And the updated score: MAC East 5, MAC West 1.
Kent State 66, Ball State 53 — Unperfect at last, but you can thank the Kent State inside bigs for giving the Cardinals a really painful stat: 16 missed layups. Six of 'em were blocked, and even being generous that one of them pops out, that's 10 points off the board right there. And that pretty much quashes any hope of a finish at the end as the win at Ball State basically asserts Kent State's dominance in the MAC, putting out of mind that weird loss to Buffalo.
Justin Greene powered KSU with 12 points, nine rebounds, five steals, and three blocks. Randal Holt was the scoring demon with 21 points, including three straight unanswered buckets that really put the game out of reach. With Jarrod Jones having an off-night (five points, 1-for-6 from the field, six turnovers), four other BSU players netted double figures but nobody had more than 12. Randy Davis finished with 10 points and seven assists.
While the Cards drop to 5-1, Kent State is one of the plentiful at 4-2 in the East.
Miami 68, Central Michigan 58 — The 3-point line can be fool's gold sometimes. You'll have teams just heave it willy nilly 20, 30 times a night. Sometimes it works. But sometimes those shots which are much, much closer to the basket — even though they're worth less — have a better chance of going in. This is what the RedHawks did. They took only nine 3-point attempts (made just two), but were a shimmering 26-of-35 (74 percent) on twos. They vaulted up the total percentage thanks to a 73.7% second half to erase a small CMU lead and coast to yet another East-over-West triumph. Nick Winbush and Antonio Ballard combined for 38 points, 20 rebounds, and one turnover.
The bright side for CMU is that they got Jalin Thomas back after he missed two games with a gimpy ankle, and he busted out for 23 points and SEVEN threes on 13 tries. His ankle is all good, people. Trey Zeigler had an off-shooting night, going 6-for-15 (all twos) and still landing with 17 points. I'm also trying to figure out how CMU had just nine turnovers (to Miami's 19) and lost by 10. Best not to think about it.
Nothing Friday night. Saturday, though:
12:00 — Northern Illinois at Buffalo
2:00 — OHIO at Ball State
3:00 — Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green
4:30 — Western Michigan at Miami