Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Preview

Updated 1/26/2013

MAC Men's Basketball Daily (1-26-13 Release)

MAC Men's Basketball Daily -- Saturday, January 26
Northern Illinois (4-13, 2-3 MAC) at Eastern Michigan (9-10, 2-3 MAC)
2 p.m. ET • Northern Illinois leads series 50-31
Watch LIVE on the MAC Digital Network
•  EMU Senior guard Derek Thompson leads the way for the Eagles, posting 11.5 points per game. Leading the Eagles in rebounding is junior center Da’Shonte Riley who is pulling down 6.2 rebounds per game. Other notables this season have been transfers Glenn Bryant and Daylen Harrison. Bryant is posting 9.9 points per contest, while Harrison has been averaging 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in his first season competing for EMU...The Huskies come into the contest with a 4-13 record, going 2-3 in MAC games this season. Abdel Nader is leading the Huskies with 13.9 points per game this season, while also pulling down 4.6 rebounds, which is tops for NIU.
 
Ball State (7-10, 1-4 MAC) at Miami (7-10, 2-3 MAC)
3 p.m. ET • Miami leads series 59-36
Watch LIVE on the MAC Digital Network
• Ball State suffered its fourth straight defeat Wednesday to Buffalo, 66-63, dropping to 7-10 overall and 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference. BSU’s Majok Majok, who leads the MAC and ranks 16th nationally in rebounding, is one of 18 players in the country averaging a double-double at 12.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game...Miami fell to MAC East co-leader Ohio, 74-62, Wednesday to drop to 7-10 overall (2-3 MAC). Junior guard Allen Roberts paces the RedHawks offensively with 13.2 points per game, while junior forward Will Felder adds 11.4 points and grabs a team-best 5.1 rebounds per contest.
 
Ohio (14-5, 5-0 MAC) at Kent State (11-8, 2-3 MAC)
6 p.m. ET • Ohio leads series 89-44
Watch LIVE on SportsTime Ohio, ESPN3 & MAC Digital Network
• The Golden Flashes (11-8, 2-3 MAC) will try to rebound from back-to-back losses to Akron (Jan. 19) and at Bowling Green (Jan. 23). The Bobcats (14-5, 5-0), meanwhile, are riding a six-game winning streak that dates back to a Dec. 29 loss at Oklahoma. First-year Ohio University head coach Jim Christian returns to the M.A.C. Center for the first time since his six-year stint as head coach at Kent State from 2002-08. Christian was 138-58 at Kent State before leaving the Golden Flashes with the best coaching record in MAC history. He was also an assistant under Stan Heath on Kent State’s 2001-02 Elite Eight team before being promoted to head coach the following season. Current Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff was an assistant under Christian at Kent State from 2002-06. From Senderoff’s staff, assistants Eric Haut and DeAndre Haynes and director of basketball operations Mike McKee all played for Christian with the Golden Flashes. 
 
Bowling Geen (7-11, 2-3 MAC) at Toledo (6-10, 2-3 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Toledo leads series 83-79
Watch LIVE on the MAC Digital Network
• The Rockets are in a four-way tie for second place in the MAC’s West Division and trail first-place Western Michigan (11-7, 3-2 MAC) by one game. The Falcons, who are winless in seven road contests this season, are in a four-way tie for third place in the East Division following Wednesday’s 70-55 victory over Kent State. UT features two of the MAC’s top scorers with junior G Rian Pearson pacing the league at 18.5 ppg and sophomore G Julius Brown in ninth place at 13.3 ppg....Bowling Green’s senior duo of G Jordon Crawford (16.3 ppg) and A’uston Calhoun (15.8 ppg) is the top scoring tandem in the MAC. Calhoun is also grabbing a team-high 7.7 rpg, while Crawford paces the Falcons with 3.9 apg and 1.8 spg.
 
Buffalo (7-12, 2-3 MAC) at Akron (14-4, 5-0 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Akron leads series 27-20
Watch LIVE on the MAC Digital Network
• Akron improved to 5-0 in MAC play and extended its winning streak to ten games with a 71-56 win at Toledo on Wednesday. Akron’s ten-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest active winning streak in the nation (games through Jan. 25) and is the Zips’ first win streak of 10 or more games since the 1972-73 season. The streak is also the first 10-game run in the MAC since Kent State in 2004 (Jan. 21 through Feb. 21).... The Bulls have won their last two contests and are 3-5 in true road games this season. Three Bulls are averaging double figures, including Javon McCrea (17.4 ppg), Will Regan (10.6 ppg) and Jarod Oldham (10.1 ppg). McCrea leads the team in rebounding (7.4 rpg).
 
Western Michigan (11-7, 3-2 MAC) at Central Michigan (9-9, 2-3 MAC)
7 p.m. ET • Western Michigan leads series 89-51
Watch LIVE on the MAC Digital Network
• Central Michigan comes into the contest second in the MAC West division, trailing the Broncos by one game. Freshman guard Chris Fowler has emerged as a key contributor for Central Michigan. Averaging 25 minutes per game, Fowler has accumulated 91 assists on the season, 19 away from breaking the program’s assists record for a Division I freshman... WMU’s David Brown is averaging 8.5 points per game off the bench this season, including a career-high 15 points against Toledo and 13 points against Northern Illinois.