Last night in MACsketball:
Troy 102, Western Michigan 99 (OT) — Few games have me searchin' for a Legitimate Internet Video Feed or, barring the lack of video, a radio feed. This was definitely a game that qualified, judging by the halftime pace (Troy 56, WMU 40). In fact, the Trojans extended their lead to as much as 25 points with 14:53 mark, and then played nearly perfect basketball for nine minutes, whittling the lead away to 81-72. And Juwan Howard Jr., who finished with 24 points, scored 10 in a two-minute span down the stretch, as well as assisted Demetrius Ward's tying 3-pointer with nine seconds to go. Ward had 21 points overall, and both he and Howard went 5-for-8 on threes. The two kept onward with the high pace into the extra period, where Troy outscored 'em 17-14.
The goofiest number out of this one: Both teams were 30-for-55 combined on three-pointers, which was better than they did on free throws (25-for-47). You can almost feel the regression both teams are gonna have in their next affair. Western Michigan's next game: Today at Utah State
Cincinnati 64, Miami 48 — Please stop televising basketball games where our beloved teams are gonna play poorly. The Bearcats improve to 11-0 and are the only undefeated unranked team in Division I (and I thought I understood how this national bias thing worked). It was a rough night for The One They Call Mavunga, credited with seven points and five turnovers, although the eight rebounds helped. Nick Winbush topped the RedHawks with 11 points thanks to some helpful threes, but Cincinnati began creating turnovers and pumping enough air into Millett Hall to make this a blowout. (Get it?) Miami's next game: Thursday, 12/30 at Belmont
Kent State 71, Youngstown State 58 — Seems like they didn't miss a beat with Carlton Guyton suspended for vehicular shenanigans, or Justin Manns suspended for reasons unknown. Another Justin, Justin Greene, and Rodriquez Sherman combined for 41 points and converted 14-of-14 free throws, which is a fundamentally spectatular line. Kent State is now 9-3 and remains perfect at home, if undermanned. Kent State's next game: Tuesday, 12/28 at Morehead State
Akron 75, Arkansas-Little Rock 61 — Vegas appears to be fun for the Zips. I don't know what OHIO's problem was. (Oh, right ... stiffer competition.) UALR gave it the ol' college try for the first 12 minutes, when it was tied 18-all, but the Zips yanked hope from the Trojans' throats and built a double-digit lead that remained unscalable for all of the second quarter. Zeke Marshall finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks, while Darryl Roberts had a team-high and season-best 16 points off the bench. The record still looks a little foul at 6-4, but handling their business against weaker opponents can only help the cause. Akron's next game: Today vs. Stetson
Non-Division I laughers
Eastern Michigan 82, Rochester College 63 — EMU now has two wins, neither of them against D1 competition.
Toledo 80, Indiana-Northwest 44 — Apparently Tod Kowalczyk gives his team a pre-game goal on how many points they should their opponent to, and for every point over that, they run a wind sprint. Their goal for INW: 45.
Ball State 95, Mount St. Joseph 43 — Apparently Division III teams are allowed to bring the entire college with them. MSJ had 16 players enter the game.
5:15 p.m. — Stetson vs. Akron in Las Vegas
7:00 p.m. — Manhattan at Bowling Green
7:00 p.m. — Temple at OHIO
7:00 p.m. — Cornerstone at Central Michigan
8:05 p.m. — Northern Illinois at Southern Illinois
10:05 p.m. — Western Michigan at Utah State