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Western Michigan (6-12, 2-3 MAC) at Buffalo (5-13, 3-2 MAC)
2 PM • Western Michigan leads 8-7
• Western Michigan is on a two-game winning streak after recording wins over Akron (84-77) and Northern Illinois (54-51). It is the first time this season WMU has posted back-to-back victories. The Broncos’ win in DeKalb was just the second road win of the season and the first since defeating Northern Arizona on Nov. 23.
• Following today’s game the Bulls will be on the road six of their next eight games, seeing the Alumni Arena floor just twice in the month of February. The Bulls will face both Miami (OH) and Bowling Green twice in 21-day periods and will see road trips to Akron, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ohio and Bowling Green during the month. All told, the Bulls will travel over 2,800 miles during the month of February.
Ohio (5-12, 0-5 MAC) at Ball State (7-11, 4-1 MAC)
2 PM • Ohio leads 29-25
• Through the first four games of the season, freshman guard Kiyanna Black was averaging 5.3 points per game and had not yet scored in double figures. Thirteen games later, she is now averaging 12.4 per contest, has scored in double figures on 11 occasions, and ranks No. 8 in the MAC with 14.2 points per league game.
• Ball State faces its second Mid-American Conference East Division opponent for the week when it hosts Ohio Saturday at 2 p.m. in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals improved to 4-1 in league action after their 69-55 victory at Buffalo Wednesday, while also improving their overall record to 7-11. The 4-1 conference start for the Cardinals is the best since the 2008-09 season when they started out 4-0 in the MAC. The Bobcats are looking for their first win in conference action after losing five straight. Ohio fell 77-48 to Central Michigan Wednesday at home, with the loss the Bobcats are 5-12 overall and 0-5 in the MAC.
Akron (12-6, 3-2 MAC) at Central Michigan (11-7, 5-0 MAC)
2 PM • Central Michigan leads 17-14
• Akron is looking to nip a two-game skid in the bud Saturday on the road at Central Michigan. The Zips are 7-3 when playing away from home this season. The junior trio of Rachel Tecca, Sina King and Hanna Luburgh are three of the top four scorers in the league, all averaging in double figures. The trio combines for 64.2 percent of UA’s total offense, and each ranks inside the nation’s top-65 in field goal percentage.
• The Chippewas are off to their third 5-0 start in MAC play in program history and the first since the 1987-88 season. CMU is the only remaining undefeated team in Mid-American Conference play. During its’ five-game win streak, Central Michigan has outscored its opponents by an average of 20.6 points per game. The five-game winning streak is the longest of the season for the Chippewas. CMU won seven straight during a stretch last season.
Toledo (16-2, 4-1 MAC) at Northern Illinois (5-13, 0-5 MAC)
4 PM • Toledo leads 25-16
• The Midnight Blue & Gold enter tomorrow’s action riding a four-game win streak following Wednesday’s 77-65 triumph at MAC East Division co-leader Akron. The Rockets had a season-high five players contribute double figures and held the high-powered Zips to their second-lowest scoring output of the season.
• NIU is looking for its first Mid-American Conference win to end a 0-5 start in league play for the first time ever. Since joining the NCAA in 1982-83, NIU has never lost its first five games in conference play in any of its affiliations (Mid-American (1982-86, 1997-current), North Star (1987-92), Mid-Continent (1992-94), Midwestern Collegiate (1994-1997)). The Huskies’ current six-game losing streak is the first streak, winning or losing, of the season longer than two games and is tied for the longest losing streak under Bennett.