Sunday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Xavier 62, Kent State 55
Creighton 77, Akron 61
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Xavier 62, Kent State 55
CINCINNATI – Melvin Tabb's best game in a Kent State uniform wasn't enough to offset another poor shooting performance by the Golden Flashes' seniors in a 62-55 loss at Xavier on Sunday.
While Tabb connected on 9-of-10 from the field and finished with game highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds, Randal Holt shot just 2-for-17 and Chris Evans made 4-of-18. Evans finished with 10 points while Holt added seven.
"Our main guys are struggling," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "It's going to be tough to win when Chris and Randal combine to shoot 6-for-35 … Melvin obviously had a great game. If you had told me that he would go for 20 and 14, I would have thought we were going to win the game."
As a team Kent State made just 32-percent of its shots (21-of-65), including an ugly 16-percent from the three-point arc (4-for-24). Holt was 1-for-10 and Evans 2-for-8 from long distance.
The ugly offensive performance nullified what was a first-class defensive effort in the opening 20 minutes. Kent State took an early 9-0 lead and kept the Musketeers from scoring their first point until the game was more than four minutes old. Xavier only managed 18 points on 21-percent shooting (5-for-24) in the first half as the Golden Flashes took a two-point lead into the break.
"We played better defense than we have, and we competed," said Senderoff. "But we have got to get better. A lot of teams are not going to win at Xavier. I'm not going to get two down. We are 5-5 and lost the last three, and that's very disappointing. We took a step forward (defensively). We need to keep getting better."
Xavier had an easier time against Kent State's defense in the second half, shooting 58-percent (14-for-24). A 12-0 run midway through the half turned the game in favor of the Musketeers, who improved to 7-2 with the win.
Despite shooting just 1-for-6 and scoring four points in the opening 20 minutes, Xavier star Semaj Christon finished with a team-high 18 points. Brad Redford hit 4-of-5 from beyond the arc while adding 14 for the Musketeers.
Following 11 days off for final exams, Kent State will return to action Dec. 20 against St. Francis (Pa.) at the M.A.C. Center.
Creighton 77, Akron 61
OMAHA, Neb. – The University of Akron men's basketball team dropped a 77-61 decision to No. 16/13 Creighton on Sunday afternoon at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Nick Harney led Akron (4-3) with 14 points, five boards, one assist and one blocked shot. Zeke Marshall finished with 12 points, two rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Zips shot 42.1 percent from the floor (24-of-57) and 23.5 percent from long range (4-of-17) while the Bluejays connected on 48.4 percent (30-of-62) and 45.5 percent (10-of-22) respectively.
Pat Forsythe had a nice game off the bench with six points, three rebounds and four blocked shots in 16 minutes.
Doug McDermott led Creighton (9-1) with a game-high 30 points.
The Bluejays came out in the second half and pushed their advantage to 15 points (51-36) at the 16:55 mark, but two 3-pointers by Jake Kretzer and a CU bucket made the lead 12 (51-39) heading into the under-16 media timeout.
Both teams had the hot hand through the first 8:28 of the second half, hitting on a combined 14-of-22 (63.6 percent). The Zips were 6-of-10.
A McDermott 3-pointer at the 9:09 mark gave Creighton its largest lead of the day at 65-48. Austin Chatman pushed that advantage to 20 (68-48) on the Bluejays' next possession.
A 6-0 run, including four-straight points by Harney, moved Akron within 68-54 at the 5:30 mark, but Gregory Echenique would hit two-straight to push the CU lead back to 18 (72-54).
Akron opened the game grabbing an early 8-5 lead at the 16:28 mark of the first half thanks to four points each by Harney and Chauncey Gilliam. However, Harney would head to the bench at the 16:10 mark with his second foul of the game.
Creighton used a 9-0 run over 2:37 to open up a 20-14 advantage by the 12:24 mark. An Alex Abreu 3-pointer at the 10:02 mark would end the Bluejays' run, cutting the lead to 20-17.
The CU lead climbed as high as 10 (30-20) with 5:55 remaining, but UA would battle back each time to keep the game close in the open 20 minutes. The deficit reached 12 points at the 1:32 mark and would remain 12 at the half with Creighton leading 43-31.
Akron closed the first half shooting 43.8 percent from the floor (14-of-32), but connected on just 12.5 percent from 3-point range (1-of-8). Creighton shot 53.5 percent from the floor (16-of-30) and 50.0 percent from long range (6-of-12). Akron won the rebounding battled 18-16, but committed six turnovers to Creighton's two.
Marshall led the Zips with 10 points, two boards and two blocked shots in the first 20 minutes. Abreu finished with five points, three assists and just one turnover.
The Zips will take a break for finals before heading to Detroit on Saturday, Dec. 15, to face the Detroit Titans. Tip-off is set for noon ET on FOX Sports Detroit.