Thursday, January 12, 2006

MAC Nightcap: Proving again the East is the Best (and that this writer needs some sleep)

[note: Still guest-blogging the MAC coverage at Hoops Junkie]

At the beginning of the season, I wasn't ready to buy into the "East is dominant" storyline. Sure, Buffalo and Ohio looked great on paper (and on the court at the end of last season), but surely BSU, NIU and Toledo were going to be up to the challenge. Parity usually rules the MAC, and there never seems to be such an imbalance of power, right? Obviously things have played out much like the pundits predicted, and very much not in the way that I had thought they might. Outside of BGSU and (surprisingly) Buffalo, the East teams have continued their undefeated sweep through the Western division. Tonight, the results were no different:

  • Ohio scored a 75-63 victory over Eastern in their first MAC road action. Sonny Troutman rung up 19 points, Leon Williams chipped in 14, and Mychal Green added 11 for the Bobcats. Reminiscent of the BSU game, Ohio held the Eagles scoreless for 6:05 leading to a 17-1 run that provided all the cushion needed. John Bowler scored another double-double in the losing cause, racking up 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ohio added to their perfect conference record with the victory, while Eastern is left still searching for their first MAC victory.


  • Miami used a 20-0 run at the start the second half to coast to a 66-49 over Central. The Chips failed to score until the 10:53 mark of the 2nd half, a 9:07 drought. The Redhawks were led by William Hatcher's 19 points and six assists. Giordon Watson led the Chips with 17 points. Miami remains undefeated in MAC play heading into their road trip to Ball State, while CMU remains winless in conference play.


  • In what proved to be the game of the night, Mike McKinney tipped in a errant shot with 4 ticks left to secure a 75-74 victory for NIU over Bowling Green. The Huskies, in their quest to win or lose every game in the last 5 seconds, came back from a 15 point first half deficit to gain the win. Northern was led by reserve players Craig Reichel and Todd Peterson, who scored 20 and 12 respectively. The Falcons Martin Samarco continued to be their leading scorer, contributing 25 points in the losing cause. NIU now holds a comfortable 1 1/2 game lead in the East standings, while BGSU is stuck in the cellar of the powerful East division with a 1-2 record.


  • Kent State held home court and maintained their perfect MAC mark with a 84-71 decision over Ball State. The Cardinals changed up their usual pattern of having a 6-7 minute scoring drought in the second half, instead choosing to have the drought midway through the first half. BSU led 15-12 at the 12:46 mark, but then went scoreless for the next 7½ minutes leading to a 36-15 deficit. Kent let the lead slip no further than a 12 point margin for the rest of the game. Omni Smith was outstanding for the Flashes, ringing up 24 points including a 4 of 6 tally from the 3-point line. Kevin Warzynski added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Isaac Knight added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Ball State's freshman PG Maurice Acker continues to impress in place of Peyton Stovall, scoring 23 points including 5 of 7 from the 3-point line. Skip Mills added 18 points in a losing cause. Kent joins 3 other teams with perfect MAC records, while Ball State remains stuck winless with 3 other teams in the MAC West cellar.


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