MAC Basketball Opening Day Recap

I'm sure Keno Davis was this excited after the win today. - Mitchell Layton

Opening day saw teams winning games they should have plus a few close calls.

Not much to see here. The Eagles clearly outplayed their outmatched opponent and notched a good win to open the season. The big surprise was Karrington Ward, a JUCO transfer, led Eastern in scoring with 17. Ray Lee, Mike Talley, and Glenn Bryant each finished with double digits in the scoring column as well. The other surprise was that Bryant didn't start this game for some reason. Da'Shonte Riley had seven blocks. The Eagles face Concordia at home on Tuesday.

John Simons had the game of his career, scoring 27 points on 10-13 shooting. He also posted nine rebounds, but shouldn't get used to having that much of a size advantage all season. Braylon Rayson hit double figures in garbage time minutes and Austin Keel had a good game as well. The Chips play at Bradley on Tuesday.

So this was a little closer than expected. Miami had it within eight with eight minutes left but couldn't hold on. This was a great effort from John Cooper's crew and Notre Dame is no slouch. Reggie Johnson led the RedHawks in scoring with 22. Will Felder and Geovonie McKnight both chipped in 13. Miami travels across the country to face Arizona State on Tuesday.

Another laugher. We've been told to watch out for Derek Jackson, and he showed us why tonight. The transfer from Central Michigan lit it up with 18 points and four steals. Darren Goodson had eleven points and six boards. The scoring was evenly distributed for the game, as nine players scored six points or more. Kent State travels to Temple on Monday to participate in the ESPN 24-Hour Tip-Off Marathon.

Buffalo had a chance, but just couldn't hold on. They were actually within one at 52-53 at the eleven minute mark of the second half until the Aggies just pulled away. The Bulls just scored six points in those last eleven minutes, and it was ugly. Javon McCrea and Jarod Oldham were in foul trouble and just couldn't make a stop or get a bucket. McCrea scored 14 and transfer Josh Freelove had 11, but the bench only managed 14 points between six players. Texas A&M is a decent team, but the Bulls will need more from their bench if they want to compete in the MAC. The Bulls play at Niagara next Wednesday.

Akron finished off Coastal Carolina after letting the Chanticleers back into the game multiple times. Coastal Carolina got it down to nine at one point in the second half, but then the Zips went on a 14-0 run in the next 2:41. The game was not as close as the final score seems, as Akron played sloppily the last five minutes or so on defense and let the Chants make it more interesting than it should have been. Quincy Diggs played his first game in over a year and scored 14. The Zips travel to Moraga, California to face Saint Mary's at 3 am on Tuesday morning as a part of the ESPN 24-Hour Tip-Off Marathon.

The Huskies really needed this one. Nebraska-Omaha is not a good team, and they were on the road. The quest for wins continues in DeKalb.

Note: Western Michigan-New Mexico State starts at 1:30 in the morning, so we'll do that one tomorrow.

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