Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 11/21/2012

Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Toledo 82, Samford 69
Central Michigan 59, Wright State 55
Miami 72, William & Mary 59

Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Toledo 82, Samford 69
FORT MYERS, FL - Toledo's 18-1 burst to open the second half propelled the Rockets to their first victory of the season on Wednesday, an 82-69 win over Samford (1-4) in Alico Arena. The contest was played as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis on the Mainland being held at Florida Gulf Coast University. UT (1-3) will face the winner of tonight's second game pitting the host Eagles against Alcorn State tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.
"We played much better in the second half," Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "Our press led to some easy baskets at the start of the half and we also made some threes. I thought our shot selection in the first half was good but we didn't play with the fire and intensity that we needed to."
Sophomore G Julius Brown topped the Rockets offensively with 25 points and also tied his career best with six rebounds. He was joined in double figures by junior G Rian Pearson (17 pts., game-high five steals) and senior G Dominique Buckley (15 pts., career-high eight reb.).
Brown's and Buckley's performance on the glass help UT dominate the boards with a 44-28 advantage. Junior F Reese Holliday shared team rebounding honors with Buckley and also contributed a season-high nine points.
Toledo also held a significant edge at the free-throw line, knocking down 31-of-40 attempts compared to the Bulldogs' 10-of-17 conversion rate. Brown and Pearson played a big role in that department with 11-of-14 and 9-of-13 performances, respectively.
"They didn't guard me that well on ball screens today and that allowed me to get to the rim and penetrate," said Brown who registered a career-high 29 points in Alico Arena last year. "I want to do whatever I can to help our team win and tonight I was able to get to the free-throw line."
Brown and Buckley keyed the Rockets' quick start to the second stanza with a pair of threes for a 37-31 lead to force a Bulldog timeout two minutes after intermission. UT increased its cushion to 47-32 on another Buckley three-point with 15:26 remaining.
The Rockets maintained control until an 11-4 Samford spurt made it a two-point contest, 63-61, with 5:27 to play. That was as close as the Bulldogs would get though as UT quickly assumed control  with a 10-1 surge capped off by a Holliday trey with 3:52 remaining.
Central Michigan 59, Wright State 55
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Central Michigan found a way to win a low-scoring affair between two young teams, fending off Wright State to hand the Raiders their first loss of the season, 59-55, in the first game of the Utah Thanksgiving Tournament.
An 8-0 run gave the Chippewas (2-1) their first lead, 15-13, just past the midway point of the half, and it sparked an 11-2 run that kept the Raiders (3-1) without a field goal for over seven minutes. They were able to stretch their lead to as many as eight before halftime on 46 percent shooting, and didn't trail the rest of the way.
Up as many as 10 on several occasions, as late as the 5:00 mark, the Chippewas saw their lead diminish to just two with 27 seconds left as they were held without a field goal in the last 5:23. The Raiders' press caused the Chippewas to turn the ball over on the in-bounds pass under the Raiders' basket, but freshman Blake Hibbitts came up with a big block on a layup that would have tied the game. Derrick Richardson, another true freshman, knocked down two free throws at the other end to seal the win with four seconds left.
Typically a three-point shooting team, the Chippewas found another way to win on a night they recorded the fewest three-point attempts of the season (2-of-14) and matched their season-low field goal percentage (40 percent). Instead, they had success inside, scoring 16 of their 27 first-half points from the paint and attempting just six long-range shots. Ten of Randall's 13 points in the half came on layups and he accounted for the team's only three-point bucket before the break. The second half was much of the same as Hibbitts added the only three and Central found 20 points under the basket.
On the night, the Chippewas outscored the Raiders 36-22 in the paint and outworked them on the boards, 40-29, including 13-6 on the offensive glass which led to a 15-5 advantage on second-chance points. They also got to the line more, 18 times to the Raiders' 12.
Kyle Randall was the only Chippewa in double figures as all 10 players scored, including Hibbitts who added eight points and five others who had six. Zach Saylor blocked four shots - three in the first half - and Randall dished out a team-high four assists. Miles Dixon led three Raiders in double-figure scoring with 16 points.
The Chippewas will have the day off Thursday in preparation for back-to-back games on Friday (Utah) and Saturday (Idaho State).
Miami 72, William & Mary 59
WILLIAMSBURG, Va.- Junior guard Allen Roberts scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds and junior forward Bill Edwards added 17 points, including a go-ahead three just before halftime, to lift Miami to a 72-59 victory over William & Mary Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena.
Miami (2-2) trailed 24-23 just before intermission when Edwards canned a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the RedHawks the lead for good. The Miami win marked the RedHawks' first on the road this season and also was the first loss for the Tribe (3-1).
The opening half was a back-and-forth battle with neither team leading by more than three points. William & Mary opened up a 21-18 lead with 4:25 remaining in the opening half, the largest lead by any team in the first 20 minutes, but the RedHawks went on an 8-3 flurry over the closing minutes of the first stanza to seize a 26-24 halftime lead.
Edwards sunk a long 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining in the half to give Miami a 23-21 lead, but the Tribe's Matt Rum responded with a trey at the 37 second mark to give William & Mary a one-point edge. Edwards responded by sinking a triple with three seconds remaining to lift the RedHawks to the 26-24 lead.
Edwards' 3-pointer to end the first half sparked a 13-3 RedHawk run that catapulted Miami to a 36-27 lead by the 18:05 mark and forced a William & Mary timeout. Junior forward Jon Harris and Roberts also sunk triples during the Miami surge.
A fastbreak layup at 16:32 by junior guard Quinten Rollins pushed the RedHawk lead to 10 points, 40-30. The Tribe closed within four, 40-36, with 15:06 to play, but Miami eventually pushed its lead back to double-figures, posting an 11-point advantage at the 9:11 mark off an Edwards layup.
William & Mary got as close as seven with 8:33 to play, but an 8-1 Miami run that was comprised of five Roberts free throws and a Roberts 3-pointer pushed the RedHawk lead back to double figures for good, 48-62. Miami extended its lead to 17 points off a pair of Roberts free throws with 52 seconds remaining, 71-54, and went on to collect a 13-point win.
Roberts sunk 12-of-14 free throws for the RedHawks, who shot 73.1 percent from the charity stripe for the game.
Miami forced 18 William & Mary turnovers and tallied eight steals while posting a positive assist/turnover ratio for the third time this season (12 assist/9 turnovers). Junior forward Will Felder led Miami on the boards with eight and also notched two impressive blocked shots for the Red and White.
The Tribe had three players in double figures, led by Brandon Britt's 17 points. Marcus Thornton chipped in 15 points, while Kyle Gaillard added 12.
Miami returns home to host James Madison at noon on Saturday, Nov. 24.