Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Akron 71, Toledo 56
Ohio 74, Miami 62
Bowling Green 70, Kent State 55
Northern Illinois 74, Central Michigan 61
Western Michigan 63, Eastern Michigan 59
Buffalo 66, Ball State 63
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 71, Toledo 56
TOLEDO, Ohio – Zeke Marshall flirted with the program's first triple-double as the Akron Zips defeated the Toledo Rockets 71-56 to win their tenth-straight game overall on Wednesday night.
Marshall tied his own school record with nine blocked shots, including seven in the first half, to go with a game-high 18 points and eight boards. Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell recorded his second-straight double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Chauncey Gilliam (12) and Alex Abreu (11) also reached double figures. Abreu tied his season high with nine assists.
Akron's 10-game winning streak is the longest since UA won 14-straight games during the 1972-73 season.
For the game, the Akron (14-4, 5-0 MAC) shot 44.4 percent from the floor (28-of-63) and 43.5 percent from long range (10-of-23). UA held a 43-34 advantage on the boards and held a commanding 24-6 margin in second-chance points.
Rian Pearson led Toledo (6-10, 2-3 MAC) with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Toledo opened the second half on an 11-4 run to cut Akron's lead to 40-32, forcing the Zips to call a timeout with 15:45 left in the game. Three-pointers by Abreu and Gilliam sandwiched around a Toledo bucket helped the Zips lead back to 12 points (46-34).
From there, the Zips began to heat up, hitting 3-pointers on five-straight possessions to open up a 55-39 lead with 11:24 remaining in the game. During that stretch, Marshall tied his own school record with his ninth rejection of the game.
The Rockets tried to slowly chip away at the Zips' advantage, closing the gap to 57-46 with 8:00 to go. That would be the closest the Rockets would come as Akron would outscore Toledo 14-10 down the stretch.
Reggie McAdams' 3-pointer with 13:00 left in the first capped off a solid first seven minutes for the Zips as Akron opened up an 18-6 lead. The Zips would push that lead to 23-8 by the 11:26 mark.
Akron kept the pressure on Toledo to take a 36-21 lead into the intermission. Marshall led the Zips with nine points and four rebounds while putting on a shot blocking clinic with seven swats. Treadwell added eight points, eight rebounds.
The Zips forced six Toledo turnovers and held a 25-20 advantage on the boards while shooting 41.7 percent from the field (15-of-36).
Akron returns home to play host to Buffalo on Saturday, Jan. 26. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET. The first 1,500 fans will receive a limited-edition LeBron James bobblehead.
Ohio 74, Miami 62
OXFORD, Ohio -- The Ohio University men’s basketball team (14-5, 5-0 MAC) collected its sixth straight victory Wednesday night as it defeated Miami University (7-10, 2-3 MAC), 74-62, inside Millett Hall.
Ohio’s win over the RedHawks marked the first time the ‘Cats have opened league play 5-0 since the 1998-99 season. It also marks the first time since 2001-02 Ohio has won its first two MAC games on the road.
Senior guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) led Ohio with 17 points, seven rebounds and a game-high nine assists, while junior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) added 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Senior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
During the game, Baltic became the 34th player in Ohio history to post 1,000 career points and also reached the 600-rebound plateau for his career.
The ‘Cats shot over 50 percent (.520; 26-50) for the sixth time in seven games and held Miami to just 34.9 percent (22-63) for the game. Ohio has now held its opponent under 40 percent shooting in five of the past six contests.
Ohio, which entered the game ranked first in the country in assists per game (19.4), posted 21 assists against the RedHawks. The ‘Cats also connected on 12-of-25 3-pointers (.480).
Miami’s Will Felder scored six of the game’s first eight points as the RedHawks jumped out to an early 6-2 lead. With Miami up 12-9, Cooper nailed a deep three-pointer to tie the game and two more triples from Kellogg and junior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) broke the Miami 2-3 zone and pushed Ohio ahead, 18-12.
The ‘Cats extended the lead to seven (25-18) on Wilkins’ second 3-pointer of the half, and took a nine-point lead on a fast-break lay-in by sophomore Kadeem Green (Toronto, Canada) with 1:41 to go in the half.
A last-second floater off the glass from Cooper gave Ohio a 36-29 edge at the break. The Bobcats shot 56.5 percent (13-23) in the first half and connected on 6-of-11 3-point attempts. Ohio distributed assists on 12-of-13 baskets in the period and held a 15-8 edge in bench scoring. Cooper led the Green and White with eight points, five assists and two steals in the stanza.
Ohio knocked down three more 3-pointers to start the second half on a 12-5 run and open a 48-34 lead over the RedHawks. The ‘Cats connected on five of their first eight triples of the second half, including two from Kellogg, and led 54-36 with 15:04 to go in the game.
A lay-in by Cooper at the 13:51 mark completed a 16-2 run for Ohio and the Bobcats led by 22 (58-36) at that point, but Miami closed within 10 (71-61) with 3:47 to play in the game.
Free throws by senior guard Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Cooper moved Ohio back in front by 13, and the RedHawks could not move any closer than 12 for the remainder of the contest.
Ohio remains on the road for a Saturday (Jan. 26) contest at Kent State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. The game will be televised locally on SportsTime Ohio and can be seen 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.
Bowling Green 70, Kent State 55
Bowling Green, Ohio – For once, it didn’t come down to a last second shot. Chauncey Orr scored a career-high 18 points and the Bowling Green men’s basketball team held Kent State to 36 percent shooting as the Falcons won 70-55 in Mid-American Conference action Wednesday night in the Stroh Center.
All of Bowling Green’s first four Mid-American Conference games were decided in the final minute and the last three were decided on the final possession, but the Falcons pulled away down the stretch to put away Kent State Wednesday.
Orr made 4-of-5 three-pointers as the Falcons led for the final 32 minutes. Bowling Green used a 9-0 run at the end of the half to take a 13-point lead into the locker room and then never led by fewer than seven in the second half.
With the game tied at 8-8 early, Anthony Henderson and Orr connected on back-to-back three-pointers, followed by a Jordon Crawford jumper for a 16-8 lead. The Falcons pushed the lead to 10, but Kent State used a 6-0 run to get within four at 26-22.
After Crawford made a free-throw, Richaun Holmes scored on a putback and Orr added his second three-pointer of the game. A’uston Calhoun made a free-throw with 38 seconds left and Crawford’s steal and lay-up with 12 seconds left put Bowling Green on top 35-22 at the break. It marked the Falcons’ largest halftime lead of the season.
Kent State made a couple of runs in the second half, getting within seven at 47-40 and then again at 51-44 with 10:39 to play. But each time, Bowling Green had an answer. The Falcons put the game away with an 8-1 run after Kent State got within eight at 57-49. The final bucket, a Crawford jumper, made it 65-50 with 3:28 to play. From there, the Falcons used the shot clock and ran out the time.
Along with Orr’s 18 points, both Crawford and Calhoun finished with 12 apiece. Crawford added six assists, four steal and three rebounds, while Calhoun posted his second double-double of the season with 13 rebounds. Holmes came off the bench for eight points, four rebounds and four blocked shots, while Cam Black had four points, five rebounds, two blocks and two assists. For Holmes, he now has 50 blocked shots on the season, the fourth-most in school history. He needs just two more to move into second place.
Bowling Green shot 45 percent from the game and made 6-of-14 (43 percent) three-pointers. The Falcons had 12 turnovers, just three in the second half, compared to 15 for Kent State. The Golden Flashes missed all eight of their first-half three-point attempts and ended 3-of-17 from long range.
The Falcons improve to 6-2 in the Stroh Center in 2012-13 and 18-6 all-time (8-2 in league games) in the two-year old facility. Bowling Green is 7-0 in the Stroh when reaching 70 points.
Bowling Green also won with a short bench as both Jehvon Clarke and James Erger missed the contest with sprained ankles. Head coach Louis Orr used nine players and eight scored at least four points.
With the loss, Kent State falls to 11-8 overall and 2-3 in Mid-American Conference play. Bowling Green improves to 7-11 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Falcons and Golden Flashes are in a logjam, tied for fourth place in the overall MAC standings.
Bowling Green will make the short trip north to face rival Toledo Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Rockets are another MAC team at 2-3 in the conference. The Falcons have won four consecutive meetings against Toledo.
Northern Illinois 74, Central Michigan 61
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. -- Sophomore wing Abdel Nader (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) scored a game-high 23 points as Northern Illinois claimed a 74-61 victory over Central Michigan on Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena. The Huskies shot 60 percent (12-of-20) from the field in the second half while holding the Chippewas to just 29.2 percent (7-of-24) shooting in the second stanza.
Northern Illinois (4-13, 2-3 MAC) led by one at halftime, 32-31, and pulled away in the second half to earn its second road win of the season. Junior forward Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) added 13 points and freshman guard Travon Baker (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Consortium) added 10 in his return to his home state.
“We got off to a good start, but then they went ahead by about 10 and Abdel Nader made some big shots and then our confidence grew,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “You could see at halftime the look it our guys eyes that they were going to find a way to win this ballgame. We shot 60 percent in the second half and we shared the basketball, we didn’t really take care of it but we did a great job of sharing the ball.”
Nader finished the contest 8-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc. Last season, the sophomore from Skokie scored 24 points at Central Michigan.
A pair of free throws by Baker gave NIU a one-point lead, 9-8, with 15:23 to play in the first half. Baker scored the first eight points of the contest for the Huskies, including connecting on a pair of triples. Central Michigan responded with a 13-2 burst to take a 21-11lead with 9:24 to play before the intermission, forcing a NIU timeout.
Following the timeout, Nader connected on a trifecta to bring the Huskies back within seven. The triples got Nader going as he scored 11-straight for the Huskies, pulling NIU back within four, 26-22, with just over five minutes left before the break.
Central Michigan (9-9, 2-3 MAC) pushed the lead back to six but Northern Illinois finished the half on a 10-3 run to take a 32-31 lead into the half. Nader led all scorers with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes; Kyle Randall and Blake Hibbitts each had five to pace the Chippewas.
NIU and CMU both went 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from behind the 3-point line in the opening 20 minutes. The Huskies shot 39.1 percent (9-of-23) from the field while the Chippewas shot 36 percent (9-of-25), in a first half that featured four ties and six lead changes.
NIU pushed its lead to three on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Bolin with 16:45 to play; the lead reached six, 44-38, when freshman guard J.J. Cravatta (Streator, Ill./Streator Township) followed with a triple from the corner in front of the NIU bench.
The Chippewas pulled the Huskie lead back to just a pair, 50-48, just before the midway point of the half but the Huskies responded with a 12-1 run to lead 62-49 with 5:21 left.
Nader scored the first five to ignite the Huskie burst, freshman wing Darrell Bowie (Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep) added a pair of free throws and a layup to give the Huskies nine-straight points. Central Michigan split a pair of free throws before Bolin capped the run with a triple to give the Huskies their largest lead of the night.
Central Michigan clawed back within seven, 65-58, with just over two minutes to play before a jumper by Nader slowed the momentum for the home team.
The Huskies made their free throws in the final minutes, including four by freshman guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) to ice the contest and give NIU its first victory in Mt. Pleasant since 2006, snapping a six-game losing skid.
Balls finished with seven points, a career-best eight rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.
“Our guys were focused tonight,” said Montgomery. “They had something to prove, they had to prove to themselves that they could come out and compete for 40 minutes and they did that. We had to have some poise and patience on both ends, we did that and I am proud of this team.”
The Huskies will conclude their two-game trip to the State of Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 23, when they travel to Ypsilanti to face Eastern Michigan. Game time against the Eagles is slated for 1 p.m. CT.
Western Michigan 63, Eastern Michigan 59
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team surived a low-scoring slugfest with an in-state rival, and the Broncos defeated the Eastern Michigan Eagles 63-59 at University Arena on Wednesday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 11-7 on the season, 3-2 in Mid-American Conference play.
The Broncos rallied from what was at one point a 10-point deficit in the first half, and overcame a three-possession deficit to tie the game heading into the half. Shayne Whittington scored a team-high 14 points for the Broncos on 7-of-12 shooting, and also notched two blocks, a rebound, and an assist. Nate Hutcheson finished the game with 12 points, Darius Paul added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Pokley notched 10 points and two assists. The Bronco bench made the difference again, outscoring EMU 16-10, and WMU controlled points in the paint 22-14.
The Broncos took control when they opened the second half on a 10-3 run, with Pokley dropping a three-pointer from the right corner to give the Broncos a 34-27 lead. Pokley made a pair of free throws on Da'Shonte Riley's technical foul at the 13:55 mark to again make it a seven-point lead, and the Broncos kept the Eagles at arms length for much of the period.
Eastern Michigan briefly tied the score at 47-46, but the Broncos countered when David Brown drained a three-pointer from the right wing to give his team a two-point advantage with 5:37 remaining. Paul expanded that lead with a pair of free throws, and Whittington scored on an inside feed to make it 55-49 with 3:55 to play. Paul gave the Broncos an eight-point lead with a jumper at the 2:42 mark to make it 59-51.
The Eagles pushed back into the conversation with a strong finish to the half, but with the Broncos leading 59-55 with 21.1 seconds remaining, Brown sunk a pair of free throws to increase the pressure on EMU. J.R. Sims scored on a lay-up with 13.1 seconds remaining to make it 61-57, but Pokley made a pair of free throws with 12 seconds remaining to make it 63-57 and essentially put it out of reach.
The first half opened up as expected, with as the two excellent defensive teams kept each other off the scoreboard early. The teams were tied at 8-8 from the 14-minute mark until there was 11:13 remaining in the half, at which point the Eagles scored on consecutive possessions to make it 12-8. EMU lead by as many as 10 points with 7:10 remaining, but Paul got hte Broncos back on track with a lay-up at the 6:04 mark to begin the comeback.
The Broncos made up a nine-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, using increased pressure on defense and improved offensive rebounding to cut into the Eagles' lead. Hutcheson got things moving with a hook shot to make it 24-17 with 1:32 to play, and the senior knocked three more points off the deficit by making three free throws after EMU's Jamell Harris fouled him in the act of shooting a three-pointer.
Hutcheson was heavily involved in the next two Bronco baskets as well, although in a different way, as his attacking the hoop led directly to offensive rebounds and baskets. After the Broncos switched to a full court pressure defense, Brandon Pokley forced Daylen Harrison into a turnover and hit Hutcheson on the fast break. Hutcheson missed the lay-up, but Connar Tava picked up the loose change and tipped it in to make it 24-22 with 51 seconds to play. WMU forced a turnover on the next Eagle possession as well, and Tava was there again to pick up an offensive rebound and lay it in, tying the score with 15 seconds left in the half.
Buffalo 66, Ball State 63
MUNCIE, IN – For just the second time in nine trips to Worthen Arena, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team beat the host Ball State Cardinals, 66-63, on Wednesday night. It was the Bulls' second-straight win to improve to 2-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
The Bulls were led by Javon McCrea who scored a game-high 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting. But it was the clutch shooting of Will Regan, late in the game, that helped UB earn the victory.
Buffalo's last two trips to Worthen Arena resulted in losses by a combined three points and this game, too, was close throughout. There were seven ties and 11 lead changes in the game with neither team leading by more than eight points.
Buffalo got off to a sluggish start offensively, falling behind, 9-1, but played solid defense to keep the game close. The Bulls trailed, 31-29, at the half. McCrea and Regan combined for 21 of UB's 29 first-half points.
Buffalo started the second half on a 12-4 scoring run and Auraum Nuiriankh's second three-pointer of the second half put the Bulls ahead, 41-37, with 15:39 left. Ball State responded and took a 49-46 lead with 8:29 left, before Tony Watson came off a screen and drained a three-pointer to knot the game at 49 with 8:12 remaining.
Regan hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to put the Bulls ahead, 53-52, with 6:44 left. As a team, Buffalo made seven three-pointers in the game, including five in the second half. A pair of Raphell Thomas-Edwards free throws gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game, 57-52, with 5:08 on the clock.
A 6-0 scoring run by Ball State gave the Cardinals a 58-57 advantage with 3:52 left. The teams traded baskets before McCrea drove the baseline for a dunk to give UB the lead for good, 61-60, with 2:41 remaining.
However, the biggest shot of the night came from Regan who, with 8.9 seconds left on the clock and the Bulls leading by one, hit his career-best fourth three-pointer of the night to extend the UB lead to four. Regan's three was far from conventional as his straight-on shot hit the back of the rim, bounced straight up in the air, before falling through the net.
McCrea added a team-high seven rebounds and a pair of blocks to go along with his 24 points – snapping his double-double streak at three. Watson finished with nine points and a game-high seven assists.
"We did a better job rebounding the basketball in the second half and I think that certainly did help," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "The biggest thing is that we are learning to grind out wins whether it be at home or on the road. Anytime you can go on the road in conference play and win, it's a huge win."
Buffalo will next play at Akron on Saturday night.