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Mid-American Notebook

January 28, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Mid-American Conference Notebook

by Adam Trumble

The Mid-American Conference’s West Division can simply
be described as the Wild Wild West.

Bowling Green was the leader heading into last week, however the Falcons (5-3) are now one game behind Central Michigan and Northern
Illinois (5-2).

In the East Division, Kent State is maintaining a
one-game lead over Marshall.

Falcons stumble from first

Senior guard Robby Collum scored 17 points Wednesday to lead Western Michigan to a 76-58 win over Bowling Green.

Collum led a group of five Western players in double figures as the Broncos led from beginning to finish for the third consecutive game.
Center Anthony Kann scored 15 for Western.

Bowling Green fell behind 13-0 at the start going more
than seven minutes without a basket.

Western, with the nation’s third-best defense (56.4
points per game), held Bowling Green to 16 first-half points.

John Reimold led Bowling Green with 20 points, scoring
18 in the second half.

Western led by as many as 23 points and never allowed Bowling Green closer than 13 points in the second half.

On Saturday, the Falcons struggles continued, dropping a 61-46 decision to
Northern Illinois. The Huskies were led by P.J. Smith who scored 20
points. Marcus Smallwood added 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Huskies moved into a first place tie in the MAC West.

Northern Illinois used a 7-0 run to close the first half with an eight-point lead. The Huskies turned around and opened the second half with a 13-3 run to lead by 42-24. The Falcons have dropped two straight and
three of their last four.

Northern Illinois, 9-8 overall and 5-2 in the MAC, have
now won five straight conference games.

Chippewas take over first, then fall into tie

Senior guard J.R. Wallace scored 23 points as he led Central Michigan to an 83-74 win over Toledo on Wednesday night, but the Chippewas couldn’t hang onto the West lead for very long.

The Chippewas held a 41-40 halftime lead but the Rockets worked their way into a seven-point lead in the second half. The Chippewas came back with a 21-7 run to take the lead for good. Both teams shot poorly but the physical Chippewas made 27-of-33 free throws, while the Rockets attempted just eight.

Junior center Chris Kaman had 17 points, 14 rebounds and tied a CMU record with eight blocks while senior forward Mike Manciel added 22 points and six rebounds.

Toledo’s senior guards Nick Moore and Keith Triplett scored 24 points and 11 points respectively.

On Saturday, Eastern Michigan jumped out to a 24-point lead and it was too much for the Chippewas to come back as Central’s five game winning streak was snapped, 84-68.

Ryan Prillman had 21 points for the Eagles. The victory was Eastern’s first over Central after four straight losses.

The Chippewas (12-4, 5-2) cut the lead to four points at 70-66 with 3:26 left in the game, but couldn’t get any closer.

Ricky Cottrill had 17 points while Michael Ross and Markus Austin each added 15 points for the Eagles. Kaman led Central with 20 points and 10 rebounds despite fouling out with 2:09 left in the game.

Rockets struggling

After falling to Central Michigan, the Toledo Rockets fell 74-69 to Kent State.

DeAndre Haynes scored 20 points and Antonio Gates had 19 points to lead the Golden Flashes. Haynes made 5-of-6 three-pointers and Gates shot 7-of-12 from the field for Kent (13-2, 6-1).

Toledo (8-9, 2-5) tied the game at 62 with 4:26 left when Moore drained a jumper and a three, but Gates converted a three-point play to put the Flashes up 65-62 with 2:08 remaining. Toledo tried to come back but Kent State made 6-of-8 free throws over the last 44 seconds to seal the game.

Kent State is now 8-1 in games decided by 10 points or
less and 6-1 in games decided by five points or less.

Toledo has lost three straight games but things are looking up for the Rockets as they host Western Michigan later this week. Toledo hasn’t lost to Western in the last five games.


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