Mid-American Conference a.k.a. MACtion is back and in full swing kicked off this weekend. As one of the most competitive leagues in the country, opening weekend gave us all we could handle. Check out some of the highlights of the MAC matchups this weekend.
Akron vs. Central Michigan
Central Michigan (10-3, 1-0) overcame a 13-point first quarter deficit to defeat Akron (9-3, 0-1) 91-74 at home. Reyna Frost led the way for the Chippewas finishing with a dominant 31-point, 10-rebound double-double, the 11th of the season. The performance also propelled Frost over the edge as the MAC's all-time leading rebounder.
In this afternoon's 94-71 win over Akron, Reyna Frost added another historic accomplishment to her resume as she became the Mid-American Conference all-time career rebound leader! Congratulations Reyna! #ReyBound ????☝️???? pic.twitter.com/AeR3UsSx2h
— Central Michigan WBB (@CMUWBBall) January 5, 2019
Presley Hudson continued her ridiculous ways going 6-10 from the three-point line and finishing with 24 points.
The Chips were dominant on the glass out-rebounding Akron 34-25. Those numbers helped add to the 32 points in the paint with nine of them coming off offensive rebounds. They forced Akron into 17 turnovers which they converted to 18 points.
In case you aren't aware… CMU is a baaad (I mean that in terms of dominance) team. They're predicted to win the MAC regular season and conference tournament this season following a NCAA Sweet 16 run in 2018. So far this season they lost to No. 4 Louisville by four points and defeated No. 24 Miami by ten.
Miami vs. Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois (9-4, 1-0) jumped out to a 44-31 halftime lead that ultimately was too much for Miami (9-3, 0-1) to come back from. The Redhawks fell to Northern Illinois 82-71 on Saturday afternoon as the Huskies stretch their current win streak to five games. NIU is currently undefeated at home this season at 7-0.
Free throws were a crucial stat as NIU finished 25-29 beyond the charity stripe compared to Miami's 3-11 for 27-percent.The Huskies finished with six players in double figures. Riley Blackwell and Gabby Nikitinaite finished with 16 points each.
Ohio vs. Buffalo
Ohio is one of the final three remaining undefeated teams in the country, but Buffalo (8-4, 0-1) gave them all they could handle. This heavy hitter matchup did not disappoint. Ohio pulled off the 74-71 win in overtime after Buffalo's Hanna Hall knocked down a three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it up.
Ohio overcame a 10-point deficit at half with a big time offensive third quarter outscoring Buffalo 22-17. Ohio was led by Cierra Hooks with 21 points and Amani Burke posted her first career double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. Their 12-0 record is the best start in program history.
And Buffalo is a scary team. Head coach Felicia Legette-Jack also led her squad to an NCAA Sweet 16 birth last season. They return the second leading scorer in the country in Cierra Dillard who currently averages 24.5 points per game. Ohio held Dillard to 15 points, the first time she scored under 20 all season. Dillard faced early foul trouble which plagued any rhythm she potentially could get into.
Ball State vs. Toledo
It's always a grind when these two teams meet up. And every time Toledo (9-3, 1-0) would go on a run, Ball State (5-8, 0-1) would respond making it nearly impossible for the Rocket to stretch the lead any further than two. But ultimately, Toledo held on down the stretch to knock off the Cardinals 65-58 in their home opener.
Ball State clawed their way back from a 13 point deficit in the first half, but ultimately had a hard time digging themselves out of a a slow second quarter getting outscored 19-11.
Neither team did a great job of taking care of the basketball as Toledo finished with 20 and Ball State committed 22 turnovers. The Cardinal turnovers were committed at costly moments unable to regain the lead at key moments. Oshlynn Brown finished with 15 to lead the Cardinals.
Western Michigan vs. Bowling Green
Western Michigan (7-5,1-0) fought back from a slow second quarter to edge Bowling Green (7-5,0-1) 84-82 in a MAC opening thriller in an evenly matched game. Bowling Green is a difficult place to play and had been undefeated at home prior to Saturday.
Both teams out clicking on all cylinders before the Broncos went cold in the second quarter where Bowling Green outscored them 20-8. The tides flipped right after halftime as Western Michigan outscored Bowling Green 29-17 finishing the game shooting a season high 53-percent from the field.
Eastern Michigan vs. Kent State
The Golden Flashes took control early sparked by the hot hand of Asiah Dingle who finished with a game high 29 points. Lindsey Thall finished 4-6 beyond the arc to add 14 points.
Eastern Michigan freshman Natalia Pineda finished with a career high 16 points on 5-11 shooting and 4-6 from the three point line. EMU had a one point lead headed into the fourth but starters Corrione Cardwell and Danielle Minott picked up their fifth foul early in the final frame. Ultimately, Kent State took control quickly and outscored EMU 23-15 to win the game.