Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Final Scores
Akron 70, Eastern Michigan 62
Ohio 82, Central Michigan 63
Kent State 87, Miami 70
Bowling Green 70, Western Michigan 60
Buffalo 75, Toledo 60
Ball State 56, Northern Illinois 52
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 70, Eastern Michigan 62
YPSILANTI, Mich. – For the eighth-straight year, the Akron Zips have won at least 20 games thanks to a 70-62 road win over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional match-up.
The Zips join Butler, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Syracuse as the only programs to win at least 20 games in each of the past eight seasons. The win also extended Akron's overall winning streak to 16 games, the longest in the nation.
Brian Walsh led four Zips in double figures with a game-high 16 points, going 5-of-9 from the field and 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Nick Harney (14), Zeke Marshall (12) and Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell (11) also scored in double figures. Alex Abreu had a game-high nine assists.
For the game, Akron (20-4, 11-0 MAC) shot 53.2 percent from the floor (25-of-47) and connected on 39.1 percent from long range (9-of-23). The Zips out-rebounded EMU 34-26, but committed 20 turnovers to just 14 by the Eagles.
Glenn Bryant lead Eastern Michigan (11-13, 4-6 MAC) with 11 points.
The Akron defense came out strong to start the second half, forcing five EMU turnovers in the first four minutes. The Zips were also able to push their advantage to 37-31.
The UA lead would climb to eight (39-31) before EMU slowly began to chip away at that advantage. The Eagles would tie the game at 39-all by the 10:14 mark. The game would remain tied (45-45) with 7:03 remaining.
The Zips would use a mini 7-0 run to open up a 52-45 advantage by the 5:26 mark but a 3-pointer by EMU's Jalen Ross ended Akron's scoring streak.
Three 3-pointers by Walsh and a fourth by Harney in a 3:35 stretch would push the Akron lead to 11 points (61-50) with 2:43 left in the game.
EMU would close the gap to 63-56 with 1:18 remaining but the Zips would hold on for the 70-62 win.
Akron opened up an early 9-2 lead but EMU would slowly close the gap to one (19-18) with 7:29 left in the first half. The Zips were shooting the ball well, connecting on 56.3 percent from the floor (9-of-16), but had committed nine turnovers by the under-8 media timeout.
A Reggie McAdams 3-pointer and a Treadwell layup gave the Zips a 26-20 advantage with 4:55 remaining. Both teams would trade points the rest of the half as Akron would take a 29-26 advantage into the locker room.
Akron shot the ball well over the first 20 minutes, connecting on 50.0 percent from the floor (12-of-24) and 44.4 percent from long range (4-of-9). However, 12 UA turnovers helped EMU keep the game close.
Harney led all scorers in the half with 9 points of 4-of-5 shooting to go with two boards. Treadwell and Abreu had six points each.
The Zips return home to play host to Bowling Green on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Rhodes Arena. The contest, which is part of a doubleheader with the women's team, is set for a 7:30 p.m. ET tip-off.
Ohio 82, Central Michigan 63
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Ohio University men's basketball team (18-6, 9-1 MAC) won its third-straight game with a 82-63 victory over Central Michigan University (9-15, 2-9 MAC) Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena.
With the win, the Ohio senior class of forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.), guard D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.), forward Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio), guard David McKinley (Dublin, Ohio) and guard Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) set a new program record with 88 career victories as a class.
They surpassed the previous mark of 87 set by the 1982-86 class.
The Bobcats are now 9-1 in the Mid-American Conference and 5-1 in road conference games for the first time since 1984-85. Ohio's five MAC road wins are the most by the `Cats since 2001-02.
Offutt led Ohio with 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while Keely added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. Keely is now just two points away from 1,000 for his career.
Junior forward Ricardo Johnson (Covington, Ky.) chipped in 11 points and three rebounds off the bench, and junior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) dished out a career-best and team-leading five assists. With Johnson's 3-of-5 shooting performance, the `Cats are now 9-0 when Johnson makes at least two field goals.
The Bobcats shot 51.7 percent (30-58) from the field and limited the Chippewas to 40 percent (22-55), including just 19 percent (4-21) from 3-point territory. Ohio held a 19-9 advantage in assists for the contest and enjoyed a 31-15 edge in bench scoring. The Bobcats won the fast break points battle 14-6, and are now 17-1 when they out-score their opponent on the break.
Ohio committed six turnovers in the first four minutes of the game, allowing Central Michigan to jump out to a 7-4 lead. With the Chippewas leading 9-6, Ohio came alive, using a 9-2 run to move ahead by four (15-11) at the 10:30 mark.
Central Michigan scored the next four points to tie the game, but consecutive baskets from senior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) moved Ohio back in front by four (19-15).
Two straight 3-pointers from Offutt extended the Bobcats' lead to five (25-20), and a fast-break lay-in by Offutt pushed the advantage to six (29-23) with 4:56 to go in the stanza.
The Chippewas pulled within two (33-31) after a basket by Kyle Randall, but a jumper as time expired by Keely gave Ohio a 35-31 edge at the break.
The `Cats shot 50.0 percent (15-30) in the half and limited Central Michigan to 39.3 percent (11-28) from the floor. Offutt led Ohio with 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Keely added 12 points and four rebounds.
Central Michigan moved within three (37-34) early in the second half, but 3-pointers from sophomore guard Stevie Taylor (Gahanna, Ohio), Cooper and Johnson helped Ohio move the lead back to seven (46-39) at the 16:56 mark of the second half.
With Ohio leading 49-43, the `Cats put together a 16-4 run that extended the lead to 18 (65-47) and effectively put the game out of reach for the Chippewas. Two free throws from Johnson gave him 11 point in the second half and kept Ohio in front by 17 (73-56). Central Michigan could not move closer than 14 for the remainder of the contest.
Ohio returns to the Convocation Center Saturday for an 11 a.m. showdown with MAC East Division rival Kent State Saturday (Feb. 13) on ESPNU. Joe Davis will handle play-by-play duties, while Brook Weisbrod will provide color commentary.
"Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein also will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with streaming audio available on OhioBobcats.com. Ohio won at Kent State, 69-68, on Jan. 26 in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Kent State 87, Miami 70
KENT, Ohio – Chris Evans did more than just play through an injured ankle during Kent State's 87-70 win over Miami University on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.
Just four days after collapsing to the floor and pounding his fist in agony, the Golden Flashes' forward authored arguably the best game of his senior year.
Evans finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. He also came up with four steals to help the Golden Flashes outscore the RedHawks 22-5 off of turnovers.
"I'm going to kick Chris in the ankle tomorrow," Kent State coach Rob Senderoff joked. "This was probably his best game of the year. It was certainly his most efficient considering he did all of those things in 28 minutes, which is a little less than he usually plays."
Evans big night included four more high-flying dunks, bringing his season total to 29.
"My teammates were joking my ankle should be (injured) every game," said Evans. "During the game you don't think about it. But it definitely hurts now."
The Kent State win was more than just a one-man show. Randal Holt and Kris Brewer both added 13 points, Mark Henniger matched a career high with 11 and Bryson Pope came off the bench to score 10 as the Golden Flashes hit 87 points for the second straight game. Since a 67-65 loss at Northern Illinois, Kent State has won three of its last four games while averaging 81.7 points.
"We are making shots, and that's because we are continuing to share the basketball," said Holt, who led the Flashes with five assists against just one turnover. As a team, the Flashes dished out 17 assists on 33 made baskets.
Kent State shot 57.9 percent from the field (33-for-57) and 45.5 percent from the three-point arc (10-for-22).
"I like the way the team is playing," said Senderoff. "I like how we are playing offensively, but we have to guard a little bit better with the games that are coming up."
Kent State did play some stifling defense in spurts, including a nearly four-minute stretch late in the first half that saw the Golden Flashes outscore the RedHawks 18-2 to take a 48-32 lead into the break.
"That run was very important," said Holt. "It gave us a little cushion to play with and breathe a little bit. You don't want every game to be close. We were able to stretch it out a little bit. We kept our intensity up and didn't allow them to get back in the game."
Miami took a 3-0 lead on the very first possession of the game when Will Sullivan hit a three-pointer. After that short-lived advantage was eclipsed on layups by Evans and Henniger, the RedHawks never led again.
Allen Roberts scored 16 points off of the bench to lead Miami (8-15, 3-8 MAC). Geovonie McKnight added 12 points and Will Felder chipped in 10.
Kent State (14-11, 5-6 MAC) goes on the road on Saturday to face Ohio University in an 11 a.m. game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Bowling Green 70, Western Michigan 60
Bowling Green, Ohio – The Bowling Green men’s basketball team used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to pull away from Mid-American Conference West Division leader Western Michigan Wednesday night, defeating the Broncos 70-60 in the Stroh Center.
The Falcons have won three of their last four conference games to improve to 10-14 overall and 5-6 in MAC play. Battling for possible byes deep into the MAC Tournament, Bowling Green would be the No. 4 seed, gaining byes to the third round, if the event were to start today.
A’uston Calhoun scored 24 points, his second-best scoring total of the season, on 10-of-17 shooting. The Falcons overcame a 38-28 rebounding disparity by forcing 18 Western Michigan turnovers and turning those into 24 second-chance points.
Western Michigan entered the contest as one of the best teams in the country at getting to the free-throw line and the Broncos did not disappoint, attempting 26, tied for the most an opponent has attempted in the Stroh Center this year. However, Western Michigan typically converts on those free-throws, entering the game at better than 70 percent on the season. But the Broncos made just half of the attempts.
Bowling Green shot 64 percent in the second half to take over after the game was tied at 30-30 at the break. In fact, Western Michigan briefly took a 33-32 second-half lead on a Brandon Pokley three-pointer but the Falcons responded with a 10-1 run and never trailed again. Chauncey Orr sparked the team with a pair of free-throws and a three-point play on successive possessions. Richaun Holmes scored on a tough move inside and Jordon Crawford knocked down a three-pointer that gave the Falcons their largest lead of the game at 42-34.
Western Michigan responded with three consecutive buckets and Bowling Green still led by just three with 13:38 to play at 44-41. A Luke Kraus steal turned into a Crawford fastbreak lay-up and the Falcons had the start of a 9-0 run that effectively put the game away. Western Michigan began a stretch of turnovers on five consecutive possessions and Crawford connected on a transition three-pointer, followed by lay-ups from Calhoun and Orr to make it 53-41.
Bowling Green pushed the lead to 15 on three different occasions and while Western Michigan rallied to cut the deficit to six with 57 seconds remaining, Bowling Green made its final four free-throws to ice the contest.
Along with Calhoun’s 24 points, Crawford had 13 points and four assists, while Orr added 11 points and three steals. Kraus tossed in nine points to go with five rebounds , two assists and two steals. Holmes came off the bench to score eight points and tie his season-high with nine rebounds. He also had three steals and two blocked shots, giving him 58 for the season, just one shy of the school record.
For the game, Bowling Green shot 50 percent from the field, the third time this year the Falcons have made at least half of their shots. BGSU also moved to 9-0 all-time in the Stroh Center when scoring at least 70 points, reaching that exact total for the fourth time this year.
With the loss, Western Michigan falls to 15-9 on the season and 7-4 in MAC play. Bowling Green inches closer to the Broncos for the No. 3 seed and remains tied with Buffalo and Kent State for the fourth seed for the MAC Tournament.
The Falcons will hit the road to face Akron Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Zips currently have a 16-game winning streak and are receiving votes in both major top 25 polls.
Buffalo 75, Toledo 60
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team utilized one of its finest defensive efforts of the season to defeat Toledo, 75-60, at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night to snap the Rockets’ five game winning streak.
Tony Watson scored a career-high 24 points, including a career-best six three-pointers to lead all scorers. After missing his first two three-point attempts, the senior guard connected on his next 6-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc.
Javon McCrea pulled down a career-best 16 rebounds to go along with 14 points, three assists, four blocks and a steal. The junior forward had his eighth double-double of the season by halftime with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Jarryn Skeete was the third UB player to reach double-figures in scoring with 17 points and added five rebounds and three assists.
Buffalo (10-15, 5-6 MAC) shot 52 percent from the field, including 50 percent from beyond the arc (9-for-18). The Bulls made 6-of-9 three-point attempts in the second half.
While there were a lot of gaudy offensive numbers, Buffalo won this game with its defense. The Bulls held the Rockets to just 32.4 percent shooting from the field and had eight blocked shots.
“Overall, that was our best team defensive effort of the season,” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said.
Toledo (11-11, 7-4 MAC) came into the game featuring the MAC’s leading scorer Rian Pearson, who was averaging 18.6 points per game. Auraum Nuiriankh played exceptional defense and held the Toledo guard to 10 points on just 3-of-12 shooting.
Buffalo jumped out to a 9-3 lead and held that advantage for much of the game. UB finished the half on a 14-3 scoring run to turn a one-point deficit into a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Bulls stayed hot to open the second half and built their lead to 55-33 with 11:41 remaining in the game. Twice the Rockets made runs to close the gap and both times Watson silenced the threat with a three-pointer. His second three put UB ahead 67-52 with 4:52 left.
Buffalo pulled down 40 rebounds – its most in a MAC game this season.
The Bulls have concluded play against MAC West Division teams and will begin the final stretch of the season at Miami (OH) on Saturday afternoon.
Ball State 56, Northern Illinois 52
DEKALB, Ill. -- The Ball State men’s basketball team gritted out a 56-52 road win Wednesday night over Northern Illinois at the NIU Convocation Center.
Jauwan Scaife scored 23 points, Marcus Posley added 10, and the Cardinals hit clutch free throws down the stretch to secure their second straight Mid-American Conference West Division victory.
Ball State fought through a second half that included six ties and four lead changes to improve to 10-13 (4-7 MAC) with the win. Northern Illinois dropped to 5-18 (3-8 MAC).
Ball State found itself trailing 44-41 with just under five minutes left when Scaife drew a foul behind the 3-point line. He knocked down all three free throws to tie the game. Two free throws from Chris Bond with 3:16 to play gave Ball State the lead for good, but it was far from over.
The Cardinals pushed their lead to as many as four points down the stretch when Matt Kamieniecki saved a possession by fighting for an offensive rebound, which Scaife turned it into a lay-in to make it 49-45. It was then a one-possession game for most of the closing minutes, but Ball State made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 35 seconds to answer every Northern Illinois score.
Ball State was 20 for 26 from the foul line for the game, including 15 for 19 in the second half. Scaife was 9 for 10 at the stripe.
The free throw shooting helped the Cardinals overcome a cold second half from the floor. After knocking down 47.6 percent of its shots in the first half, Ball State shot 26.1 percent over the final 20 minutes. But the Cardinals turned the ball over only twice in the second half.
In fact, after turning the ball over four times before the game’s first media timeout, the Cardinals gave it away only six times the rest of the way.
Ball State held Northern Illinois’ top scorers, Abdel Nader and Aksel Bolin to a combined eight points. Nader, who averages better than 14 points per game, finished his night with five points on 1-for-13 shooting.
Northern Illinois led by as many as eight points early in the game, but a 14-2 run midway through the first half swung the momentum in Ball State’s favor. The Cardinals stretched their own lead to as many as nine points at 28-19 before back-to-back 3-pointers from Northern Illinois guard Antone Christian cut the BSU lead to 28-25 heading into the break.
The Huskies made only seven first-half field goals, but five of them were 3-pointers. Christian, who had made just eight treys all season, accounted for four of those. He finished the game with 14 points to lead Northern Illinois, and Darrell Bowie added 11.
Ball State now returns home to begin its second swing through the MAC West with a 2 p.m. Saturday tipoff against Eastern Michigan at Worthen Arena.