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MAC Basketball Review: Welcome Back, Kent State, Bye-Bye Streaks

Final - 2.14.2012 1 2 Total
Buffalo Bulls (16-7, 9-3 MAC) 39 32 71
Kent St. Golden Flashes (19-6, 9-3 MAC) 31 45 76

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It's not that Kent State ever really left. Beginning MAC play 2-3 did sort of push them out of the forefront for a while, but after waltzing through the MAC West (with a couple bumps), they survived a game of runs where it was never clear who had the advantage. It took until the final minute, when Justin Greene acted like a MAC Player of the Year and sank free throws to end this one-possession game madness.

There was no singular moment like last year's game when Michael Porrini dunked on the Bulls to seal the victory. But in a second half where they had to overcome an eight-point deficit, Porrini scored 14 points and went 3-of-5 shooting from three. His finishing line: 19 points, nine assists, six rebounds.

KSU looked to pull away in the second half once they climbed up 58-47. It was going to be one of those games, we thought, especially with Javon McCrea sitting on the bench with his fourth foul. Newp. That's when UB keyed a 13-0 run to go back into the lead. Game back on. Momentum quickly shifted back when Porrini hit consecutive three-pointers, and it's rather difficult to win when the other team goes 11-for-18 from the triple line.

Going deeper into the stats, UB finally had their worst defensive performance in MAC play. Nobody had been efficient enough on them to score at least one point per possession. Because of that hot shooting and plentiful trips to the free throw line, KSU finished with a 1.07 PPP. Greene had 18 points, Randal Holt (RANDAL HOLT!) shot 4-for-8 from the 3-point line to end with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Carlton Guyton added 11.

For Buffalo, it's a tough pill to digest especially given that they get their eight-game winning streak shattered to tiny bits. They're now tied with the Flashes for number two in the East, no longer own the head-to-head tiebreaker with them (for now), and must regroup if they want to earn that double-bye. McCrea was limited to 26 minutes, scoring 11 points. Zach Filzen had a wonderful shooting night, going 4-for-9 from behind the arc to score a game-high 20. Mitchell Watt was his bad self with 16 points and nine rebounds. Even Jarod Oldham played well, not scoring much but doling out seven assists to one turnover.

Not saying this was the big one, but it was a big one. Fortunately after the BracketBusters game, the Bulls have three of their final four MAC games at home.

Final - 2.14.2012 1 2 Total
Eastern Michigan Eagles (11-15, 6-6 MAC) 20 32 52
Central Michigan Chippewas (8-17, 3-9 MAC) 24 31 55

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Three wins in the MAC, two against Eastern Michigan. Story of the division, honestly. Nobody can gain any ground. The score looks close but it never really was as CMU led wire-to-wire, played EMU's down-tempo game, won the rebounding battle and that was the difference.

And how is Trey Zeigler not a center? Maybe he should try it. He might be good. Proof: 14 points, four blocks, 0-for-4 on free throws. Very Kamanesque, is it not? Austin McBroom added 14 for the maroon and gold and the team had 13 offensive rebounds to EMU's 14 defensive.

Derek Thompson gave the Eagles 18 useful points, mostly on 4-of-5 shooting and Jamell Harris hit 10 points and seven rebounds but everybody else was relatively dormant on the offensive side. Such is the life of a MAC West team that's still in first place by 1-1/2 games.

Women's games: Akron 71, OHIO 66 — The Zips victory during their "pink out" keeps them in third place in the East, suddenly 1-1/2 games behind Miami. Sina King led UA with 16 points. Tenishia Benson scored 19 for the Bobcats and hit a personal milestone of 1,000 career points, about a quarter of those coming during her two seasons with Cincinnati.

Today's games:


7 p.m. - Toledo (11-14, 3-8 MAC) at Ball State (12-11, 4-7 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)
7 p.m. - Miami (8-15, 4-7 MAC) at Akron (18-7, 10-1 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)
7 p.m. - Bowling Green (13-11, 7-4 MAC) at OHIO (19-6, 7-4 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)
8 p.m. - Western Michigan (10-15, 4-7 MAC) at Northern Illinois (3-20, 2-9 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)


7 p.m. - Buffalo (7-18, 2-9 MAC) at Bowling Green (20-4, 10-1 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)
7 p.m. - Toledo (16-7, 9-2 MAC) at Central Michigan (13-12, 5-6 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)
7 p.m. - Miami (17-7, 7-4 MAC) at Kent State (5-16, 4-7 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)
7 p.m. - Eastern Michigan (17-7, 9-2 MAC) at Western Michigan (6-18, 3-8 MAC) (MAC Sports Video Feed)