We'll do this in shifts. The first seven games of the MAC BracketBusters:
This went from "obvious loss" to "decisive thrashing" in quite a hurry. At no point were the Bulls able to get any sort of decent run back into the game, or if they did, they were already far out of reach. Javon McCrea was limited to 24 minutes of action, not really factoring into either side before fouling out, and the SDSU guards of Nate Wolters and Griffan Callahan combined for 43 points. For Buffalo, Mitchell Watt led with 15 points but swatted nary a shot, Zach Filzen was decent from the 3-point line to finish with 13 points and Tony Watson II had some nice minutes to end up with 11.
Give credit to UA, they had the cards stacked against them, playing a piping hot Summit League champion team. They also had to rally from behind seemingly all afternoon and the "game of runs" took full effect until about the second half, when ORU and Akron finally had a nice little close game. Problem was, Akron couldn't rebound and the excellent Dominique Morrison led Oral Roberts with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
And this was probably Alex Abreu's best scoring game of his life. Well, it was a season-high 16 points and four assists, so mathematically it's true. But when the runs began, he was facilitating them and/or starting them with his shots.
But in the end, Akron and Buffalo — two of the teams atop the MAC East — both head to Summit League powerhouses and lose. Hey, did anybody do well?
BGSU is not a hot-shooting team. It doesn't happen for them that often. Having said that, they finally knocked outside shots all night, and that was the sole reason Morehead couldn't keep up. Scott Thomas had an inspired day behind the 3-point line, starting 6-for-8 on threes, ending at 8-for-15, and finishing with 28 points — a career best. The residual effect helped the rest of the team (Dee Brown and Jordon Crawford) go 6-for-11 on treys, and Brown added 19 points while Crawford finished with nine points and 12 assists.
A 71.4 eFG% is tough to overcome, but MSU was proficient in every other aspect of the game.
Hey, losing streak's over! Moose outside should've told you. But as we mentioned yesterday, SIU is wallowing in a stink of disappointment of their own, and with the venue being Worthen Arena, the tie goes to the home team. Randy Davis led the Cardinals with 19 points while Aaron Adeoye had a very efficient 6-point, 4-steal, 8-rebound showing. Tyrae Robinson scored 14 and Jesse Berry added 13. Jarrod Jones was not a malefactor but eight points and eight rebounds wasn't his kind of game.
SIU basically had one gorgeous game from Mamadou Seck (26 points, 11 rebounds) and the Cardinals defense locked down most other players. Could this be a victory that helps push the Cardinals back into some good fortune? I doubt it but you have to start somewhere.
Maybe it's just time for the Rockets to relocate to Texas. They'd be unstoppable. A 4-1 record in the Lone Star State is capped with a slow but tight victory over the Bearkats, which is still misspelled. The Rockets really got efforts from everybody with no standout lines, although Juice Brown probably had the most complete game: 12 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Reese Holliday only missed one basket en route to 14 points and four rebounds. Basically a tough, close win that'll only help improve the toughness of this young team down the road.
If there was an opposite of a marquee matchup, this was it. But it had about as thrilling a finish as you could hope for. Mark Yelovich hit a buzzer-beating jumper to break the tie and claim the victory for SIUe to give him 22 points on the night. NIU had a bit of a collapse as they enjoyed as high as a 12-point lead in the first half. Abdel Nader and Tony Nixon each had 12 points for the Huskies, and Tyler Storm did well with six points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. A loss is only worth one loss, even in this game. That's the best we can say about it.
You can always tell the final score of an EMU game. And even though UWGB had 18 turnovers, rebounding and shooting ultimately did in Rob Murphy's team in a narrow loss. Derek Thompson went 4-for-5 on threes to finish with 12 points, but that clearly wasn't enough. Darrell Lampley netted 13 points but with all that size, the Phoenix just rebounded a bit better.