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MAC Basketball Review: Score One For The Undercard

Northern Illinois 83, Akron 74 — It takes a team, not a one-person vaudeville troupe, to beat a team like Akron, even if they are sputtering about the league right now. Yes, ma'am, Xavier Silas took over with 39 points (eight rebounds, 16-of-20 free throw shooting, blah blah blah), but it wasn't even half of the output. Gang, meet Antone Christian, who sparked a spiffy first-half with nine points to finish with 13. And he did it all: a three here, a dunk there, a steal or two, and some rebounds (six) — all for a skinny 6'2" freshman guard. Nate Rucker had another baker's dozen from the floor. They pull even with WMU in the West at 3-3, and claim the division's first victory over the East this year. (In four tries.)

But for Akron ... what the heck's going on with this team? As a contender, they're now flailing at 2-4 and can't really seem to defend that well. It was 83 points tonight, but what about 84 against Miami, 73 at Buffalo, and 79 at home to OHIO? Generally UA is stalwartly on the defensive halfcourt, but a 50% eFG for the Huskies did them in yet again. Get a body on somebody. Put a hand in the face of the shooter. That's ... that's actually all I know how to do. Might wanna ask your coach about the rest.

Also, the total attendance was 771. Divide by XS's 39 points, and you get 19.8, or the "Super Performance Consumption Quotient." This number could mean something.

OHIO 79, Eastern Michigan 65 — Nutshell nut graf: "struggling but capable team beats capable but struggling team." I'm not sure what's wrong with them. They should have been in this game, but this was only competitive for the first 10 minutes. That's about the time Brandon Bowdry exited the game with two fouls, and registered only seven minutes in the first half.

By the time the Bobcats let off the gas, they were a comfy 20 points ahead of the pack. DeVaughn Washington had something to say about the raging "best hustledunker" debate, by jamming it down four times and totaling 20 points and nine rebounds. Nick Kellogg was lethal shooting-wise, finishing with 15 points fueled by 3-of-3 from behind the 3-point line.

For EMU, Derek Thompson gave 'em 13 points, and Jamell Harris did have three blocks (he's quietly putting together some nice swat stats). Bowdry only had eight points, which will dearly undermine his 20+ average.

This plops both the Bobcats and Eagles at 2-4 in the league.

Thursday's games:
7:00 p.m. — Kent State at Ball State
7:00 p.m. — Miami at Central Michigan