MAC Men's Basketball Daily (2-27-13 Release)
MAC Men's Basketball Daily Release -- Wednesday, February 26th
No. 24 Akron (22-4, 12-0 MAC) at Ohio (20-7, 11-1 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Ohio leads series 35-32
• The Zips extended their winning streak to 18 games with a 68-53 win over North Dakota State at the JAR on Feb. 22 on ESPN2. The victory, Akron’s 22nd on the season, gave Akron 22-plus wins in each of the past eight seasons, joining Duke, Gonzaga and Kansas as the only teams to achieve those numbers. The Zips are ranked No. 24 in the USA TODAY Coaches poll and received 43 votes in the AP poll. During their 18-game winning streak, the Zips are out-scoring their opponents by 14.3 points/game and hold a +9.3 rebounding advantage... A victory over the Zips or a loss by Western Michigan Wednesday also would clinch a top-two seed for the Bobcats in next month’s MAC Championship.... Ohio enters tonight’s contest with a 20-7 overall record and an 11-1 mark in MAC play. The Bobcats have won 12 of their last 14 contests and are 15-1 at home (6-0 conference). Three Bobcats are averaging double figures in the scoring column, including D.J. Cooper (13.4 ppg), Reggie Keely (11.9 ppg) and Walter Offutt (11.2 ppg). Ivo Baltic is the team’s leading rebounder (5.2 rpg).
Western Michigan (17-9, 8-4 MAC) at Toledo (13-11, 8-4 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Toledo leads series 78-56
• Toledo meets Western Michigan MAC West Division showdown tonight. UT has won seven of its last eight outings, including a 79-66 victory over McNeese State on Saturday. WMU brings a two-game winning streak into Wednesday’s contest following Saturday’s 67-62 home triumph over Pacific. UT features two of the MAC’s top scorers with junior G Rian Pearson pacing the league at 18.3 ppg and sophomore G Julius Brown in ninth place at 13.2 ppg. Pearson and Brown are the MAC’s top scoring tandem at 31.5 ppg with Kent State’s Chris Evans (17.0) and Randal Holt (13.8) ranked second at 30.8 ppg...Junior C Shayne Whittington (12.8 ppg) leads a balanced WMU offense that has four players scoring in double figures. Whittington also ranks second in the MAC with 8.6 rpg and has helped the Broncos lead the league with a plus-6.7 rebounding margin.
Buffalo (11-16, 6-6 MAC) at Kent State (15-12, 5-7 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Kent State leads series 27-8
• Both the Golden Flashes and Bullsare battling to position themselves for a run in the upcoming Mid-American Conference tournament. Kent State won this year’s first meeting 80-68 in Buffalo back on Jan. 16 behind 27 points from Randal Holt and a 25-point, 14-rebound performance by Chris Evans. Javon McCrea led Buffalo with 33 points in the first meeting, scoring 15 of his points on a perfect night from the foul line. The 6-foot-7 junior is the Bulls’ top scorer (17.0) and rebounder (7.9) this season. Senior guard Tony Watson (11.0) is also averaging double figures.
Central Michigan (9-17, 2-10 MAC) at Ball State (11-14, 4-8 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Ball State leads series 58-31
• Ball State won for the third time in its past four games Saturday with an 85-82 victory at Southeast Missouri. Jauwan Scaife leads Ball State for the season at 14.8 points per game, followed by junior guard Jesse Berry at 12.1 per game and junior forward Majok Majok at 11.0....Central Michigan visits Muncie with nine straight losses after an 86-75 setback Saturday at Youngstown State; CMU features the top scorer in MAC play with Kyle Randall averaging 20.3 ppg. His overall scoring average of 17.8 ranks second in the conference
Miami (8-17, 3-9 MAC) at Bowling Green (11-16, 5-7 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Miami leads series 77-51
• BGSU lost to Miami 63-60 in Oxford earlier this year after leading by as many as 10 points in the first half. BGSU is 9-3 at home this year and Miami is just 3-10 on the road, though two of those victories came in MAC play. The Falcons is 51-77 all-time against Miami but the Falcons have won the last three at home, as well as five of the last six.
Eastern Michigan (12-15, 5-7 MAC) at Northern Illlinois (5-20, 3-9 MAC)
8 p.m. ET • Northern Illinois leads series 50-32
• Eastern is now 12-15 on the 2012-13 campaign and 5-7 in conference play, holding down the number three spot in the West Division. Redshirt senior Derek Thompson is leading the offensive charge for the Green and White, posting 10.6 points per game, The Huskies come into the contest with a record of 5-20 on the season and 3-9 in MAC games. Abdel Nader leads Northern Illinois averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.