And the casualties continue to mount. Buffalo and Toledo men fell in the CIT while Eastern Michigan women were pounded in the women's NCAAs. Remaining to play representing the conference: OHIO in the NCAA Round of 32 on Saturday night, naturally, and Toledo women in the WNIT, who hosts Cincinnati in the second round on Monday.
Do we even want to recap this? I don't think we have a choice.
|NCAA TouRNAMENt - FIRST ROUND||1||2||Total|
|(12) Eastern Michigan Eagles||23||25||48|
|(5) South Carolina Gamecocks||39||41||80|
This is really too bad for EMU, because while we know that SC had a suffocating defense (EMU had a 26.7 eFG%), we didn't know they could shoot the ball like that. Eighty is actually the Gamecocks highest output of the year — they hit 79 against UNC and never even got to 75 before that.
SC focused on Tavelyn James and gave her nothing to hit: 2-for-17 on the night and 11 points was all she could gather. Quite a dud for her on her final game — that's too bad. Paige Redditt also finished her career with 14 points but the future of the program remains healthy as they have smart and efficient players in Desyree Thomas, Natachia Watkins and Olivia Fouty, along with the rest of the bench.
I think we can safely say that Reggie Hamilton is done terrorizing the MAC for his basketball career. The outgoing senior built off his 39-point performance against BGSU in the first round of the CIT and followed it up with 29 more against UB. The Bulls looks liked they might come away with the win in the first half but in the second half UB caught a bit of the turnover bug while not being able to stop the Grizzlies on the other side.
Mitchell Watt went out with 10 points and five rebounds. Zach Filzen went 3-for-8 on threes to finish with 12 points. Dave Barnett had six and Titus Robinson scored seven, but the team will still be competitive with Javon McCrea inside and Tony Watson, who actually led the team with 19 points on 11 shots while adding four assists. Still a heck of a year for the Bulls; finishing second in the MAC was not something I imagined this team would do.
And the Rockets, on this day, looked very much like a young team or maybe their shooting was frigidly cold on an unseasonably warm March day. RMU took an early led and never looked back. Nobody had a particularly dazzling day, but that's all right. Like OHIO, the Rockets bring everybody back for next year, and most certainly their coaching staff.