU led 33-21 thanks in part to 13 turnovers by the Panthers. A balanced scoring attack helped pace the Broncos to that 12 pt lead, with the leading scorer being Darius Paul with a mere 7 pts. Allan Chaney led High Point with 8 points. The key stat of the half would probably be the 6-12 (50%) FT shooing by the Broncos, including 4 straight misses, 2 of which being on the front half of a 1-and-1.
High Point would come out of the half on a 9-2 run to close the score to 35-30. After both teams traded baskets, a Dejuan McGaughy layup made it 39-37 WMU with 14 minutes to go. A minute later, a Panther 3-pointer would make it a 40-39 High Point lead. High Point would stretch their lead out to 4 with 11:28 to go before WMU would slowly whittle that down to a tie ball game at the 7:30 mark.
After more trading baskets, High Point trailed by two with just under 4:20 to go. However, a turnover led to a Panther breakaway. The result? Nate Hutcheson blocking a poor layup attempt followed by a huge Brandon Pokley 3 to extend the lead and awaken the University Arena crowd.
High Point would regain the lead at 53-52 and a stalemate ensured. WMU would get the ball back with 20 seconds to go, and after a timeout, Austin Richie would drive and make a reverse lay-up to give the Broncos the lead. A Panther miss as time expired sealed the 54-53 win.
The Broncos only shot 26.1% in the 2nd half, a large part is due to the Panthers switching to a zone defense. Hutcheson finished with 9 points and 3 huge blocks. Shayne Whittington finished with 4 points, but had 10 rebounds and 2 blocks to help stuff the stat sheet. Brandon Pokley and Darius Paul led the Broncos in scoring with 12 and 10 points respectively. No other player had double digit points for the 5-1 Western squad.
Up next? Oakland, who will be playing their 7th straight road game, the last one of their road stretch.
This was supposed to be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Flashes, no? Well that was a quick construction.
Chris Evans paved the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Randal Holt passed the 1,000-point mark in his career with 21 points (5-for-9 three point shooting) and Melvin Tabb made his biggest contribution since transferring from Wake Forest: 15 points, seven rebounds.
KSU is now 5-2, winners of three straight, 2-0 in overtime games, and will host Princeton on Saturday.
This was ostensibly a game that got away from the Cardinals. While they never controlled the game, they led at halftime and had a 53-53 tie with 7:57 left, at which point the Vikings went on a 9-0 run to take the game out of question. Jesse Berry did score a game-high and career-best 28 points and Chris Bond posted 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
That's now three straight losses for Ball State and the schedule doesn't get any easier with a game at Butler on Saturday.
Well, we know one thing: Kyle Randall is going to be their top scorer. He led CMU and the entire game with 21 points. And as if they didn't need any bad breaks, senior center Zach Saylor left the first half with a leg injury. BU is a strong team and they just wore out the Chippewas from there.
Next up for CMU (3-3) is Niagara on Sunday.
All due respect to our ex-MAC half brothers, but while Temple's a tough team ... 39 points? That's very few and certainly eyebrow-raising.
Buffalo trailed 31-16 at half and actually didn't break the 10-point mark until 3:31 left in the first half. The main issue was inside strength: they could only grab four ORs and shot just three free throws in the entire game. Javon McCrea had just two rebounds (zero offensive) and 14 points on 16 shots.
UB falls to 2-6 and will go to Saint Bonaventure on Saturday.
The Islanders are more commonly thought of as an NHL team, but they're not playing right now so the feudin' transferred to their college basketball namesake counterparts. The game saw 59 fouls and three technicals - 35 and two of those respectively belonging to A&M-CC. Three men fouled out, and two of them didn't score a point. One of them, Dale Francis, played seven minutes and was 0-1 from the floor. That was his entire line.
Resultantly, Toledo took advantage of all the free throws, making 35 points from the free stripe. Rian Person was 16-for-20 en route to a career-best 30 points. Julius Brown added 16 points and six assists.
The Rockets improved to 2-4 and will travel to a nice little challenge at Cleveland State on Saturday.
Hey, look at that! BGSU nabs their first Division I win on the year, and that's five straight wins over UDM at home dating back to 2003. Jordon Crawford was difficult to stop: he shot 5-for-10 from three and finished with 26 points on 16 shots. Nobody else had more than nine points and really Crawford's shooting made the difference. The Titans did everything else right.
Now at 3-3, the Falcons will bring in Youngstown State on Saturday.
Once again they were never really in this game; they got as close as five points in the second half but were mostly down double digits. Sam Mader led NIU with 15 points on seven shots.
One item of note: Abdel Nader was warming up with the NIU team, which was a huge deal apparently; but he did not get into this game, so we're still waiting for the Huskies' top player by ability to see action this season.
Also of note: Hayden Humes scored 18 points for the Flames. You may remember him as a former Toledo Rockets hustle-forward who transferred to UIC after one of the earlier APR penalties cost UT a scholarship, leaving him the odd man out. Then when a scholarship opened up because a Rockets recruit saw his career end due to a heart condition, it was too late.
RANDAL HOLT! In the waning seconds Holt hit the game-winning jumper with two seconds left to escape with a win over hot-shooting B-C. The Wildcats kept hucking threes up there and connected on 46 percent of them.
Holt finished with 13 points but on 15 shots. Chris Evans had a more efficient 14 points on 12 shots to go with 10 points. Chris Ortiz, the freshman, was good for 13 points and eight boards.
Next up for the
2-3 3-2 Golden Flashes: a trip to play Nebraska on Saturday in this Nebraska Invitational we've been hearing so much about. The preliminary round was held in Kent State. And now it all makes sense.
Ohio got beat up around the backboard as they were out-rebounded 38-24 and Hampton's OR rate was a stunning 48 percent. But 24 Pirates turnovers did them in, plus the Bobcats made their free throws. Wlater Offutt, for example, was 13-for-15 from the stripe and finished with 23 points. DJ Cooper had 12 points and seven assists and Ivo Baltic scored 16.
Ohio stays perfect at 4-0 and will get a semi-tough challenge on Saturday against Richmond.
The rough patch of UB's schedule continues. They kept this one close to the end but couldn't finagle a lead for the final 28 minutes. Javon McCrea had an outstanding 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and three blocks, and Will Regan contributed 15 points and six boards. Jarod Oldham had a wild nine points, nine assists and three steals (but seven turnovers).
Buffalo is now 1-5 and will play Saturday against Division II Mansfield University.
20-point home loss to a Missouri Valley team? Well, it's not the worst thing in the world, and Indiana State did bag a couple Red Line wins. But did it have to be such a blowout? Simply, BSU couldn't shoot anywhere on the floor, they shot sub-60 percent on free throws and despite some decent offensive rebounding they couldn't make a run.
My favorite phrase for Ball State this year will most likely be "Majok Majok double-double," and yes he had another one (15 points/12 rebounds). Jauwan Scaife had 16 points to lead the team.
This won't get any easier: the Cardinals will play Sunday evening at top-ranked Indiana.
The night before I made a bunch of jokes about Texas losing to Division II Chaminade. It was funny! And then, of course, Division II UAH came out and took a lead for most of the first half against BGSU. They did beat North Texas, los to Cleveland State by one, so I thought karma would catch up to me. A'uston Calhoun was the savior: 20 points (on 14 shots) and 10 rebounds.
Nope. BGSU took care of business. Of course now their record stands at 2-3, but there are no Division I wins in there. They'll try to correct that next Wednesday at home vs. Detroit.
It may be the NIT consolation round, but there's no consoling this team. They're now 1-3 and just keep losing semi-close ones. I don't know what the deal with 4-for-11 free throw shooting is, but that hurt them, compared to RMU's 16-for-20 mark. A'uston Calhoun scored 17 points and had five rebounds and two blocks, while Jordon Crawford helped out with 16 points, three assists and three steals.
The Falcons will try to half the losing streak at three games as they play stay in Pittsburgh to play Alabama-Huntsville (Division II) today.
Penn State isn't a worldbeater in basketball, but they are Big Ten, and this was a 25-point win. That's ... unexpected. Especially since the Nittany Lions were leading by four at half.
The Zips took control on all facets, especially shooting 56 percent from the floor and 8-for-16 on threes. Zeke Marshall was a force on both sides, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. Jake Kretzer, Demetrius Treadwell and Carmelo Betancourt all hit the 10-point mark as well.
It admittedly hurt Penn State's cause that their best player Tim Frazier only played six minutes before leaving with a leg injury, but it was unlikely he would've made a difference of 25 points.
And that's how Akron took fifth in Puerto Rico. They'll get a long respite and return to basketball games starting on December 2 against Middle Tennessee State.
I AM ALL THAT IS MAGIC GUESSING:
A possible Red Line Upset is waiting here.
It was on a pace that would've slowly eaten away at a jittery man, but WMU controlled much of the second half lead after being down two at halftime. USF's only lead of the game was a 49-48 score which actually remained that way for a full 2:59 before Nate Hutcheson's layup kept the Broncos up for good.
Freshman forward Darius Paul just remains darn impressive with another 14 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Pokley led WMU with 15 points, powered by 3-of-4 from three. Hutcheson wrapped it up with 11 points and six rebounds. In fact, rebounding was critical: USF was held to just three offensive boards and the Broncos outgained South Florida 36-26 on the glass overall.
This was also Western head coach Steve Hawkins' 300th career victory.
WMU is now sitting at 4-1 and looking terrific, taking their mind off football. They get an 11-day break before hosting High Point next Thursday.
At one point, OHIO built a 44-19 lead in the second half, and that was when the game was essentially over. Excellent Bobcats defense held Wofford to 30 percent shooting and 21 turnovers.
They got their standard D.J. Cooper 15 points and not much else, but at least he only took seven shots to get there. Reggie Keely probably had the best game with 16 points and two blocks. Nick Kellogg reached the 10-point mark as well.
The next challenge for OHIO is winless Hampton on Tuesday night in the Nation of Coaches Classic.
This was the very definition of a win slipping away. Kent State had a 3-point lead in regulation, with the Crusaders possessing the ball. A weak free-throw shooter was fouled with seven seconds remaining, who made the first, missed the second and the game-winning rebound slipped out of Chris Ortiz's hands, into Valpo leading scorer Kevin Van Wijk, who forced the game into overtime.And it went on from there.
Lots of great offensive contributions from many in this game: Randal Holt led the game with 20 points and five steals, Chris Evans scored 18 points on just seven shots, Bryson Pope added 13 points and Kris Brewer totaled 11.
Credit to Valpo: they got to the line a ton and made their FTs (34-for-41) to stay in this game.
Kent State drops to 2-2 and will next host Bethune-Cookman.
It's settled. EMU just needs to host more tournaments and their record will swell to new heights. Three wins in three days in their Ice Man Classic put the Eagles at 4-1, capped off by this nice little Sunday victory against the Broncs of UTPA. That followed a win over IPFW. They're just so good against acronyms.
In a slow pace like this game, textbook of a Rob Murphy-coached EMU squad, having a 20 percent better offensive rebounding margin (50 percent!) is a huge thing. Leading the way was Daylen Harrison, who double-doubled his way to 16 points on 11 shots and 12 rebounds, five offensive. DaShonte Riley hauled in 11 rebounds and also scored eight. Glenn Bryant helped out with 11 points.
EMU's next game will be against Madonna University on Saturday. Leftover cupcakes, anyone?
Yowzers. That'll happen when playing the No. 2 team in the country with that personnel. It was tied 10-10 with 13:23 left in the game, which means that the Cardinals finished on a 70-29 run, which looks even worse, so apologies for pointing out it. Cold shooting by the RedHawks, including 4-for-20 on threes, just compounded things.
Where is Julian Mavunga when you need him? The high scorers on the team were Bill Edwards and freshman Geovonie McKnight with seven points apiece. But it's just not basketball season until Miami plays a game like this: completely overmatched against a top five team.
An easier challenge — but still a tough one — awaits 1-2 Miami at undefeated William & Mary on Wednesday.
They played a basketball game against a basketball team and won the game. Good on you. The Division III Judson Eagles had it as close as three points with under 10 minutes to go, and then NIU rightly pulled away. Freshman guard Akeem Springs and Sam Mader each scored 16 points. Kevin Gray added 10 points and eight rebounds.
So that counts as their first "win." NIU is 1-2 and will host Loyola-Illinois on Saturday.
The Artist Formerly Known As IPFW started out pretty well but became woefully out-shot and their turnovers added up, giving EMU yet another nice win early in the season. Derek Thompson shot 3-for-6 from three to finish with 17 points and four steals. Glenn Bryant got 11 points inside.
The Ice Man Classic rolls onward tomorrow as EMU will play Texas-Pan American.
Nope, nothing really to see here. WMU held a seven-point lead at halftime on UMES and just kept building on it. Four Broncos finished with 10+ points, starting with Brandon Pokley's 14, Shayne Whittington adding 13 points and seven rebounds, and freshman Darius Paul with another impressive showing: 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Early candidate for MAC Freshman of the Year right here?
The win will put WMU at 3-1 and they'll face the host team of this tournament in Tampa: South Florida. A possible Red Line Upset is waiting here.
They didn't hold a lead for any of the final 31 minutes, but they were right there at the end. They hung tough but those Yale boys just matched them play for play. Jarod Oldham played 40 minutes and totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds. Javon McCrea had 17 points, drew a ton of fouls (13-for-14 on free throws) and added five rebounds and two blocks.
And that's how Coaches vs. Cancer wound up for them. At 1-4, Buffalo will return home and make an intracity trip to Canisius on Tuesday night.
Now is that a beatdown or is that a beatdown? Is there another word for it? OHIO cruised in the first half with a 37-17 advantage and they just kept aiming for the torso until the final buzzer sounded.
When the dust settled, Ivo Baltic led the team with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. D.J. Cooper had a very D.J. Cooperish nine points, 14 assists ad four steals. Reggie Keely pounded inside for 14 points and seven boards, while Ralter Offutt managed 11 points.
The Bobcats will try to keep it perfect in their next game, Sunday, against Wofford.
Well, jeez, it looked reasonably close when it was a 10-point KSU lead at halftime. But I guess winning the second half by another 19 made your point, Golden Flashes.
With the lopsided win, nobody had to play more than 25 minutes and everybody got in on the fun. It was Devareaux Manley who topped the team with 20 points in just 15 minutes. Chris Evans was excellent as usual with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Randal Holt shot nicely with 15 points, and Mark Henniger got 11 points down low.
Turnovers were key: KSU had just six of them, compared to Chicago State's 20.
Next up for Kent State is Valparaiso on Sunday afternoon.
Nate Hutcheson came up huge for the Broncos against these feisty Horizon League opponents: he had 30 points on just 13 shots (6-for-8 on threes, 8-for-12 on free throws) and pulled down nine rebounds. Darius Paul also played a complete game, adding 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. Austin Richie had 13 points and five assists. But it's safe to say Hutcheson carried them to this win, earning that unlikely All-MAC West preseason team nod.
WMU continues their time in South Florida with a date with Maryland-Eastern Shore tomorrow.
In many respects, this was the closest game of the night for any MAC team. Majok Majok topped the Cardinals with 17 points (9-for-10 on free throws) and seven rebounds. Jauwan Scaife added 14 points, Jesse Berry got 12 points and Michael Ramey, in 13 minutes of reserve time, sank three 3-pointers to muster 11 points. Chris Bond was a do-it-all man inside for seven points, six rebounds and five steals.
Ball State remains perfect at 2-0 and brings in Indiana State on Tuesday.
No James Still, no problem. Derek Thompson fired up 5-for-12 on three and finished with 22 points, while Daylen Harrison got 18 points keyed by 11-for-11 on free throws. We could say Harrison getting to the line and making them all was a prohibitive difference in the game, which was back and forth and tied at halftime EIU only taking 10 free throws all game, compared to 24 for EMU, was a big difference. And making them, obviously.
Now 2-1, EMU will continue its hosting of the Ice Man Classic tomorrow night with a game against IPFW.
Congratulations on your 14-point win over a Division III team. Have this tote bag. Zach Saylor scored a team-high 14 points, and Chris Fowler totaled 12 points and seven assists. They had a 24-point lead at halftime, so Olivet really had their number down the stretch. That's ... different.
CMU will now stretch their legs and pack a plane to Utah to participate in a Thanksgiving tournament in Salt Lake City. First up: Wright State on Wednesday.
Javon McCrea scored 13 points and had five rebounds, five assists and three blocks, and Will Regan joined in with 13 points of his own. But despite a narrow UB 32-31 lead at halftime, WIU just pulled away in the second half.
Buffalo's next game in Evansville will be Saturday against Yale.
Akron already played, so here are tonight's seven MAC-related games:
5 p.m. — Loyola (IL) (2-0) vs. Western Michigan (1-1) at Tampa (USF Invitational)
6 p.m. — Western Illinois (1-1) vs. Buffalo (1-2) at Evansville (Coaches vs. Cancer)
7 p.m. — Wofford (1-1) at Ball State (1-0) [MACDN]
7 p.m. — Eastern Illinois (0-2) at Eastern Michigan (1-1) [MACDN]
7 p.m. — Chicago State (1-1) at Kent State (1-1) (Nebraska Classic) (Yes it's called the Nebraska Classic even though it's in Ohio) (shrug) [MACDN]
7 p.m. — UNC-Wilmington (1-1) at OHIO (1-0) [MACDN]
7 p.m. — Olivet College (Division III) at Central Michigan (0-1) [MACDN]
The Zips may be 2-2 but they are 1-0 in a post-compliance-nightmare world. The two forwards who returned to action, Demetrius Treadwell and Nick Harney, accounted for only 14 points and 10 rebounds, so it doesn't look like they'd have made a difference in this runaway win. Plus, Harney fouled out, so he wasn't compliant with keeping his hands to himself.
Akron pulled away in the second half after a narrow three-point halftime lead
Chauncey Gilliam was the real story here: 22 points on just nine shots (5-for-6 on threes) and Alex Abreu bounced back with 12 points and nine assists to one turnover. Zeke Marshall swatted away five shots to go with six points and eight rebounds.
Akron will play the winner of tonight's Penn State-Providence tilt in the fifth place game of this Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Earlier today I said "first to 50 wins." Okay, how about "first to over 50?" Buffalo got just enough offense (49 percent shooting) to seal the lead at the end. Javon McCrea's night: 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Cameron Downing scored 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting.
With a win they'll now play Western Illinois tomorrow, also in Evansville as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament.
Another overtime loss, another what-could've-been if their compliance department got their stuff together ... but this one was in Puerto Rico! Zeke Marshall and Chauncey Gilliam both fouled out in overtime and despite scoring the first four points of overtime, that's all they got and OSU finished on a 9-0 run.
Marshall had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Brian Walsh shot for 14 points and 10 rebounds, Alex Abreu paced the team with 13 points and six assists, and Jake Kretzer capped them off with 10 points and eight boards.
Tomorrow the 1-2 Zips shall play UNC-Asheville.
10:30 a.m. — Akron (1-1) vs. Oklahoma State (1-0) [TV: ESPNU]
It's also the third of three games the Zips will play without Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell. They're Big XII, sure, but finished 15-18 last year and remain a little undersized. Akron needs to hope their reserves come up big, and the same with Zeke Marshall, noted salsa dancer.
8:05 p.m. — Buffalo (0-2) at Evansville (0-1)
Evansville's loss was a nine-point defeat to Notre Dame. Both teams have had trouble scoring, and maybe it's the competition they faced, but it could be a "first to 50 wins" contest.
Not a football score! Okay, for Toledo it's a football score.
I'm impressed they were able to get this to overtime and stay in this game until the end. A couple foulouts by Nathan Boothe and Matt Smith in overtime hurt the effort, however, and took away the size advantage.
Dominique Buckley was accurate from three, going 5-for-7 out there, finishing with 19 points. Juice Brown took 20 shots to get to 23 points, and Rian Pearson kept them in it with 18 points of his own.
But Toledo kept getting into foul trouble, committing 27 of them, and UNI turned them into 32 points at an 82 percent clip.
The winless Rockets can finally come home on this weird Illinois-Minnesota-Iowa trip and will host Samford next Wednesday night.
Just one game tonight:
8 p.m. — Toledo (0-2) at Northern Iowa (1-0)
The Rockets have not played impressively thus far, and going to UNI is no cure for the blues. The Panthers doubled up Division III Wartburg 103-50, and we know that they're one of the best Missouri Valley teams. Could get out of hand yet again, but that's why the Toledo football game is at 9 p.m., I guess.
After they lost their first game in the Preseason NIT, it was certain that Madison Square Garden was not in their future. But Pittsburgh is kind of nice!
Bowling Green will play December 19 and 20 at Robert Morris University and square off against RMU and Alabama-Huntsville, respectively. Cleveland State will be joining them in the same consolation pod but BGSU won't play them again. You may have heard of UAH's travails in the NIT; they're a Division II school who upset North Texas on Monday, so watch out fo rthem.
Here's a stat for you: the MAC is 4-14 against Division I opponents so far this season. Two of those are against Grambling. Hey, take them any way you can.
The Grambling Tigers have not looked very impressive for a while, especially this year, so take the 26-point win with measured exuberance. Still, it's a heck of a way to open up at home with new coach John Cooper. They forced 32 turnovers (compared with 14 of their own) and owned the offensive rebounding (16 to 6) so that even GU was able to shoot rather well, everybody on Miami got in on the scoring action.
They had six people in double figures, most notably freshman Reggie Johnson who scored 20 points, five rebounds and grabbed five steals. Jon Harris had 12 points and eight boards, Allen Roberts and Will Felder amassed 12 points each and Bill Edwards scored 11. Quinten Rollins had an outstanding game too: just five points but seven assists and seven steals compared with zero turnovers.
They're 1-1, and the next one's not easy: a date on Sunday against the second-ranked Louisville Cardinals.
After 36 good minutes of basketball in which they led and kept it competitive, the eponymous acronymous Jaguars finished the game on a 16-4 run
The "new look" Western Michigan Broncos kicked off their home schedule tonight with a 85-40 win over the Marygrove Mustangs of the NAIA.
The Broncos started off a little flat, trailing a couple times early due to turnovers and missed shots. They would slightly extend a lead, but could not fully pull away from the Mustangs before the half, leading by a score of 35-23 at the half. Shayne Whittington nearly had a double-double (7pts, 9 rbs) though at that point, and Nate Hutcheson had 8 points, but the Mustangs were shooting nearly 50% from 3 compared to the Broncos' 23% mark.
However, WMU would turn things around in the 2nd half. They would come out on a 22-3 run in the first 7:45 of the 2nd half and would never look back. Brandon Pokley hit three 3-point buckets in that to spark the run, and the Broncos would press Marygrove into submission. A lot of subs saw action including Taylor Perry, Charles Harris, and Dan Loney.
Not much more needs to be said about the game itself. I mean, this is Marygrove. Some final stats are in order though:
The Broncos now head to Florida to play in the South Florida MTE Tournament against Loyola-Chicago, Maryland-Eastern Shore, and South Florida. So yes, the hockey team is in Alaska while the basketball team is in Florida. Makes sense if you don't think about it.
WELP. No more weekday afternoon games for you.
Sophomore guard Kris Brewer broke out for 19 points, a career high, and Chris Evans contributed with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals - to go with eight turnovers.
KSU rebounded immensely at a 44 percent offensive rebounding rate compared to Temple's 19%, but the shooting, the turnovers, a man named Scootie Randall and his 31 points - it all added up.
Enjoy your Big Eastitude, Temple.
I'll say this: playing a game at 7 a.m. local time is a very weird thing. But it was nice to wake up and catch some of the game. Northern Illinois is not a team ready for television: the MAC has some competitive teams at the top but NIU isn't one of them; they're likely the 11th best team and they're missing arguably their top player, Abdel Nader, to suspension. It was a miracle that the Huskies only trailed 23-17 at half.
It was not really a contest. Valpo's top three scorers outscored NIU's entire team and only Aksel Bolin could manage 10 points to go with nine rebounds. For a weak team, however, they stayed in it thanks to 13 offensive rebounds (to Valparaiso's three) and committed three fewer turnovers. But the shooting was just not there.
NIU falls to 0-2 but ought to pick up their first win, if it really counts, against NAIA opponent Judson University (1-5) on Sunday.
Oh look, early games!
8:00 a.m. — Northern Illinois (0-1) at Valparaiso (1-0) [ESPN/ESPN3]
12:00 p.m. — Temple (0-0) at Kent State (1-0) [ESPN/ESPN3]
5:00 p.m. — Bowling Green (1-1) vs. IUPUI (1-1) at Ann Arbor (Preseason NIT)
7:00 p.m. — Marygrove College (NAIA) at Western Michigan (0-1)
7:00 p.m. — Grambling (0-2) at Miami (0-1)
This was an important game for Akron, in that they suffered no further suspensions due to the compliance department. It was a rollover win against a Division III team, so take little solace in the outcome. Five players finished with double-figures: Brian Walsh (18), Deji Ibitayo (16), Alex Abreu (12 and seven assists), Jake Kretzer (12) and Chauncey Gilliam (10). Zeke Marshall added eight points and six blocks because life is unfair.
In the opening round of the Preseason NIT, the overmatched Falcons were so close to actually setting up a date with Michigan, thanks to A'uston Calhoun's huge night.
Hey guys, that's just mean. Florida State dropped out of the rankings thanks to a loss to South Alabama for some reason, and they took their frustration out on the Bulls, looks like. 95 points? Sheesh.
UB was able to match the athleticism a bit on the offensive glass (13 offensive boards) but they could not keep up with the Seminoles' shooting, who knocked down 10-of-18 threes and shot 60 percent on the day.
Revenge for their football team! Perhaps! Well, this was CMU's first game under head coach Keno Davis, so losing by 12 at a Big Ten school really isn't all that bad. They got the opener out of the way and weren't embarrassed. A good place to start.
Fifth-year transfer Kyle Randall led the team with an efficient 17 points (5-8 from the floor and 6-for-6 on free throws). Derrick Richardson chipped win with 14 points. Freshman John Simons looked good scoring eight points, five rebounds and leading the team with three assists.
Turnovers and lack of offensive rebounding mostly hurt them, but the up-tempo offense at least gave them a chance. If they play like this all year, maybe they won't be awful.
This is not the Rockets team that we were hoping might give several teams scares, perhaps pull off some upsets, get to 20 wins and then sit out the postseason leaving us wondering "why." More like "what the heck." The team did OK with turnovers as a team, but Juice Brown had seven just by himself. They shot poorly (31 percent, 16 percent on threes) and were outrebounded 43-20. Just a terrible combination.
But their freshman Nathan Boothe had the best game, perhaps: 13 points on nine shots to go with seven rebounds. Rian Pearson was the game-high scorer with 18 points. Reese Holliday provided eight points and five rebounds. And despite the seven TOs, Brown had nine points and seven assists.
The Rockets fall to 0-2 and will gear up for another tough roadie through their Midwest tour: Wednesday at Northern Iowa.
A couple difficult games await the MAC today. Two Big Ten opponents, a third whose ranked and one of the more impressive mid-majors in the last couple years. Also, a Division III freebie.
6:00 p.m. — Bowling Green (1-0) vs. Cleveland State (1-0) at Ann Arbor (Preseason NIT)
7:00 p.m. — John Carroll University (0-0, Division III) at Akron (0-1) [MACDN]
7:00 p.m. — Buffalo (0-1) at #25 Florida State (0-1) [ESPN3]
7:36 p.m. — Central Michigan (0-0) at Iowa (1-0) [BTN]
8:00 p.m. — Toledo (0-1) at Minnesota (1-0)
Starting the season with a Division I blowout win is always a good portent on a team shrouded with uncertainty, even if Grambling only won four games last year.
BSU led for the final 36 minutes of the game and for double-digits for virtually all of the second half. Jesse Berry led all Cardinals scorers with 17 points. The majestically-named Majok Majok had a double-double (of course he did): 11 points, 12 rebounds. Other double-figure scorers: Marcus Posley added 12 while Chris Bond and Zach Fields each provided 10 points.
Hey, they call can't be NAIA opponents. In fairness, at one point EMU wiped away a 10-point Gamecocks lead, but Derek Thompson sank a couple threes to help bring them back into it, and actually led briefly before tapering off.
Daylen Harrison led the way with 14 points and nine rebounds. Glenn Bryant added 13 points. Thompson finished with nine points before fouling out (desperation fouls at the end, mostly). Eastern's next game will be in a tournament they host on Friday, starting with Eastern Illinois.
The last time Ohio played the Pilots, DJ Cooper finished with a triple-double. That wasn't necessary this time. But 18 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals was pretty fine out of the senior point guard. Nick Kellogg went 4-for-4 on threes and ended with 18 points. Reggie Kelly netted 13 points and Ivo Baltic rounded up the double-digit scorers with 10. Basically the Bobcats defense did their job and forced 23 turnovers and they coasted to victory.
Jim Christian returns to the MAC with a win, and their nonconference slate is underway.
They've got some youth on the court and it showed. The Broncos were within striking distance at halftime (only down two) but that second half got to them. Shayne Whittington had an overall sound game: 15 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Jared Klein had a nice debut, scoring 12 points and grabbing five steals before fouling out. Nate Hutcheson had nine points but took 12 shots to get there. As a team they only hit 3 of 14 three-pointers as well.
It took over seven minutes for Buffalo to score their first points of the season, which seemed like forever but once they got off the schneid they found themselves right back in it for some reason. Unfortunately UB couldn't come back and close the deal, and those 18 turnovers caught up to them.
Tony Watson got them going with their first points and finished with 10 on the day. Javon McCrea led them with 22 points (10-for-12 on free throws), eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. And maybe in their next game, they make it a focus to start scoring earlier in the game.
Cursed compliance offices! They ruined everything! The loss of Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell on the court was certainly felt in an overtime defeat. Resultantly the Zips had to play four freshman 10+ minutes and I'm surprised they performed as well as they did on the road.
Zeke Marshall led the way with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Jake Kretzer had an outstanding game, logging 42 minutes and scoring 15 points on 11 shots, adding six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Alex Abreu paced the offense with 14 points and freshman Reggie McAdams logged 34 minutes and scored 12 points.
Moral of the story: DO YOUR PAPERWORK, ATHLETIC DEPARTMENTS.
And there goes the undefeated season.
I'm looking down the line and nobody really had great numbers. Julius Brown scored 15 points but took 16 shots to get there. The team on a whole only turned it over 11 times, compared to the Ramblers' 15, but after being down eight points at halftime, UT had to play catch-up all game and couldn't get it done.
Two years in Division I ... and two wins over Northern Illinois. That's pretty good efficiency!
NIU was only down a point at halftime but that's when UNO got busy. When the dust settled, two Huskies were in double figures: Aksel Bolin had 11 points and freshman Daveon Balls scored 10. They had the edge rebounding 34-28 but committed too many turnovers, 23 to UNO's 18.
It should also be noted that this was UNO's first game in brand new Ralston Arena. New stadiums are always fun! So if Northern Illinois did anything, it was letting the Mavericks have their day and celebrate it with a victory. Probably wasn't their goal, but hey. When life hands you lemons.
Well, BGSU won, it wasn't pretty. LEC hung around with being down just eight points at halftime, well within striking distance. The Falcons shot just 33 percent from the field but took 35 foul shots and made 60 percent of them. Jordon Crawford led the way with 22 points (9-for-14 at free throws), five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Junior transfer had some nice bench minutes, scoring eight points on five shots.
Kent State-Drexel turned out to be a dandy of a mid-major matchup on Opening Night. But the way it finished was anything less than beautiful.
Chris Fouch was a savior for the Drexel Dragons all night off the bench and without his 24 points, Drexel probably doesn't force overtime. So let's keep that in mind. And it happened right after a positive Drexel play, too. When Fouch drilled a 3-pointer — his sixth of the night — with 19 seconds to go, it tied the game 62-62.
The good feeling lasted for about two seconds.
Fouch didn't seem to know the game was tied, instead thought his team was still trailing and immediately fouled Randal Holt on the inbounds. Both free throws were made, Drexel couldn't match on the other end, and Holt took some more freebies to salt away the game. In a closely-contested match, the difference turned out to be a single mental error.
Chris Evans had a terrific night for the Golden Flashes: 21 points, nine rebounds (four offensive), two blocks and two assists. Holt's final line was 17 points on 13 shots.
The first game after Charlie Coles' retirement is a sizable loss to a top 10 team. Some things never change.
This didn't look like a particularly interesting game (Rochester was only down three at halftime) but it is a non-exhibition game and it counts. Good enough for us. Daylen Harrison and Ray Lee each added 12 points. Lee also helped out with seven assists and Jamell Harris led the Eagles with eight rebounds, five of them on the offensive glass. They pulled away with an 11-0 run toward the end of the game to make this one look like a respectable victory.
And we're back to basketball.
IT'S HERE, GUYS. Here are the seven games that kick off college basketball in the MAC:
12 noon — Rochester College (NAIA) at Eastern Michigan [MAC Digital Network]
7:00 p.m. — Lake Erie College (Division II) at Bowling Green [MAC Digital Network]
7:00 p.m. — Drexel at Kent State [MAC Digital Network]
7:00 p.m. — Miami (OH) at NC State [ESPN3]
7:30 p.m. — Akron at Coastal Carolina (HB preview)
8:00 p.m. — Toledo at Loyola (IL) [HorizonLeague.org]
8:00 p.m. — Northern Illinois at Nebraska-Omaha
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