Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Akron 86, Ohio 72
Kent State 77, Eastern Michigan 62
Bowling Green 70, Ball State 59
Toledo 69, Northern Illinois 64
Miami 70, Central Michigan 61
Western Michigan 71, Buffalo 60
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 86, Ohio 72
AKRON, Ohio – Alex Abreu had a career-high 21 points and nine assists to lead Akron past Ohio 86-72 on Saturday night at James A. Rhodes Arena in a meeting of the Mid-American Conference's two unbeaten teams.
The Zips (17-4, 8-0), the defending MAC regular-season champion, won their 13th-consecutive game, the longest streak in Division I after Kansas lost today to Oklahoma State. The win was also Akron's 11th-straight at home, which was tied for the 22nd longest nationally entering the day.
Zeke Marshall and Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell contributed double-doubles for Akron. Marshall had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Treadwell 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bobcats (15-6, 6-1), who had won seven straight coming in, beat Akron in the last meeting between the programs in last season's MAC tournament final.
Abreu's 10 points in the final 10 minutes before halftime helped the Zips outscore the Bobcats 31-13 after trailing 23-10. His 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go in the half gave Akron the lead for good at 36-33. He finished the first half with 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the floor (2-for-2 3-pointers).
Nick Harney posted 13 points and Reggie McAdams 11 for the Zips, who shot 56.1 percent (32-of-57) from the field for the game and edged Ohio 40-22 on the glass.
Nick Kellogg scored 15 points for Ohio and D.J. Cooper had 14 points and six assists. The Bobcats shot 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the floor.
Akron plays host to Central Michigan on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET at Rhodes Arena live on SportsTime Ohio.
Kent State 77, Eastern Michigan 62
KENT, Ohio – Randal Holt became Kent State's career leader in three-pointers and the Golden Flashes ended a four-game losing streak in a 77-62 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday night at the M.A.C. Center.
Three-pointer No. 211 arrived at the 11:34 mark of the second half for Holt, allowing him to leapfrog Trevor Huffman (1998-2002) on Kent State's all-time list. The long jumper from the left wing was also the fifth three of the night for the senior, who finished with a team-high 17 points.
Sitting in a press conference almost 15 minutes after the final buzzer, Holt still couldn't believe he has passed Huffman, whose No. 24 hangs in the M.A.C. Center rafters.
"It hasn't hit me yet," Holt said. "I'm just blessed. I'm thankful just to be here at Kent State. And to break a milestone that has held up for years is an amazing feeling … More importantly, it felt good to get a win. We had been on a four-game losing streak. That's not something we do at Kent State. We all committed ourselves to do whatever it takes to get the win."
The Golden Flashes converted 37.5 percent of their three-point shots (9-for-24) against Eastern Michigan's trademark 2-3 zone. They upped that number to 42.7 percent in a decisive second half that saw Kent State turn a slim 32-26 halftime lead into a runaway.
Back-to-back jumpers by Darren Goodson to open the half were followed by consecutive threes by Holt during a 10-0 run to start the second half. Kent State pushed its lead as high as 21 points by 5:14 mark.
"For us, the starts of second halves at home have not been very good," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "It's not something we talked about at all, but I do think that start was important for us … It helped us ease some of the tension that would have been there had Eastern started the second half on a 5-0 run or something like that."
Holt converted 5-of-10 from beyond the arc on a night when he needed five threes to eclipse Huffman's record. He also matched a career-high with six assists while playing much of the night at point guard. The last time Holt played significant minutes at the point was during his freshman season.
Senderoff hoped the big night would serve as a confidence builder in a season that has seen Holt struggle through inconsistent play.
"Tonight was a good night for Randal," said Senderoff. "He is probably as frustrated as anyone that he hasn't produced the way he would like and the way we all would like. But he also just set the all-time record for threes in school history. This is a kid who came off major knee surgery that kept him out for three months. He didn't practice until Nov. 1 and then played 40 minutes vs. Drexel (Nov. 9) and hit the game-winning shot that night.
"Randal hasn't had the year he would like to date … but the final chapter of his career has not yet been written."
Fellow Kent State senior Chris Evans added 15 points, including two more highlight-reel dunks, to the Kent State cause. Goodson finished with 12.
Derek Thompson came off of the bench to score a team-high 17 points for Eastern Michigan (10-11, 3-4). He was the only Eagle to score in double figures.
Kent State (12-10, 3-5) travels to Western Michigan on Wednesday night.
Bowling Green 70, Ball State 59
Bowling Green, Ohio – Bowling Green’s bench scored 38 points as the men’s basketball team led wire-to-wire for a 70-59 victory over Ball State Saturday afternoon. The game was played in front of 3,128 fans at the Stroh Center, the second-largest home attendance of the year.
The bench was sparked by moving Jordon Crawford to the bench. The senior point guard had started 45 consecutive games dating back to last year, but BGSU men’s basketball coach Louis Orr chose to start Luke Kraus in his place. Crawford responded with a game-high 19 points and a season-high eight assists in 33 minutes.
That’s not to say Crawford was the lone factor among the non-starters. James Erger scored a career-high nine points and added four rebounds in 13 minutes. Richaun Holmes, after picking up two quick fouls and being a non-factor in the first half, finished with six points and five rebounds. Craig Sealey tied his season-high with 19 energetic minutes, posting four points and two rebounds.
The starting unit, though, also produced and the Falcons jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Kraus and Chauncey Orr hit early three-pointers and the Falcons never led by less than four points for the remainder of the game.
Erger had a lay-up and Sealey followed by going coast-to-coast for a thunderous dunk that gave the Falcons a 20-10 lead. Bowling Green pushed the lead to 11 late in the first half on jumpers from Crawford and Sealey, but Ball State answered. A Jesse Berry three-pointer was followed by a Chris Bond free-throw with 43 seconds left and the Cardinals were down just seven.
But Bowling Green closed the half in fine fashion as Crawford made a jumper, followed by an Orr steal that concluded in a Sealey lay-up with eight seconds left. Crawford then stole the inbounds pass and finished a lay-up as the horn sounded for a 41-28 halftime lead.
As has happened on numerous occasions lately, the Falcons struggled out of the locker room in the second half. Ball State cut the deficit to four on a Jauwan Scaife three-pointer with 11:54 to play but Bowling Green answered again.
Orr’s jumper ignited a 10-2 run and A’uston Calhoun’s lay-up with 8:06 to go gave Bowling Green a 59-47 lead. Ball State never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
While the bench played a huge role, the Bowling Green starting five was also strong. Calhoun ended with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go with six rebounds and two steals. Orr posted his fourth double-digit scoring effort in the past five games with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting. Kraus had five assists and a career-best five steals as the Falcons posted a season-high 13 steals on 15 Ball State turnovers.
Bowling Green’s play on the boards was another factor. The Falcons had been outrebounded each of the last five games and Ball State entered the contest with a MAC-best +9.3 rebounding edge in conference games. BGSU held Ball State to just five offensive rebounds and the Falcons won the rebounding battle 30-26 to improve to 6-1 on the season when outrebounding an opponent.
That physical play inside also translated to offensive efficiency. Bowling Green scored 38 points in the paint and shot a season-best 57.7 percent from the floor despite making just 2-of-12 three-pointers. Ball State stayed close by connecting on 7-of-16 three-pointers for the game but could not overcome the Falcons’ efficient offensive play.
With the loss, Ball State falls to 8-12 overall and 2-6 in MAC play. Bowling Green improves to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in the conference. The Falcons will hit the road Wednesday to play at Northern Illinois at 8 p.m.
Toledo 69, Northern Illinois 64
DeKALB, IL - Toledo won its third-straight game on Saturday afternoon after a gritty effort propelled the Rockets (9-10, 5-3 MAC) to a 69-64 road victory over Northern Illinois (5-15, 3-5 MAC). It was UT's first victory in DeKalb since 2007, as well its third league road win in five outings.
"If there's a definition of a 'grind-out' win, this game was certainly it," Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "We had too many turnovers and our shots weren't falling, but we played hard and won the rebounding battle (33-30). Winning on the road isn't easy, but we came up with big plays when we needed to."
Sophomore G Julius Brown led the Rockets with 20 points with junior F Matt Smith (14 pts.) and junior G Rian Pearson (12 pts., team-high eight reb.) joining him in double figures.
The Huskies were paced by the tandem of sophomore F Abdel Nader (19 points, game-high 11 reb.) and junior F Aksel Bolin (18 pts., six reb.).
Toledo, which will host Miami and Eastern Michigan next week, shot 45.2 percent from the field but limited the Huskies to a 38.5 shooting mark. The Rockets hit just four-of-15 attempts (26.7 percent) from three-point range and committed 17 turnovers. It was the most miscues for UT since having 18 at Detroit on Dec. 5.
Pearson gave Toledo the lead for good, 59-58, with 2:30 remaining when he stole the ball from Nader and drove the length of the court for a three-point play. Freshman C Nathan Boothe extended the lead to 61-58 with a pair of free throws at the 1:49 mark.
Brown then made it a two-possession game when he split a double-team and found Smith free under the basket for a two-handed slam and a 64-60 lead with 44.0 seconds to play.
The Rockets knocked down five-of-six free throws the rest of the way to seal the victory. UT, which entered the game ranked second in the nation with a 79.0 FT%, enjoyed a significant advantage at the line by making 27-of-35 attempts (77.1 percent). NIU converted 17-of-26 (65.4 percent) from the charity stripe.
Toledo started the game strong surging to a 22-11 advantage with 8:05 to play following a Smith slam. NIU responded with a 13-2 run and evened the contest at 24-24 on freshman J.J. Cravatta's trey just under a minute before halftime. Brown answered with a three-point bomb of his own though and Pearson added a free throw to give UT a 28-24 cushion at intermission.
Toledo maintained its lead in the second stanza until a Bolin free throw put the hosts in front, 55-54, with 5:57 left. After Boothe hit one of two free throws, Nader drilled a three-pointer to put UT down 58-55 at the 4:08 mark before Pearson sparked the Rockets' comeback.
Miami 70, Central Michigan 61
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich.-Behind a 70-61 win at Central Michigan on Saturday evening, Miami University's men's basketball team seized the program's 600th Mid-American Conference win, the most by any MAC program.
Miami pulled out a tight game, draining 9-of-10 free throws over the final 1:33. Junior guard Allen Roberts poured in 19 points to lead the RedHawks, while junior forward Will Felder added 11 and sophomore guard Will Sullivan chipped in 10.
Miami shot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half after a 34.6 percent shooting effort in the opening 20 minutes.
The Chippewas opened up a 12-8 lead early in the game, but Miami used a 9-0 flurry off buckets from junior forward Drew McGhee, Sullivan and junior forward Jon Harris along with a free throw from Roberts and two from freshman guard Reggie Johnson to post a 17-12 advantage by the 7:09 mark of the first half.
CMU came back to knot the game 19-19 off a Kyle Randall 3-pointer at the 5:28 mark. Harris sunk a pair of triples down the stretch to push Miami to a six-point lead with 59 seconds to go in the opening half, 29-23. After a missed layup by the Chippewas, Harris came up with a defensive board with 30 seconds remaining. The RedHawks tried to set up for a final shot to end the half, but a bad pass led to a turnover and a foul with five seconds to go, sending CMU's Finis Craddock to the line. He hit one of two free throws and the RedHawks took a 29-24 lead into the half.
The teams went back and forth in the early stages of the second half. Miami was able to extend its lead to six points off a Felder free throw at 18:06, 32-26, and then off a McGhee jumper at 16:17, 34-28. The Chippewas used an 8-2 run, capped by a John Simons 3-pointer, to knot the game at 36 with 13:46 to play. Miami quickly reclaimed the lead when Sullivan leaped up to tap in a missed RedHawk field goal attempt at the 12:54 mark to put Miami up, 38-36. The teams traded buckets, but a three-point play by CMU's Randall handed CMU a 41-40 lead at the 11:43 mark.
After CMU extended its lead to three a few times, Roberts scored the first eight points of a 11-2 Miami run that put Miami up 54-48 with 5:48 to play. The Chippewas closed within two with 2:21 to play off a Randall layup, 59-57, but Roberts came back with a key layup under the basket at 1:52 to put Miami up four, 61-57. Johnson sunk 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch while Felder and junior guard Quinten Rollins each went 2-for-2 from the line over the waning minutes to secure Miami's historic win.
The Chippewas were led by Randall with a game-high 20 points. Blake Hibbits added 12 points and six rebounds for CMU.
Miami continues a two-game road stretch at Toledo on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The RedHawks then return home to host Akron at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 in the first game of a men's and women's basketball doubleheader against the Zips. It will be Hall of Fame Day where Miami Athletics will honor its six inductees--Dale Cohen (women's tennis), Terry Hoeppner (football coach), PL (Pete) Miller (men's track & field), Ben Roethlisberger (football), Karin Sherr (synchronized skating) and Kyle Voska (golf)--at halftime of the men's game.
Western Michigan 71, Buffalo 60
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team kept up its reputation as one of the hottest teams in the Mid-American Conference, defeating Buffalo 71-60 at University Arena on Saturday night. The stands as the sixth straight for the Broncos, who improve to 14-7 overall and 6-2 in the MAC.
The Broncos excelled in the classic definition of MAC basketball in the second half, holding the Bulls to 32.0 percent shooting from the field and out-rebounding them 27-13, all while outscoring them 40-29. The WMU bench provided a lift in the game, outscoring Buffalo 26-6, and the Broncos forced the Bulls into 20 turnovers, which they turned into 21 points.
Shayne Whittington finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds for his team-leading sixth double-double of the season, the most for a Bronco in one season since Joe Reitz recorded six during the 2007-08 season. Darius Paul contributed 15 poitns and eight rebounds, while David Brown came off the bench to post 13 points and five rebounds.
Hutcheson opened the scoring for the Broncos in the second half, giving them a 33-31 lead with a lay-up, and Darius Paul extended the lead at the 18:03 mark when he grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a hook shot in the paint. Paul drew the contact from Will Regan but missed the free throw; however, Hutcheson grabbed the offensive board, and the play ultimately resulted in Paul throwing down a putback dunk to make it 37-32.
Hutcheson remained active in the second half, contributing to a series of plays that resulted in Buffalo burning a 30-second timeout. With 15:32 remaining in the half, Hutcheson swatted Cameron Downing's lay-up attempt and pulled the rebound down himself. Hutcheson lifted a lead pass the length of the court to Austin Richie, who hauled the pass in and laid it up to give the Broncos a 43-36 lead.
Paul and Brown were the chief threats in the half for the Broncos attacking the hoop and making energy plays to push the Broncos to their largest leads of the night. Brown scored five straight points for the Broncos from 13:12 to 11:07, and Taylor Perry made a pair of free throws to make it 48-42 with 10:28 remaining. Paul gave the Broncos a 10-point lead for the first time in the evening, hauling in an offensive board and spinning around his man to lay it in and make it 52-42.
The Bulls used an 8-3 mini-run to pull within five points of the Broncos, but Whittington swished a right-handed hook shot with 5:01 remaining to give the Broncos a 57-50 advantage. The Broncos continued to attack the paint, and Whittington put the Broncos ahead by three scores at the 2:36 mark, draining another hook shot to make it 63-56. Paul made a pair from the charity stripe to put the lead at nine points with under two minutes to play, and Whittington pushed the advantage back above double-digits with a 15-footer from the left wing at the 1:26 mark. From there, the Broncos went 5-of-7 from the free throw line and held the Bulls to just four more points, setting the final deficit at 71-60.
The first half was an even bout between the two teams, with the Broncos and Bulls trading leads for the better part of the period. Buffalo opened the game on a 7-3 run, but Shayne Whittington scored five straight points for the Broncos to cut the Buffalo lead to 10-7, and David Brown tied the score at the 11:54 mark with a three-point make. Dan Loney gave the Broncos a 14-12 lead at the 10:15 mark with a lay-up on a back-door pass from Tava, and Whittington made it a four-point game a minute later with a pair of free throws.
Buffalo took a five-point lead with 2:27 remaining in the first half on a Javon McCrea lay-up, but Brown responded immediately with a three-pointer on his next trip down the court. McCrea struck again with a lay-up at the 1:54 mark, but Brown again provided the counterpunch, scoring on a lay-up with 1:14 remaining to make it 31-29. Whittington tied the score for the half with a 15-foot jumper with 46 seconds remaining, and Taylor perry maintained the dead lock when he swatted Jarryn Skeete's three-point attempt as time expired.