Kent and Ohio, who play Wednesday, lead tight MAC battle for 3rd and 4th

Carter vs. Akron

Megan Carter had 21 points for the second game in a row and just missed her second straight double-double. She had nine rebounds versus the 10 she had against Akron. (Photo by Greta Bell from team Twitter feed.)

Let’s start with the state of the MAC with two games to go. The very good report card on Kent State 96-86 win over Bowling Green will come second.

GAME STORY: Flashes overcome 19-point first-quarter deficit to beat Bowling Green in double overtime.

Kent State is tied with Ohio for third place, and the two teams meet at the M.A.C. Center at 7 Wednesday. Ohio won the first meeting 63-57, so the game could be a very good one.

Central drops its first MAC game

Central Michigan lost its first league game Saturday, 67-62 at second-place Ball State. CMU still has a lock on the top seed in next week’s MAC Tournament with a 15-1 record.

Ball State’s win clinches a first-round bye in the tournament and very nearly clinches the second seed. The only way the Cardinals (12-4) don’t get it is for them to lose their last two games and Ohio to win its last two.

Saturday’s game was fitting for the MAC’s top teams. Ball State led most of the game, but Central came back to take a 62-57 lead with 3:01 to go. Then BSU’s Thelma Dis Augustsdottir and Sydney Freeman hit consecutive 3-pointers to put the Cardinals back in the lead. Oshlynn Brown blocked a CMU shot, and Ball State sank free throws to guarantee the win. The Cardinals finish the MAC season 9-0 at home.

Freeman had 18 points, Brown 17 and 14 rebounds for Ball State. Micaela Kelly scored 17 for Central Michigan, which made just 33% of its shots — 12 points off its league-leading percentage.

Ohio loses third in a row

Ohio fell into a third-place tie with Kent State when it missed a foul shot with 0.7 seconds to go that would have tied a 63-62 game . Buffalo’s win at Ohio is its third straight after having lost six in a row. Ohio has lost three in a row.

Buffalo sophomore forward Adebola Adeyeye led the Bulls with 16 points and nine rebounds. Cece Hooks and Gabby Burris each had 16 for Ohio.

EMU and WMU keep pace

Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan both won at home to go to 9-7 and stay a game behind Kent State and, now, Ohio.

The teams play Wednesday at Eastern. Western’s final game is home against Ball State. Eastern’s is Central Michigan.

Eastern pounded Toledo 64-46 behind 15 points from Areanna Combs. The Eagles held Toledo to 29% shooting, 23% in the second half.

Western got 33 points for sophomore guard Jordan Walker and beat Northern Illinois 63-50. NIU made only 18% of its shots in the second half.

Akron tops Miami in race for tournament home game

Akron and Buffalo lead the race for the last two home games in the tournament’s first round. They’re tied for seventh at 7-9. Toledo is ninth at 6-10, NIU 10th at 5-11.

Teams that finish fifth through eighth host home games on Monday, March 9. The fifth-place team plays the 12th-place team, sixth plays 11th, etc.

On Saturday, junior guard Jordyn Dawson had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Akron past Miami 75-62. Freshman Peyton Scott had 14 points for Miami.

BEST WEDNESDAY GAMES: Ohio at Kent State. Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan. Buffalo at Akron.

Here are the standings. (“Golf” standings are in parenthesis, but at this point they are exactly the same as the regular standings. They give -1 for a road win (“birdie”), +1 for a home loss (“bogie”) and 0 for a home win or road loss (“par”).

  • Central Michigan  15-1, 22-5 overall (-7 in “golf standings)
  • Ball State  12-4, 20-8   (-3)
  • Ohio  10-6, 17-10 (-2)
  • Kent State  10-6, 17-10 (-2)

  • Western Michigan  9-7, 16-11 (-1)
  • Eastern Michigan  9-7. 14-13 (-1)
  • Buffalo  7-9, 16-11 (+1)
  • Akron  7-9, 14-13 (+1)

  • Toledo  6-10, 11-16 (+2)
  • Northern Illinois  5-11, 9-18 (+3)
  • Miami  4-12, 11-17  (+4)
  • Bowling Green  2-14, 9-19 (+7)

Central has won the West Division and overall regular-season title. KSU and Ohio are tied for lead in East. Divisional championships mean a pennant for a school to hang but have no effect in seeding.

Detailed MAC standings

MAC statistics

Report card: Kent State 96, Bowling Green 86

Score 70 points on offense: 96, the most Flashes have scored all year, though they had two overtimes to do it. Even in 40 minutes, they scored 72. ACHIEVED.

Hold opponent under 70: 86. In 40 minutes, 72. NOT ACHIEVED.

Make 40% of shots: 41.6. Flashes shot 52% after awful first quarter. ACHIEVED.

Hold opponent under 40%: 42.5. It was not a defensive game. NOT ACHIEVED.

Outscore opponent by five on free throws: Kent State was 21 of 28, BG 16 of 23. Five exactly and KSU’s best overall foul shooting in six weeks. ACHIEVED.

Outscore opponent by five points off turnovers: Kent State 25, BG 11. Much more than the margin of victory. Turnovers were KSU 12, Bowling Green 18. ACHIEVED.

Have 14 assists: 13 on 32 baskets. Megan Carter had a career-high seven. NOT QUITE ACHIEVED.

Get 10 points from the bench: 27. Fifteen from Asiah Dingle, 12 from Hannah Young. ACHIEVED.

BOTTOM LINE: Stats looked good. Double-overtime win looked better. A.

Kent State statistics


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