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MAC WRAP - WEEK IN REVIEW - Kent State made its move and stands atop the East Division while Ball State continues to take the lead in the West. The Golden Flashes captured wins over challengers Buffalo and Bowling Green last week while Ohio's loss Saturday at Western Michigan gave KSU sole possession of first place. The Cardinals had their six-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Miami, however they maintain a game and a half margin over second place Toledo.
STREAK STOPPED - Bowling Green's 12-game winning streak came to a close Jan. 16 in a 92-79 loss at Ball State. The Falcons' winning skein was tied for third nationally with Oklahoma and Gonzaga, all of whom trailed Cincinnati's 15-game and Florida's 13-game streaks. BG's success ties Toledo (1977-78) for the seventh longest in MAC history.
All-time MAC Win Streaks
Wins School Year(s)
20 W. Michigan 1974-75/1975-76
16 Ball State 1988-89
16 Toledo 1946-47/1947-48
14 Toledo 1966-67
13 Ohio 1993-94
13 Miami 1970-71
12 Bowling Green 2001-2002
12 Toledo 1977-78
DEFENSE KEYS WINS - In conference games only, the top five MAC teams in scoring offense have a combined 20-18 record for a 52.6% winning percentage. The top five ranked teams in scoring defense have a combined 27-13 record for a 67.5% winning percentage. Kent State (7-1) is the only team ranked in the top five in each category. Taking out KSU's record leaves the remaining four in scoring offense at 13-17 (43.3%) and top four in scoring defense at 20-12 (62.5%).
BRONCOS BURN NETS FOR MAC RECORD - Western Michigan's 95-65 victory over Ohio on Jan. 26 was fueled by a MAC team record 17 three-point field goals. WMU tied the standard of 17 held by three MAC teams (BGSU 1989, Marshall 1999 and Ohio 2000). For the Broncos who attempted 31 threes, Robby Collum hoisted 7-of-8, Steve Reynolds 6-of-9, Ben Reed 2-of-7, Terrance Slater 1-of-2, Reggie Berry 1-of-3 while Anthony Kann and Rickey Willis both went 0-for-1.
EYEING THE RECORD - Ball State's Lonnie Jones holds the school career blocked shots record and now has his eye on the league's all-time standard of 262, held by Jason Terry (Ohio, 1992-96). Jones has 45 blocks on the season and 257 for his career. Ohio's Patrick Flomo, with 32 rejects this season, eclipsed the 200 barrier with three rejects in the Bobcats' 85-61 win over Miami. The all-time MAC leaders are as follows:
Jason Terry (OU) 262
John Deveraux (OU) 260
*Lonnie Jones (BSU) 257
*Patrick Flomo (OU) 201
STREAK STOPPERS - Akron's two wins last week snapped the Zips' five-game losing streak and six-game MAC losing streak. Ball State's loss at Miami ended the Cardinals' six-game winning streak.
ZIPS BEAT THE BEST - Akron's wins last week came at the expense of the last two defending MAC Champions. Wednesday, the Zips went overtime to beat Bowling Green 87-86. On Saturday, Central Michigan was victimized by Akron 83-73.
MAKING THE GRADE - Four MAC teams, Buffalo in the MAC East and Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan out of the West Division, have or are near passing their win totals from last year.
Team `00-'01* `01-'02# Difference
Buffalo 4 10 +6
WMU 7 10 +3
EMU 3 5 +2
NIU 5 7 +2
*wins on entire season.
#wins through games of Jan. 28.
MAC IN THE POLLS - Ball State received votes in this week's national poll. The Cardinals were recognized with 11 points in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches poll. Earlier this year BSU was ranked as high as No. 15 (Dec. 2) after wins against Kansas and UCLA.
COLES ON COURSE - Miami head coach Charlie Coles began the season with 186 wins and has racked up eight more to close to within seven of the 200-win plateau. Coles would become the fifth coach in league history to reach 200 wins.
Coach, School Wins
Bob Nichols, Toledo 375
James Snyder, Ohio 355
Darrell Hedric, Miami 216
Larry Hunter, Ohio 204
Charlie Coles, CMU/Miami 194
Dick Parfitt, C. Michigan 193
HUFFMAN NEARS RECORD - Kent State senior Trevor Huffman is on track to challenge the school's all-time scoring record. Hufmman has 1,542 career points going into Tuesday's game at Eastern Michigan. Ahead of Huffman on the list are Burrell McGhee (1,710) and Anthony Grier (1,565).
MAC HOT SHOTS - Several MAC players were highly accurate from the field last last week. Miami's Danny Horace was a perfect 9-of-9 versus Ball State while teammate Doug Davis was 8-of-8 from the line in the same game. As a team, the RedHawks shot 65.6% (21-of-32) from the field in the first half en route to 49 points. Western Michigan's Robby Collum connected on 7-of-8 three point goals in leading the Broncos' MAC record effort of 17 threes against Ohio. In the first half alone, WMU blistered the nets at 61.1% (11-of-17) from long range. Akron's David Falknor provided all 21 of his points on 7-of-9 from three-point range in the Zips 87-86 win over Bowling Green. CMU's Chris Kaman connected on 8-of-10 field goals and 6-of-7 free throws against Toledo.
SMITH IS DOUBLE TROUBLE - Ball State's Theron Smith (18.9 ppg/11.2 rpg) is one of two MAC players averaging double figures in points and rebounds. Smith is joined by Marshall's J.R. VanHoose (15.2 ppg/10.6 rpg) in that category and those two also pace the MAC in overall double-doubles as listed below (min. 3).
Theron Smith, Ball State 12
J.R. VanHoose, Marshall 8
Antonio Gates, Kent State 7
Brandon Hunter, Ohio 7
Darcel Williams, Buffalo 6
Leon Rodgers, Northern Illinois 6
Len Matela, BG 6
Latece Williams, Marshall 5
Chris Kaman, CMU 5
Danny Horace, Miami 3
Steve Pettyjohn, EMU 3
Anthony Kann, WMU 3
HOME SWEET HOME, AGAIN - Ball State's 6-2 league mark, good for first in the West Division, includes a 4-0 home record. Last year BSU was only 4-5 at home in MAC games, but 7-2 on the road.
THE GREAT ONES - Among those in Bowlng Green history who have led the MAC in scoring are Antonio Daniels (1997, 23.5), Howard Komives (1964, MAC record 36.7) and Al Bianchi (1954, 25.0). Looking to etch his name among the greatest all-time Falcon players is senior Keith McLeod, who leads the MAC in scoring with his 23.5 average. McLeod also leads the league with six games with 30 or more points.
PERFECT AT HOME - The last three teams to win the MAC Championship - Miami (1999), Bowling Green (2000) and Central Michigan (2001) - have all produced undefeated records at home in league play. Each team went 9-0 on their home court. To date, three East Division teams - Ohio, Kent State, and Miami - are perfect at home while only Ball State in the West is perfect on its home floor.
PARDON ME - Bowling Green point guard Brandon Pardon led the MAC in assists (204 total, 7.0 per game) last year but is not content with just one category with his name at the top. Pardon continues to pace the MAC in assists (115, 6.4) but has added assist/turnover ratio (2.17) to his resume and at times this season has led the MAC in three-point field goal accuracy. Pardon currently ranks sixth in field goal shooting (44.6%).
FRESHMAN FACTOR - A key factor in Western Michigan already surpassing its win total of last year is freshman guard Ben Reed. Reed is the league's top scoring freshman with his 13.2 ppg average. Reed also ranks 12th overall in the MAC with 6.7 rebounds per game. In Saturday's 95-65 win over Ohio, Reed had 14 points and 11 rebounds while dishing out four assists.
NEARING THE TOP 30 - Two MAC players are nearing the top 30 all-time in league scoring. Marshall's J.R. VanHoose with 1,627 points and Central Michigan's David Webber with 1,605 points are within a short distance of the 1,644 scored by Miami's Damon Frierson (1995-99). The MAC all-time leading scorer is Ball State's Bonzi Wells (1995-98) with 2,485.
1. Bonzi Wells (BSU) 2,485
23. Jim Darrow (BGSU) 1,740
24. Derrick Wesley (BSU) 1,729
25. Burrell McGhee (KSU) 1,710
26. Greg Stempin (UT) 1,705
27. SaddiWashington (WMU) 1,688
28. Eric Newsome (MIA) 1,679
29. Steve Mix (UT) 1,676
30. Damon Frierson (MIA) 1,644
31. J.R. VanHoose (MAR) 1,627
32. Walter Luckett (OHIO) 1,625
33. David Webber (CMU) 1,605
MAC IN THE RPI - (as of Jan. 29)*
Ball State 41
Kent State 56
Bowling Green 66
Western Michigan 145
Central Michigan 194
Northern Illinois 210
Eastern Michigan 291
*from The College Basketball News RPI College Basketball Ratings.
COLLUM'S COMEBACK - Western Michigan's Robby Collum was mired in a four-game sahooting slump of 15.8% (6-of-38) prior to Saturday's game against Ohio. He promptly busted out of his somber shooting habits by making his first six three-point goals and 7-of-8 for the game. Collum had game highs in points (23) and assists (5) in WMU's 95-65 triumph.
NICK AT NIGHT - Toledo junior guard Nick Moore sat out the Rockets' Jan. 19 game at Bowling Green with a back injury, but when he returned he responded well. Moore's back-to-back 19-point outings against Central Michigan and Marshall were his best of the season. Moore is second on the Rockets in scoring (12.7 ppg).
CHICK HOUSE COUNTDOWN - The finals days of Chick Evans Field House in DeKalb, Ill., home of the Huskies, are numbered. Just five regular season games remain until the final chapter is written when Central Michigan closes out "The Doghouse". NIU played its first game at Chick Evans Field house on Dec. 3, 1957 in a 79-58 win over Winona State. Originally called Northern Field House, it was named for NIU Director of Athletics George "Chick" Evans in 1974. NIU's new Convocation Center opens in the fall of 2002. Its seating capacity for basketball will be 9,100.
FALCONS' FRESHMAN - Erik Crawford's 16 games in the starting lineup for Bowling Green is the most ever by a freshman under Dan Dakich, now in his fifth year at BG. Twice named Minnesota High School Defensive Player of the Year, Crawford held Michigan's leading scorer Gavin Groninger (16.7) scoreless in the Falcons' win over UM.
ON THE BLOCK - Buffalo's second leading shot blocker with 11, 6-foot, 9-inch freshman forward Mark Bortz returned to action Saturday against Northwestern after missing seven games due to a knee sprain. Bortz had nine points off the bench then followed with 12 points in 22 minutes in UB's 75-65 win over Northern Illinois on Monday.
KAMAN'S RETURN COMPLETE - Seven-foot center Chris Kaman is back at full strength for the Chippewas. Last week Kaman posted bdouble-doubles with 22 points and 15 rebounds in a 75-61 win over Toledo and 14 points and 11 boards in an 83-73 loss at Akron. Kaman had missed three games earlier in the year due to a stress fracture in his foot.
EAGLE EYE - Eastern Michigan's Ricky Cottrill scored a career-high 33 points in an 82-74 loss to Northern Illinois. Cottrill's 20.8 ppg is second in the MAC as is his 87.5% free throw rate (84-of-96). He leads the MAC with 2.85 three-point goals per game.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS - Kent State, the team with the league's best record, has grounded its success in taking care of the ball as evidenced by the following categories the Golden Flashes lead the MAC in - assist-turnover ratio (1.22), rebounding margin (+5.3), scoring defense (63.8), field goal percentage defense (40.7), three-point field goal percentage defense (29.9) and scoring margin (+10.1).
Cards Play Their Ace - With early-season knockoffs of No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Kansas, Ball State earned the right to be listed among the nation's elite. In the polls of December 2, BSU was listed at No. 15 by the Associated Press and No. 20 by the USA Today/ESPN top 25 poll. The Cardinals' ranking was the highest by a MAC team since November 28, 1994, when Ohio was listed No. 14 by the AP. The No. 15 ranking in the AP poll is the highest ever for a BSU squad.