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MAC Basketball Review: What's Got Into Those Chips?

CMU 78, Mississippi 75 — There's a good handful of MAC teams to watch this season. I didn't think Central Michigan University would be one of them, especially given their rough start. But now? Sure, throw 'em into the Pool of Attention for now.

CMU was down 13 points inside of six minutes, and that's when the fun began. They finally pulled even with 22 seconds to play on a Taylor Johnson three, then forced overtime after Crystal Bradford made a layup with five seconds to spare. Bradford would go onto score nine of the team's 14 clinching points en route to their second "Pink Line" victory in as many games. All this after starting 1-5.

Jas'Mine Bracey fouled out early in overtime but still led the team with 20 points. Bradford finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds (seven offensive) and Johnson also registered a double-double: 16 points, 10 rebounds.

I'm not entirely sure what got into the Chips but they're playing as good as any women's basketball team right now. And the frantic pace is back: 95 possessions in 45 minutes. If they can keep this charade up, they've every bit a chance to contend in the MAC West. Admittedly they've played a rough schedule to start, but it wouldn't stun me if they finished the nonconference portion with four more wins before heading into the MAC run.

Duquesne 77, Akron 70 — The Dukes are receiving a pair of points in the Coaches Poll, so this is an impressive loss despite not really being very much in the game in the second half. I'm not sure why leading scorer/rebounder Rachel Tecca played only nine minutes in the game. She had a bit of foul trouble but was subbed out of the game early in the second half. Ti'eshia Stubbs picked up the slack with 14 points and Jasmine Mushington had a versatile line: seven points, six assists, five rebounds, four steals, two blocks, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Illinois-Chicago 49, NIU 47 — Another classic defensive struggle, if you will. Claire Jakubicek led the Huskies with 19 points and eight rebounds and is another freshman to keep an eye on.

In the men's games:

OHIO 88, Marietta College 54 — Congratulations on your assault on Division III athletics!

DePaul 75, NIU 52 — I laughed a bit if this was going to be the game Northern Illinois pulled off since they were hangin' close in the first half. And that fear subsided. Tim Toler had one of his "hot games" to the tune of 18 points (3-of-8 3-point shooting) and 13 boards. But despite the score, DePaul might actually be the Toledo of the Big East this year. They're at 7-3 on the season, which is as many wins as they had all of last year.

Today's lone men's game:

7:00 p.m. — Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Akron

No women's games until Saturday.