Four games Sunday helped to fill out the MAC bracket. Who stood on in this edition of MACsketball.
Frustrating? Sure, he is. Explosive? Yes, he can be. Record-breaking? He is now.
D.J. Cooper had just four assists, but it was enough to break a 22-year-old career record for the Bobcats, previously held by Derrick Whitaker. The junior Cooper added five steals which puts him close to another career mark at Ohio. The two combined leave little doubt that no matter the headaches that Cooper may cause, he is one among the best points guards in the conference and probably in the history of the Bobcats.
In the process, the Bobcats shut down the top scorer in the MAC, Julian Mayunga, holding him to just eight points on 3 of 13 shooting from the floor. Only Brian Sullivan (11 points) and Adam Thomas (10 points) finished in double figures for Miami.
With the win, Ohio locked up the No. 3 seed in the MAC tournament and a bye into Thursday's quarterfinals. All Miami did was secure the tenth seed, which was ripe for the taking. The RedHawks will travel to Toledo on Monday, also known as the Huskie Bowl, because it will feature the only matchup of two teams that lost to Northern Illinois. The winner of that could create Huskie Bowl II if Central Michigan can manage to beat Bowling Green.
Speaking of Bowling Green...
The Falcons handed Buffalo the No. 2 seed in the MAC tournament and a pass into Friday's semifinals. And by handed, we mean collapsed. And by collapsed, we mean led by nine with nine minutes remaining and three points with a minute left and managed to loss.
Buffalo scored the final seven points of the game on the way to victory. Mitchell Watt scored 20 points, although was uncharacteristically quiet on the defensive front, grabbing just 3 rebounds and going blockless for just the third time this season.
Bowling Green's A'uston Calhoun put up a game-high 23 points, and helped Bowling Green to stay in the game as long as they did. Dee Brown scored 15 and Jordan Crawford scored 13.
Rian Person showed why he is the the top guard in the MAC, scoring 27 points, pulling in 11 rebounds and adding four steals for Toledo in the 76-51 blowout of Eastern Michigan. Overshadowed was Curtis Dennis, who scored 21 points, including 5 3-pointers, and grabbed seven rebounds.
The speedy four-guard attack of the ROckets was too much for Eastern Michigan, who plodded to just 31.3 percent shooting, including a dreadful 15 percent mark from 3. Darrel Lampley was the only Eagle to break through and add a second digit to his point total. The senior scored 13 in the loss.
This game ended up being for accounting purposes only. Everything was locked in the MAC tournament, and hey, another loss wasn't going to hurt Northern Illinois. Freshman Abdel Nader continued to be the only thing worth watching for the Huskies, going 4-for-5 from 3, and scoring 16 points in 28 minutes. Jesse Berry did him one better for Ball State, hitting five 3-pointers, and scoring 19.
Next stop for both of these teams? First round exits in the MAC tournament Monday.