Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Ohio 81, Northern Illinois 63
Akron 71, Ball State 64
Kent State 80, Buffalo 68
Western Michigan 79, Toledo 56
Miami 63, Bowling Green 60
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Ohio 81, Northern Illinois 63
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University men’s basketball team raced past Northern Illinois, 81-63, on Wednesday night inside the Convocation Center.
The win was the fourth-straight for Ohio (11-5, 3-0 MAC) and marked the fourth-consecutive home game in which the ‘Cats posted at least 80 points. The Green and White have shot 55.8 percent (126-226) from the field in those four contests at the Convo.
Senior guard Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) led Ohio with 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while senior forward Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) added 12 points and three rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
Fellow senior D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) posted nine points and a game-high eight assists. With his fifth assist of the game, Cooper moved past Butch Moore (SMU) for 23rd place on the all-time NCAA Division I assists list. The 2013 Cousy Award finalist now has 832 assists in his career.
The ‘Cats shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field in the game and limited the Huskies to just 35.1 percent (20-57) from the floor. It marked the fourth-straight game Ohio held its opponent under 40 percent shooting for the game.
Ohio posted 12 steals in the contest and forced 20 Huskies turnovers, which led to a 28-10 edge in points off turnovers.
The ‘Cats entered the game ranked first in the nation in assists per game (19.3), and added to their national lead with a 25-assist performance. Ohio held a +20 edge (25-5) in assists for the contest.
After Ohio scored the first four points of the game, Northern Illinois responded with eight of the next 11 to take an 8-7 lead at the 15:14 mark of the first half.
With the Huskies up 12-9, the Bobcats found their shooting touch, connecting on four 3-pointers over a 2:16 span to fuel a 20-0 run. The surge helped Ohio open up a 17-point lead (29-12) advantage with 5:35 to play in the half.
A baseline jumper from Offutt off a good feed from junior forward T.J.Hall (Gainesville, Fla.) extended the Ohio lead to 24 (40-16) and a 3-point play by junior forward Jon Smith (Columbus, Ohio) with less than a minute to play gave the ‘Cats a 45-18 advantage at the break. In all, Ohio closed the half on a 36-6 run.
The Bobcats shot 68.0 percent (17-25) from the field in the half and made 7-of-11 3-pointers (.636). Offutt led Ohio with 12 first-half points on 5-of-5 shooting.
Northern Illinois scored the first four points of the second half to move within 23 (45-22) a minute into the second half, but a 10-2 run by Ohio midway through the period extended the ‘Cats lead above 30 at 61-28 with 12:01 to play and Northern Illinois could not move closer than 18 points for the remainder of the contest.
With the win, Ohio improves to 33-2 in its last 35 contests inside the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats remain at home to take on MAC West foe Toledo on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast locally on SportsTime Ohio and across the nation on ESPN3. Michael Reghi will handle play-by-play duties, while Dave Cecutti will provide color commentary. “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon.
Akron 71, Ball State 64
AKRON, Ohio – Nick Harney finished with 15 points to lead three Akron players in double figures as the Zips ran their win streak to eight games with a 71-64 victory over Ball State in Mid-American Conference play on Wednesday night at Rhodes Arena.
Harney converted 6-of-13 field goals on his way toward notching his seventh double-figure scoring game of the year and fifth in as many games. He also finished with two steals and four rebounds as his side improved to 9-0 at home on the campaign.
Zeke Marshall and Alex Abreu rounded out the double-digit scorers for Akron (12-4, 3-0 MAC) with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Marshall had a team-high six rebounds to go with three blocked shots, while Abreu was responsible for seven assists in a team-high 30 minutes. Marshall became the second player in MAC history to reach 300 career blocks (300).
Majok Majok led Ball State (7-8, 1-2 MAC) with a career-high 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Down 34-28 at the half, the Cardinals pulled to within 47-46 on a Jauwan Scaife 3-pointer with 10:48 remaining, but Abreu answered with a 3-pointer of his own on the next possession. Abreu, who finished 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, connected on another 3-pointer to put the Zips up 66-57 with about one minute remaining.
Akron made 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
The contest featured three ties and eight lead changes in the first half. Ball State had its biggest lead of the night, 28-22, with 3:07 to play in the opening period.
Akron travels to neighborhood rival Kent State on Saturday for the latest edition of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge. Tip off for the ESPNU telecast is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.
Kent State 80, Buffalo 68
AMHERST, N.Y. – Randal Holt tied a career high with 27 points and Kent State exorcised some demons with an 80-68 victory over the University at Buffalo on Wednesday night.
In his first three seasons with the Golden Flashes, Holt had never experienced the taste of victory in Buffalo. For the Kent State program as a whole the last win on the Bulls' home floor was back in 2008.
"This win means a lot to me," said Holt, who is one of only two four-year seniors on the Kent State roster, along with walk-one Brian Frank. "I had never won here before. And we got it playing through a whole lot of adversity with four guys fouling out. Even after all of that, we stepped up and made plays at the end."
Kent State led most of the night until a Buffalo run allowed the Bulls to take a four-point advantage into the final 9:29. After battling back to tie the game at 60, the Golden Flashes used a 14-2 run to seize control.
Devaraux Manley hit two threes during the deciding spurt, and Chris Evans made a series of key plays on both ends to highlight 25-point, 13-rebound night. And it all happened with starters Darren Goodson and Mark Henniger and key reserves Melvin Tabb and Bryson Pope all sitting on the bench with five fouls.
"When they took a four-point lead with about nine minutes to go, a lot of times teams will have hard time coming back from that on the road," said Kent State coach Rob Senderoff. "But our kids kept fighting and fighting.
"It wasn't easy to handle the foul trouble. We needed young guys like Khaliq Spicer to play a lot of minutes because our two main post players were only able to play eight minutes each. We had to play Darren Goodson and Chris Evans out of position at the five (center). And while we didn't do a great job rebounding, we still were able to get key rebounds when we absolutely had to get them."
Kent State and Buffalo combined for 55 fouls and 74 foul shots. Buffalo stayed in the game despite 20 turnovers by converting 33-of-38 free throws. Kent State made 25-of-36 from the foul line.
Buffalo's Javon McCrea connected on all 15 of his free-throw attempts during a 33-point night. No other Bulls player finished in double figures. McCrea also grabbed 10 rebounds.
After losing to Toledo at home in the Mid-American Conference opener last week, Kent State has responded with back-to-back wins on the road to improve to 11-6 overall and 2-1 in conference play heading into Saturday's rivalry game with Akron at the M.A.C. Center.
"We've been playing better on the road for some reason," said Holt, who also finished with seven rebounds from his guard spot. "I think we've shown a lot of growth with these last two wins on the road. Guys are coming together and we are getting a lot of leadership from our seniors and from our young players."
Buffalo dropped to 5-12 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Western Michigan 79, Toledo 56
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team snapped a three-game losing skid with an inspired offensive effort, unloading on Toledo as the Broncos defeated the Rockets 79-56 at University Arena on Wednesday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 9-7 on the season, 1-2 in Mid-American Conference play.
Playing with something of a chip on their shoulder after losing three straight, the Broncos got off to a quick start and maintained it, building a 15-point lead and halftime and continuing to add on to it over the course of the second half. WMU shot 49.2 percent from the field, including a sizzling 55.9 percent in the second half alone. The Broncos out-rebounded the Rockets 44-26, including 16 offensive rebounds, and displayed their passing ability by posting 15 assists as a team.
David Brown came off the bench to light the Broncos' fire on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 15 points with a 5-of-7 night from beyond the three-point arc. Shayne Whittington recorded his fifth double-double of the season, posting 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Darius Paul rebounded from two low-scoring efforts to post 15 points.
The Broncos opened up their lead in the second half, attacking the hoop and putting the Rockets back on their heels for much of the period. Paul converted a three-point play with a made jumper and a free throw at the 15:48 mark, and Nate Hutcheson converted a three-point play of his own at the 14:29 mark of the second half, nailing an off-balance lay-up and making the ensuing free throw to give the Broncos a 45-30 lead.
The lead reached 20 points for the first time at the 7:06 mark of the second half, when Austin Richie caught an alley-oop lay-up attempt and flipped it in to give the Broncos a 64-43 edge. Paul held that 21-point lead with an off-balance hook shot at the 5:51 mark to make it 66-45, and threw down a putback dunk at the 5:22 mark to make it a 23-point lead. Nick Stapert gave the Broncos their biggest lead of the night with 33 seconds remaining, making a hook shot in the paint to make it 79-53.
WMU opened the game on an 11-4 run, with Jared Klein making a 15-foot jumper from the right wing to open the scoring for the Broncos. The lead swelled to 6-2 when Brandon Pokley scored on a lay-up at the 15:11 mark, and it eventually became an 11-4 advantage when Brown drilled a three-pointer from the right wing at the 14:13 mark. Brown continued the aerial assault, giving the Broncos their first double-digit lead of the night with three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to make it 19-7 at the 10:05 mark of the half.
Hutcheson gave the Broncos their biggest lead of the half at the 7:23 mark, scoring on a lay-up to make it 26-9, and Austin Richie quelled a Rocket rally with a three-pointer to make it 30-17 with 4:59 remaining in the period. Pokley went on to score the final four points of the half for the Broncos, who entered the halftime break with a 34-19 edge over Toledo.
Miami 63, Bowling Green 60
OXFORD, Ohio- It was a back-and-forth affair at Millett Hall on Wednesday night, one that saw the Miami University men's basketball team (7-8, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) come out on top of the Bowling Green Falcons (6-10, 1-2 MAC), 63-60. Junior forward Will Felder led the RedHawks with 20 points, a career high. Junior center Drew McGhee added a season-high 14 points off the bench to help Miami to its second straight victory.
After trailing most of the game, Felder nailed a jumper with two minutes remaining to hand the RedHawks a 61-60 lead. Freshman guard Geovonie McKnight had a pair of big defensive plays in the final 1:37, including taking a charge with 57 seconds left that set up junior guard Quinten Rollins' clutch jumper with 19 seconds left to give the RedHawks three-point cushion with a 63-60 lead.
Miami got off to a sluggish start and fell behind 9-0 before the RedHawks came back to score five unanswered points, all from Rollins. Felder threw down two monster dunks on consecutive possessions and junior forward Allen Roberts nailed a three to put Miami on top, 12-11, almost eight minutes into the half.
The Falcons proceeded to go on a 10-4 scoring run capped off by an explosive alley-oop to Richaun Holmes to regain the lead, 21-16, with just over seven minutes remaining. That was followed by back-to-back baskets from Bowling Green's leading scorer Jordan Crawford, the latter being a 3-pointer, to extend the Falcons' lead to 10 points.
Miami fought back to come within four points and went into halftime down by that margin, 34-30.
Despite the slow start for the RedHawks, they ended up shooting over 56 percent from the field in the first half, though that was still lower than the Falcons' 64 percent. Bowling Green's Crawford and A'uston Calhoun led all scorers with 13 points, while Miami's first half leading scorer was Roberts with nine.
Crawford continued his strong game by opening up the second half with a three. Miami scored 11 of the next 16 points, however, to pull within one, 42-41. It was Crawford again, though, who put Bowling Green back up by four with another trey. The RedHawks stayed close thanks to a great second-half performance from McGhee and found themselves tied at 55-55 with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
A jumper from Bowling Green's Calhoun put his team up by two, but he was quickly answered by Roberts to bring the score back to a tie, 57-57. Calhoun split his free-throw chances on the Falcons' next possession, and a layup from McGhee gave Miami its first lead since 12:41 of the first half. The two squads traded baskets that kept the RedHawk lead at one, 61-60, with 2:00 left.
With less than a minute remaining, Crawford turned the ball over to the RedHawks and, with the shot clock winding down, Rollins hit a jumper to put his team up 63-60 with just 19 seconds left on the clock. On what looked like the Falcons' final possession, Roberts stole the ball from Crawford and was sent to the charity stripe for an opportunity to ice the game. A missed free throw later and Bowling Green was heading down the court with one last shot, but it failed to capitalize and when the horn sounded the RedHawks were victorious, 63-60.
Felder and McGhee led Miami in scoring with 20 and 14 points, respectively. Roberts also ended up in double figures with 13 points. Felder also led the team with seven rebounds.
Crawford and Calhoun were Bowling Green's leading scorers, with each scoring 21 points. No other Falcon reached double digits.
This was the first game that Miami has won despite trailing at halftime this season. Tonight's game was also just the third time that the RedHawks have outrebounded an opponent this season, hauling in 24 rebounds compared to Bowling Green's 21.
Miami's next game is this Saturday at Eastern Michigan. The game is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. After that, the RedHawks will return home for three straight games at Millett Hall, starting with a Wednesday tilt against rival Ohio on January 23, which starts at 7 p.m.