Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Akron 88, Ohio 81 (OT)
Western Michigan 65, Toledo 62
Kent State 83, Buffalo 81 (OT)
Bowling Green 52, Miami 44
Ball State 95, Central Michigan 90
Eastern Michigan 53, Northern Illinois 41
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 88, Ohio 81 (OT)
Playing as a ranked team for the first time in program history, the Akron Zips passed their first test thanks to an 88-81 overtime win over Ohio on Wednesday in a Mid-American Conference East Division showdown at the Convocation Center.
Akron (23-4, 13-0 MAC) extended its winning streak to a nation's-best 19 games, in addition to breaking the MAC record for the best start to league play in the conference's 65 years of existence.
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell led the charge with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out two assists in leading four Zips in double figures.
Jake Kretzer also set a career-high with 19 points, going 6-of-6 from the floor and 5-of-5 from long range. Zeke Marshall and Alex Abreu finished with 16 points each. Marshall, who fouled out with 47.8 seconds left in regulation, added seven boards and four blocked shots while Abreu dished out a game-high nine dimes.
D.J. Cooper led Ohio (20-8, 11-2 MAC) with 26 points.
The Zips opened the second half on a 10-4 run to force Ohio to call its second timeout with 16:38 mark with the Bobcats' lead down to five (45-40). The highlight of the run was a Marshall blocked shot of Reggie Keely's dunk attempt, opening up Nick Harney for the uncontested fastbreak dunk. Kretzer extended the run to 13-4 with his second 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 45-43 by the first media timeout of the second half.
The run climbed to 19-4 as Akron opened up a 49-45 lead by the 13:57 mark. The Zips' defense held the Bobcats without a field goal for 6:12 on the clock before a Jon Smith lay-up ended the run. Ohio tied the game briefly at 49-all before Abreu put the Zips back on top with a long 3-pointer (11:49).
After the Zips opened several six-point leads, Ohio tied the game at 63-63 with 6:18 remaining on back-to-back 3-pointers by Cooper. Kretzer's fifth 3-pointer of the night pushed Akron back in front, 66-63, with 4:46 to go in the game.
This one came down to the end of regulation. The Zips had a shot to extend their lead, but Harney's shot would just miss. Smith would tie the game at 72-all with 0.7 seconds left to send this one into overtime.
Akron opened up a 76-72 lead early in overtime, converting on two of its first three possessions. Treadwell gave the Zips a 79-73 lead with 2:16 left with an old fashion 3-point play, his 20th point of the night.
The Zips kept Ohio at bay from the charity stripe, holding an 87-81 lead with 41.6 left in the game. Akron would hold on for the 88-81 win in overtime.
Akron opened up an early 7-0 lead to force the Bobcats to call the first timeout of the game just 1:19 into the contest. The Zips scored on their next possession to make it 9-0. The Bobcats would answer and tie the game at 9-9 with 13:51 on the clock.
By the under-12 media timeout, the score remained tied at 13-13. Ohio used the game's third 9-0 run to open up a 22-13 advantage with 8:47 remaining in the opening half.
After a Kretzer 3-pointer with 5:37 on the clock cut the OU lead to 26-16, the Bobcats would hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open up a 32-16 advantage with 4:41 remaining to force an Akron timeout.
The Zips would win the final 4:41 to cut the Bobcat lead to 41-30 by halftime. Treadwell led the Zips with 10 points and three rebounds, while Marshall pitched in with seven points, three boards and one blocked shot.
Both teams shot the ball well over the first 20 minutes, with the Zips connecting on 52.2 percent (12-of-23) and the Bobcats shooting 56.0 percent (14-of-25). UA was forced into six turnovers compared to three by Ohio.
The Zips will conclude the final regular-season road trip of the season when they travel to Buffalo, N.Y., to face the Buffalo Bulls on Saturday, March 2. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. ET on SportsTime Ohio.
Western Michigan 65, Toledo 62
BoxscoreTOLEDO, Ohio - The Western Michigan men's basketball team got a career-best performance from Darius Paul, and the Broncos eked out a road victory with a 65-62 effort against Toledo on Wednesday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 18-9 overall, 9-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Broncos need just a single win to clinch a top-four seed in the MAC Tournament.
Paul posted his fifth double-double of the season by registering a career-high 28 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Paul was joined in double figures by David Brown, who came off the bench to notch 15 points.
Toledo led 56-51 with 5:44 remaining in the game, but the Broncos stormed back with timely defense and rebounding late to stop the Rockets in their tracks. David Brown drained a transition three-pointer at the 4:35 mark after Austin Richie swiped the ball from Reese Holliday and advanced it up the court. Rian Pearson made a jumper from the free throw line to extend Toledo's lead to four points, but Brown made a pair of free throws with 4:08 remaining to make it 58-56.
Nate Hutcheson scored on a reverse lay-up with 3:23 remaining to tie the score, and Paul gave the Broncos a 60-58 lead with a jumper with 2:40 left on the clock. Brown capped the 11-2 run with a scoop shot in the lane to give the Broncos a two-possession lead, and Hutcheson made a pair of ffree throws with 26 seconds remaining to make it 65-62. Dominique Buckley's three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark, and the Broncos left town with the win.
The Broncos were put in a bind early in the first half, when Shayne Whittington was charged with two fouls within the first five minutes of play. The Broncos made due without their starting center, though, hanging tough with the Rockets and minimizing the damage by leaning on their other starting post player. Paul scored in a variety of ways in the first half, shooting 2-of-2 from three-point range and going 5-of-7 overall from the field.
Western Michigan opened the game on an 8-5 run, with Brandon Pokley opening the proceedings with a three-pointer from center court and adding a lay-up at the 17:18 mark to give the Broncos a three-point lead. Connar Tava helped maintain that lead with a pair of free throw makes at the 13:41 mark, and Paul added a hook shot in the paint with 11:05 to play to make it 12-9.
Toledo took the lead at the 8:21 mark with a three-pointer from Reese Holliday, who came off the bench to notch 11 points in the first half. Holliday staked the Rockets out to their largest lead of the half when he drained a transition three from the right wing with 5:23 left in the half, but the Broncos countered and pulled to within a single point by the break. Paul hit a three-pointer from the left corner with five minutes remaining to make it a four-point game, and Nate Hutcheson scored on a lay-up with 4:27 remaining cut the Rockets' lead to 24-22.
AJ Avery tied the game for the Broncos at 26 with a lay-up in the lane after a bounce pass assist from Paul, but Julius Brown made a three-pointer on the next trip down the court to put the Rockets back on top. Austin Richie made a pair of free throws down the stretch to cut the lead to 29-28, which is where it sat entering the halftime break.
Kent State 83, Buffalo 81 (OT)
KENT, Ohio – Chris Evans banked in a four-footer at the overtime buzzer to lift Kent State to an 83-81 victory over the University at Buffalo on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.
Three different Buffalo players challenged Evans as he drove for the basket, including Bulls star Javon McCrea, but the Kent State senior managed to hang in the air just long enough to get off the first buzzer beater of his life.
"I had never done anything like that before," said Evans, who finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists. "It was definitely a good feeling. I was pretty excited when it went in."
Evans was so thrilled that it took some time for his teammates to catch up with him on the other end of the floor after a celebratory 80-foot sprint.
"Chris took off running. He didn't want us to catch him," said Randal Holt, who scored a career-high 28 points in the win, eclipsing the 27 he scored in this season's first meeting with Buffalo.
Evans' first game-winner also kept Kent State's East Division rival from capturing its first ever win in Kent. The Bulls are now 0-16 all-time at the M.A.C. Center.
More importantly, the win gave the Golden Flashes (16-12, 6-7) a season sweep of Buffalo, allowing them to leapfrog the Bulls in the Mid-American Conference standings. If the season were to end today, Kent State would own the No. 4 seed in the upcoming MAC tournament.
"It was an unbelievable game and a great win for us," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "Our kids deserved for one of these close games to go our way. They showed a lot of resilience."
The Golden Flashes had lost six similar games in the closing seconds already this season. Just to get into position to finally pull off a miracle, they needed to battle back from a 12-point deficit in the final 15 minutes.
Kent State trailed 41-32 at the half, and were only close enough to make a run thanks to 14 points from Holt.
Melvin Tabb provided the Flashes with the lift they needed in the second half. Tabb didn't get off the bench in the first 20 minutes, but the 6-foot-9 junior scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds in 14 minutes of work after the break.
"I'm proud of how Melvin played because I think he gave us the spark," said Senderoff. "Along with the points and the rebounds, he came out and really energized our team when we didn't have a lot of energy in the first half."
Darren Goodson also made several big plays in the second half to help Kent State cut into the Buffalo lead. Goodson finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
McCrea was a one-man gang for the second time this season against the Golden Flashes. After scoring a career-high 33 in Kent State's January win at Buffalo, McCrea led the Bulls again with 32 points and 15 rebounds in 41 minutes on Wednesday.
"If we could only figure out some way to not have to have Javon McCrea play against us," said Senderoff.
This time, McCrea had some help. Will Regan and Cameron Dowling both scored 14 points for the Bulls (11-17, 6-7). But both Buffalo bigs also fouled out and were not available to help McCrea attempt to defend Evans on the game's final shot.
Kent State will try to keep control of the No. 4 seed in the upcoming MAC tournament when it goes on the road to play Miami University on Saturday afternoon.
Bowling Green 52, Miami 44
Bowling Green, Ohio – The Bowling Green men’s basketball team held Miami to 13 second-half points and the Falcons overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the RedHawks 52-44 Wednesday night in the Stroh Center.
With the win, Bowling Green improves to 10-3 at home on the year and climbs into a four-way tie for fourth place in the Mid-American Conference standings. By virtue of a 2-1 record against the other tied teams, the Falcons would sit in fifth place if the MAC Tournament started today and would earn a bye to the second round in Cleveland.
Jordon Crawford was the only BGSU player to score in double-figures, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He was a crucial cog in an early second-half run that got the Falcons back on even footing.
Trailing 31-24 at the half, Bowling Green opened the second half scoring with a Crawford three-pointer. He then assisted on a Cam Black basket before Black added a jumper with 15:55 to play that tied the score at 31-31 and forced Miami into a timeout.
Over the next seven minutes, the two teams traded baskets but A’uston Calhoun’s lay-up with 7:17 to play tied the score at 42-42. From there, Miami’s only points the rest of the way were an Allen Roberts fastbreak dunk with 3:14 to play that got the RedHawks within one.
On Bowling Green’s next possession, Calhoun knocked down a tough three-pointer and Crawford and Luke Kraus finished with four free-throws to seal the victory.
The Falcons outscored Miami 28-13 in the second half by holding the RedHawks to just six field goals and 20 percent shooting. Miami missed all six of its three-point attempts in the final 20 minutes and was just 1-of-8 at the free-throw line.
While Calhoun was double-teamed immediately almost every time he touched the ball, he finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Black added six points and a game-high nine rebounds as the Falcons held a 45-29 edge on the boards. Craig Sealey and Jehvon Clarke added sparks off the bench as Sealey had five points and five rebounds, while Clarke scored seven points and had two assists.
Bowling Green struggled with turnovers in the first half, giving up nine possessions as Miami led for the final eight minutes of the period. The RedHawks shot 50 percent in that opening stanza behind nine points from Roberts.
With the loss, Miami falls to 8-18 overall and 3-10 in MAC play. Bowling Green improves to 12-16 overall and 6-7 in conference action. The Falcons will face a big challenge Saturday as they host Ohio, now 11-2 in the league, at noon in a game televised on SportsTime Ohio. BGSU is 5-1 in the Stroh Center in conference games this year though and Ohio is 0-5 in Bowling Green against head coach Louis Orr. The Falcons have won those five contests by an average of 13.4 points per game.
Ball State 95, Central Michigan 90
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Senior guard Jauwan Scaife scored a career-high 34 points Wednesday to lead the Ball State men's basketball team to its largest offensive output of the season in a 95-90 victory over Central Michigan.
With the home win at Worthen Arena, Ball State improved to 12-14 on the season and 5-8 in Mid-American Conference action. The Chippewas fell to 9-18 on the campaign and 2-11 in league play with the loss.
Scaife tied his career-high in 3-point field goals, finishing the night 8-for-12 from the floor, 6-for-10 from beyond the arc and 12-for-13 from the charity stripe. The All-MAC candidate topped the 30-point mark for the second time in the past five games.
Ball State juniors Chris Bond and Jesse Berry added 15 points on the night. Classmate Majok Majok tallied 10 points and finished just one rebound shy of his ninth double-double of the season to help the Cardinals to their fourth win in the past five games.
It was a night for shooting as both squads tallied field goal percentages above 50 percent in the fast-paced game. Ball State was 29 of 52 (55.8 percent) for the night, while Central Michigan made 31 of 59 (52.5 percent).
"We wanted to try to get the ball into the paint and then get our 3's off of that," Ball State coach Billy Taylor said. "I thought for the most part we did that. We did a great job getting the ball inside. We didn't finish all of them, but we still ended up with 30 points in the paint, and then our shooters really caught fire."
Ball State shot its second-highest percentage of the season on its way to reaching 90 points for the first time this year. The 95 points were Ball State's most in a conference game since scoring 96 against Eastern Michigan in January 2005.
Ball State held a 49-39 lead at halftime and then out-scored the Chippewas 10-3 over the first five minutes of the second half to build its largest lead at 59-44 with 15:13 to play.
Central Michigan did not go away quietly, utilizing its outside shooting to get back in the game. The Chippewas knocked down 14 3-pointers on the night, the most by any Ball State opponent this year.
CMU closed the gap all the way to two points at 92-90 with 19 seconds left. The Chippewas were forced to foul, and Scaife hit a pair of free throws. Kyle Randall couldn't convert in the lane on the next Central Michigan possession and Berry grabbed the rebound to secure the win before knocking down one final free throw.
"Central Michigan pushes the ball hard in transition, and the way they shoot the 3, they're never out of the game," Taylor said. "I would have liked to see us extend our lead instead of them getting back in the game, but I was proud of our guys for getting that cushion so we could absorb any run they made back at us."
Randall, the MAC's leading scorer in conference games, finished with 18 points for CMU on 6-for-15 shooting. Chris Fowler scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting while also handing out 13 assists. The Chippewas placed five total scorers in double figures.
With the win, Ball State took another step toward securing at least a first-round home game in the MAC Tournament. The Cardinals hold a two-game lead for the No. 8 seed and are still only a game out of being in a tie for the No. 4 position.
Ball State returns to action Saturday with a 2 p.m. road game at Toledo.
Eastern Michigan 53, Northern Illinois 41
DeKalb, Ill. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team used its stifling 2-3 zone to force 18 turnover as the Eagles defeated the Huskies of Northern Illinois University for the second time this season, 53-41, at NIU's Convocation Center, Feb. 27.
With its second victory in the past three road contests, the Eagles improve to 13-15and 6-7 in Mid-American Conference play on the season. NIU falls to 5-21, 3-10 MAC on its 2012-13 campaign.
Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich. – Oak Hill Academy) tallied 14 points and pulled down 8 boards to lead the Green and White. Derek Thompson (Detroit, Mich. – Melvindale) also added 14 points, including 11 in the first half to go along with four steals, tying his career high.
The Eagles shot 38.3 percent from the field, converting 18-of-47 shots while going 12-of-19 from the foul line. EMU turned 18 turnovers into 18 points, also outscoring NIU in the paint, 20-6.
EMU's defense was impressive all night long, holding the Huskies to 10-of-42 shooting for a 23.8 percent clip. The Eagles held NIU's leading scorer, Abdel Nader, to six points and 2-of-11 from the floor. The Huskies made frequent trips to the charity stripe, going 16-of-23.
Thompson started the scoring with three from the wing at the 18:26 mark of the opening half. On the next possession, NIU's Darrell Bowie and EMU's Bryant were issued with double technical fouls following a heated verbal exchange along with some pushing and shoving. Retaining possession, the Huskies were able to knock down a pair of free throws to cut the EMU lead to one, 3-2.
With the game tied, 5-5, the EMU 2-3 zone tightened up, and the Eagles went an 8-0 run. The run included a free throw after the game's third technical was called on Kevin Gray, his third personal foul of the half. J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind. – Snider) found Matt Balkema (Roseville, Mich. – Warren Cousino) on a successful pick and roll, forcing a NIU timeout with the Green and White on top, 13-5, with 11:57 remaining in the first half.
Following the stoppage of play, the Huskies ended the run with a three by Antone Christian. However, Sims responded with a three of his own, putting the Eagles back up eight. Christian answered back from long range, making it 16-11 with 9:20 to go in the opening stanza.
NIU would score four more points to cut the lead to one. However, Bryant would make sure his team would not surrender the lead as he added an offensive put-back as well as a thunderous dunk after a crisp pass courtesy of Sims. Thompson increased the lead with the next eight points for EMU, and Jalen Ross (Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Day)added a deuce to send the lead into double digits, 30-19 with 2:37 remaining in the first half. NIU would hold Eastern scoreless for the remainder of the half while scoring three points of its own, as the Eagles took a 30-22 advantage into the locker room.
Thompson led the way for EMU with 11 points in the first half, including 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Bryant added seven points along with three rebounds, one block and one steal. The Eagles shot 36.7 percent from the floor, draining 11-of-30 shots.
The EMU defense forced eight turnovers in the first half, converting them into 13 points. The Green and White held the rebounding advantage, 18-15, with the help of 10 offensive boards that assisted to 10 first half points in the paint.
Christian and Nader paced the Huskies with six points apiece in the opening 20 minutes. Nader also corralled six rebounds to lead his team. NIU made one-third of its shots in the first half, going 6-of-18 for a 33.3 percent clip. The Cardinal and Black also converted 7-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe.
Both teams struggled to find the basket to start the second half. Ross finally broke the drought with a jumper from long range, sending the lead back to 11. The lead escalated to 13 following three points from Bryant to make it, 36-23, with 15:13 to go in the game.
With the Eagles using stifling defense that caused them to miss their first seven shots, the Huskies finally recorded its first basket of the second half at the 14:58 mark. The bucket would not phase EMU as Rob Murphy's ballclub went on a 7-0 run to take a 17-point cushion, 43-26, with 11:05 remaining in the contest.
Bowie would score seven straight points for his team to cut Eastern's lead to 10, 45-35, with 7:44 showing on the clock. Once again, the Eagles countered five straight points along with preventing buckets on the defensive end. With 4:40 left in the game, EMU found itself on top, 50-35.
Eastern would not let its lead drop into single digits, defeating the Huskies, 53-41, for the second time this season.
EMU hoops will return to the friendly confines of the Convocation Center Saturday, March 2, to take on in-state rival Western Michigan University at 2 p.m. The Eagles will try to avenge a 63-59 setback to WMU in Kalamazoo, Jan. 23.