When the Bulls knocked off Akron on Tuesday night and the Broncos lost to the Rockets, Buffalo became the only team in 2018 to make it to 3-0 in MAC play. The loss put the Zips 3 games back, as they are the last team to still waiting to log their first conference win.
Here is a rundown of all of Tuesday night’s action.
Buffalo Bulls 87, Akron Zips 65
Buffalo, like they have all season, used depth to beat Akron. Five different Bulls scored in double figures, including three players off the bench. Only CJ Massinburg and Jeremy Harris logged more than 30 minutes. The win moved the Bulls up to number 28 in the RPI rankings, which is an unofficial marker the NCAA committee uses when picking their at-large bids. The Bulls play host to Miami on Saturday.
Akron continued to struggle under new coach John Groce, as to be expected with all of the departures. They did get 23 points off the bench from freshman Virshon Cotton, in what their fans hope is a sign of things to come.
Bowling Green Falcons 66, Northern Illinois Huskies 57
The Falcons mauled the Huskies on the boards on a night that neither team shot the ball particularly well. Bowling Green was led by Demajeo Wiggins with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Huskies were led in scoring by Eugene German with 19, but as a team only managed 7 assists.
Ball State Cardinals 75, Ohio Bobcats 68
The Cardinals got solid play from their former super sophomores as Tayler Persons and Trey Moses both scored 16, while Tahjai Teague added 7 points and 7 rebounds. A current sophomore, Kyle Mallers also had a big game, as he knocked in 14. Moses, Persons and Mallers combined to go 17-26 from the floor, good for 65%.
Ohio struggled to shoot the ball as the Cardinals pulled away late, but freshman Teyvion Kirk managed to get to the line, hitting 10 of 12 from the charity stripe on his way to 17 points. Jordan Dartis also kept the game close with his shooting from beyond the arch.
Eastern Michigan Eagles 79, Central Michigan Chippewas 74
The Eagles were able to get their first conference win of the year when they knocked off a surprisingly good Central Michigan team. Elijah Minnie led the Eagles with 25, and James Thompson IV continued his all around great play with 17 points and 12 rebounds, on 8 of 9 shooting from the floor.
The Chippewas got great play out of Cecil Williams with 23 points and 8 rebounds, while sophomore Kevin McKay was great off the bench, hitting all 5 of his field goals and 4 of his free throws for 15 points.
Toledo Rockets 84, Western Michigan Broncos 61
With the exception of Bryce Moore and Thomas Wilder, the Broncos played uninspired basketball as they dropped their first conference game of the year. Wilder scored 28, grabbed 8 rebounds, added 4 assists, and 4 steals. Bryce Moore was 4-7 from beyond the arch on the way to 16 points.
Tre’Shaun Fletcher continued to be impressive for the Rockets, as he stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on 8 of 12 shooting. Jaelan Sanford and Luke Knapke added 16 each, and combined to hit 10 of 13 shots.
The two teams, along with Ball State, sit atop the west at 2-1.
Miami RedHawks 80, Kent State Golden Flashes 69
The RedHawks continued to surprise as they moved to 2-1 in the MAC behind the play of freshman Nike Sibande and junior transfer Darrian Ringo. Sigande led the team with 17 points, while Ringo added 16 and 7 assists. Ringo is 4th in the country at 8 assists per game.
Kent couldn’t find their shooting touch, and were led by Adonis De La Rosa with 16.