Six MAC Men's Basketball Games Tip-Off The New Year

Updated 1/2/2013

MAC Men's Basketball Daily Release (1-2-13)

MAC Men's Basketball Daily -- Wednesday, January 2
Eastern Michigan (7-5, 0-0 MAC) at Kentucky (8-4, 0-0 SEC)
6 p.m. ET • First Meeting
• Eastern Michigan will travel to Lexington, Ky. Wednesday, Jan. 2, for a matchup with the 2012 NCAA National Champion, University of Kentucky Wildcats. Tip-off at Rupp Arena is scheduled for 6:02 p.m. EMU’s win over Siena Heights was the first time the Eagles have shot 50% or better from the field they shot 22-of-44 (50.0 percent) in a 57-62 overtime loss to Miami last season, Feb. 1, 2012. The Eagles’ 33-of-60 (55.0 percent) is the best shooting percentage since Eastern shot a sizzling 28-of-39 (57.1 percent) against Toledo during the 2007-08 campaign, Jan. 22, 2008.
Kent State (8-5, 0-0 MAC) at Cleveland State (8-5, 0-0 Horizon)
6 p.m. ET • Kent State leads series 25-22
• Kent State closes out its non-conference schedule at Cleveland State on Wednesday, Jan. 2. The regional rivalry game between the Golden Flashes and Vikings is set for a 6 p.m. tip at the Wolstein Center. Both teams come into the game with matching 8-5 records.Kent State seniors Chris Evans and Randal Holt continue to lead the Golden Flashes in scoring. Evans is averaging 16.9 per game and is coming off a career-high 27-point performance against Fairmont State on Sunday night. Holt is averaging 13.2 per game while leading the MAC in three-pointers made with 30. Kent State has won three straight games. To extend the streak to four, the Flashes will need to end Cleveland State’s perfect 5-0 start at home this season. 
UMass (8-3, 0-0 Atlantic 10) at Miami (5-6, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • First Meeting
•  Miami continues a four-game home stretch, hosting Massachusetts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2. Miami seeks its third straight win after back-to-back wins at Millett Hall where the RedHawks eclipsed 80 points in each win. They face a tough challenge in the Massachusetts Minutemen, who enter Wednesday’s game having won five straight. Four RedHawks are averaging double figures in Millett Hall, led by freshman guard Reggie Johnson’s 17.3 ppg. As a team, the RedHawks have shot 48.9 percent from the field, 44.9 from 3-point range, averaged 10.0 treys, out-rebounded opponents by a 1.0 margin and posted a +6.8 turnover margin on their home court. Miami is averaging 80.5 ppg and allowing its opponents just 62.2 ppg in home games.
Coppin State (3-11, 0-0 MEAC) at Akron (8-4, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • First Meeting
•  Akron extended its winning streak to four games with a gritty 62-58 win over Princeton on Sunday. Zeke Marshall overcame early foul trouble to lead all scorers with 17 points to  go along with four rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot. The performance helped him earn MAC Player of the Week honors for the second time this year. During their four-game winning streak, the Zips are out-scoring their opponents by 19.8 points/game and hold a +12.3 rebounding advantage. UA is shooting 49.8 percent while holding opponents to just 37.4 percent shooting. Marshall has led the way, averaging 17.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots.
Norfolk State (6-9, 2-0 MEAC) at Ball State (5-6, 0-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • First Meeting
• Ball State returns to action from a nine-day holiday break, hosting Norfolk State for a 7 p.m. tipoff Wednesday at Worthen Arena. It will be the final tuneup before conference play for the Cardinals (5-6), which are looking to bounce back from a 77-68 loss to IUPUI in their most recent action. Junior guard Jesse Berry -- a preseason All-Mid-American Conference selection -- leads the Cardinals with 13.6 points per game, while junior forward Majok Majok is one of 19 players in the nation averaging a double-double with 11.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Buffalo (5-8, 0-0 MAC) at Tulsa (7-6, 0-0 Conference USA)
8 p.m. ET • Tulsa leads series 1-0
• Buffalo will open the 2013 year with a road game at Tulsa. Buffalo is coming off an 84-64 win over Notre Dame College (OH) last Friday night. The Bulls were led by a trio of post players who combined for 49 points, led by Javon McCrea’s 17 points, five rebounds and five blocks in just 20 minutes. The Bulls have been held to under 60 points six times this season. Last season, UB scored less than 60 points only four times in 31 games. McCrea has led the team in scoring in nine of the team’s 13 games this season.