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MAC WBB Preview: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

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Cross divisional foes battle in some key match-ups

Scott Walstrom, NIU Creative Services

5 of our top 6 play tonight, with 4 of them playing each other. Northern Illinois takes on a feisty Kent State squad that lost by a single point to them the last time they played. MACtion doesn’t end in December.


Ball State Cardinals at Buffalo Bulls

When: 7pm, Wednesday, Jan. 15

Watch: ESPN 3, or via stream on the WatchESPN app

Listen: ESPN 1520 for Buffalo, WXFN 102.9 in Muncie

The Bulls are winners of 3 straight and 9 out of 10 at home this season. Buffalo is dominating the glass this season, out rebounding their opponents by 10 per contest. Ball State is second in the MAC, with a margin of 4. Coupled with the Bulls tough defense, which also leads the MAC, getting a win tonight in Alumni Arena is a tall order for the Cardinals.

Look for the Cardinals to try and work the ball into center Renee Bennett to counter the Bulls pressure. The 6’5 senior is averaging 16.6 points per game on 55% shooting.

JoAnna Smith is a tenacious player that embodies all that the Bulls try to do.

This should be a fun game to watch.


Bowling Green Falcons at Eastern Michigan Eagles

When: 7pm, Wednesday, Jan. 15

Watch: ESPN 3, or via stream on the WatchESPN app

Listen: WEMU 89.1 in Ypsilanti, WBGU-FM 88.1 in Bowling Green

Eastern Michigan is led in scoring by Sasha Dailey, at 17.4 points per game. Senior guard Phillis Webb is closing in on 1000 points and 700 rebounds on her career.

Carley Santoro is the only Falcon scoring in double digits, at 11.8 points per game.


Scott Walstrom, NIU Creative Services

Western Michigan Broncos at Ohio Bobcats

When: 7pm, Wednesday, Jan. 15

Watch: ESPN 3, or via stream on the WatchESPN app

Listen: WOUB-AM 1340 in Athens, 1660 The Fan in Kalamazoo

Quiera Lampkins leads the Bobcats in scoring at 19.8 points a game.

Marley Hill leads the Broncos with 16.3 points per game. The Broncos are a meticulous team that tries to wear their opponents down. If their game is going according to plan, they will dominate the Bobcats on the glass.

For Ohio to win the game, I think they need to force WMU into turnovers, and rattle them.

It’s too early to call this game a must win, especially since WMU is only 1 game back in the West. The problem is that there are still 3 teams ahead of them.


Kent State Golden Flashes at Northern Illinois Huskies

When: 7pm, Wednesday, Jan. 15

Watch: ESPN 3, or via stream on the WatchESPN app

Kent State’s Larissa Lurken leads the MAC, scoring 22.7 points per game. Northern Illinois has the highest scoring offense, by far, at 88.2 points per game. The two teams are at the bottom of the MAC in scoring defense. This should be a fun game if you like points.

The Golden Flashes have been a streaky team this season. Currently they are on a winning streak, winning 4 of their last 5. That lone loss was by one to the Huskies. Northern Illinois’ win streak is currently at 1, after getting shocked by Akron last Wednesday. Prior to that, the Huskies had won 6 in a row.

A win here would announce Kent State as a contender in the East. They currently sit one back of Ohio, and the Bobcats have a tough game tonight. 3 of Kent’s next 4 opponents make up the bottom 3 in our power rankings.