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MAC Basketball Review: Island Fever

Notes from today's MAC basketball games:

Colorado 81, WMU 76 — Let's be pragmatic with this 0-4 start. This has been four games away from home (three off the mainland) and each game has been a bit better than the last. Colorado is a tough opponent and not only "hung around," but they had a lead for much of the game, although mistakes caught up to them.

But if silver linings can be located in the Caribbean, let it be the play of Matt Stainbrook, who again finished with a 20-point night, along with eight rebounds, two blocks … and he even hit a 3-point shot. Demetrius Ward went strong for 16 points and eight assists (with zero turnovers).

OHIO 69, Arkansas State 54 — Staying perfect but finally going on the road, the Bobcats had five finish in double figures: Walter Offutt, D.J. Cooper, Nick Kellogg, Ivo Balgic and Reggie Keely. They created turnovers and knocked down some 3-point shots to stay in cruise control for most of the day against their Sun Belt opponents.

EMU 66, IUPUI 64 — Someone asked me on Twitter Saturday night what I thought about EMU in 140 characters or less. Basically I told 'em that they're likely going to lose by 10 or more points. This made sense; they played decently enough at home but were embarrassed by Texas Southern on the road, and IUPUI is by all counts better than them. Well … so much for guesswork. The Eagles and Jaguars played so close in the second half, nobody led by more than five points. EMU had 16 turnovers but shot quite well inside the arc, while IUPUI died by it (4-for-23). Antonio Green had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Darrell Lampley led the team with 16 points and six assists. Even Matt Balkema got into the fun and finished with 13. EMU's 3-1.

Toledo 64, Texas-Pan American 54 — Good question. Is this a true road game? Because their last road win was in the 07-08 season against CMU. They've now won two straight on the road, and this one was done thanks to impressive defense (13 steals). Everybody in their seven-man rotation scored between seven and 11 points. Balance! This is weird; they're now 2-1 and playing better than expected, competition be damned.

Eastern Illinois 67, NIU 55 — Our poor Huskies had every bit a chance to grab their first victory, leading late in the second, but it fell apart and those turnovers caught up to them. Abdel Nader led the team with 11 points.

Today's women's games:

NIU 58, Temple 52 — This was a HUGE win for the Huskies and is probably the surprise of the day in the MAC, men's or women's. Northern is still a rebuilding team with mostly underclassmen, but they did this last year at Northern Iowa. And now they put away the Owls, who had AP votes coming into the game. Amanda Corral wound up with a game-high 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

BGSU 71, Evansville 54 — The Falcons avenged their season-opening loss from a year ago with a decisive one at home, led by Chrissy Steffen who scored 16 points. Danielle Havel had 9 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

Pittsburgh 77, CMU 70 — It was just a four-point game at halftime, but the Panthers did just enough to keep the Chippewas' chances of taking a lead just out of reach. Freshman guard Crystal Bradford led the team with 19 points and 12 rebounds; Jas'Mine Bracey had 16 points and eight rebounds.

EMU 63, Loyola-Chicago 55 — Tavelyn James' 20 points was rather nice but Paige Redditt had the game of the night with 17 points and 18 rebounds. EMU out-rebounded the Ramblers 41-21 and pulled away in the final minutes.

Eastern Kentucky 71, WMU 60 — This has not been a great start for either Broncos team. They're a combined 0-7. Is it 2012 football season yet? Miame Giden had a dynamite day nonetheless, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Today's men's games:

7:30 p.m. — Appalachian State Austin Peay at BGSU (CBE Classic)
8:00 p.m. — Saginaw Valley State (Division II) at Miami
8:00 p.m. — Victory (NCCAA Division I) at Toledo (UTPA Tournament)
10:00 p.m. — CMU at Pepperdine

Today's women's games:

7:00 p.m. — Oakland City (NCCAA Division II) at Ball State