Yesterday in MACsketball:
Michigan State 74, Bowling Green 39 — Sure, let's start out right away with the blowouts. (Or the only game that had visual evidence.) Simple math tells us that once BGSU made it a 25-23 Spartans lead early in the second half, that means that MSU finished the game on a 49-16 sprint. It was a little surprising at halftime that BG was able to hold Sparty to 25 points, which were aided by TWELVE Michigan State turnovers in the second half alone ... they had 22 on the game. But the sixth-ranked team finally put it into gear and sailed away with the rout. Scott Thomas had 11 on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the parabola. Get the heck outta large Michigan colleges, Falcons.
Cincinnati 81, Toledo 47 — And what's better than a 35-point loss? A 34-point loss. At home. To an unranked, unbeaten team. This one was noncompetitive from the tipoff as the Bearcats began the game with a 32-5 lead, and it pretty much had the feel of a diminutive person flailing his arms wildly as the larger man stiff-armed his head out of the way. There was little joyous to report from on-location in this game other than a couple good numbers turned out by freshmen (Delino Dear led all scorers with 18 points and 9 boards, and Reese Holliday finished with 13), and the noticeably higher attendance (5,332). But big-name teams tend to draw those kinds of ticket stubs.
Akron 54, Illinois-Chicago 52 — A memorable day for Roo overall. Their soccer team defeated California in penalty kicks to return to the College Cup, although I think "Footy Four" is catchier. And then there was this road comeback. The Zips were down 12 at halftime to UIC, who's playing their fourth of five MAC nonconference games (seems excessive). UA tamed the Robo Kreps Sensation by letting him score his 14 points, but down seven with less than five to play, the Akronians kept their poise and finished the game on a 10-1 run. Nikola Cvetinovic came through big with 13 second-half points (19 total) and four steals.
More losses and needless D3 blowouts after the jump.
Dayton 70, Miami 58 — This was probably one of the more entertaining games for the first, oh, 36 minutes. The RedHawks were held scoreless for the last 3:24 of the game, when the lead was a mere four points. Oh, to have that four-point lead back. But the UD Flyers are always a tough nut to roast at home, so let's not feel too bad about that. Julian Mavunga and Antonio Ballard brought the funk with 18 and 17 points, respectively. 20 turnovers? That's a different type of funk altogether.
Marshall 65, OHIO 57 — Look, another game where it was mighty fun to watch for the first 36. When the score was knotted at 55-55 with 3:14 to play, fun was to be had in this former MAC-on-MAC rivalry ("no, OUR shade of green is incredibly sexier!") but the Thundering Herd put the clamps down in the Convo Center. I wasn't even aware clamps were legal. D.J. Cooper legally had a day with 22 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. I wonder if any of his friends would like to help him prove that the Bobcats are sorta supposed to be the best team here.
North Dakota 54, Eastern Michigan 49 — Ick. Idaho just doesn't suit the Eagles well. This was one of those games where neither team shot particularly well, but they did shoot particularly often. Brandon Bowdry continued to validate his Beast status with 20 points and 7 rebounds the hard way, but the Fighting Sioux played well down the stretch that would've made even George Custer himself proud.
St. Bonaventure 76, Buffalo 74 — The last of their four straight road games ends with a freakin' impressive rally albeit a narrow defeat to the Bonnies. A jumper with seven seconds to go was the difference in the game, but you wouldn't have known that if you just watched the first 30 minutes. SBU was up by as much as 18 with 11:36 to play, but UB rushed back and made it a game, insofar as they tied the damn thing in the final minute. But the Bulls never led, and Bonnie escaped with this one. Byron Mulkey and Zach Filzen gave it their all, chipping in 21 and 18 points. For being picked last in the MAC East ... they're embodying the Hustle Belt mentality during the nonconference right now.
Western Michigan 109, Alma 50 — [spits out chilled beverage] Okay, it's not funny when UC and MSU blow our guys out. What makes you think we'll jeer an undermatched team whose tallest dude is 6'5"? I won't even dignify the stats, other than the 9-8 lead Alma had nine minutes into the game. Besides, for a Division III team with 1,444 enrolled students, it takes some brass ones to call yourselves the Scots. They also boast perhaps the best Dungeons & Dragons name, Greg Silverthorn. Damn. If Alma were a Division I school, you might actually follow them.
6 p.m. — Central Michigan at DePaul (Red Line Upset potential?)
8 p.m. — Kent State at Alabama-Birmingham
9 p.m. — Eastern Michigan at Idaho