Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Buffalo 81, No. 24 Akron 67
Ball State 86, Toledo 72
Central Michigan 69, Northern Illinois 50
Bowling Green 78, Ohio 65
Eastern Michigan 50, Western Michigan 49 (ot)
Kent State 78, Ball State 58
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team topped 24th-ranked Akron, 81-67, at Alumni Arena on Saturday night to snap the Zips' 19-game winning streak – the nation's longest. It was the Bulls' first-ever win over a nationally-ranked program.
Javon McCrea scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half to lead all scorers. The junior forward added six rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
Buffalo (12-17, 7-7 MAC) shot 56 percent from the field, including 60 percent in the second half to help seal the win. The Bulls also knocked down 7-of-17 three-point field goal attempts. UB came out of the gates firing, making all seven three-pointers in the first half.
"I think our guys have persevered all year and made a great effort to just take it just a day at a time in an attempt to get better every single day. I think today we put together a pretty good 40 minutes," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "We've needed to get to another level of determination and I think we did get there tonight."
Trailing, 17-15, with 10:05 left in the half, Jarryn Skeete nailed a three-pointer to give the Bulls an 18-17 lead. It was a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the remainder of the half as they led, 37-32, at the break.
Akron (23-5, 13-1) opened the second half on a 10-4 scoring run to take a 42-41 lead. The lead would see-saw before a top-of-the-key jumper from McCrea gave the Bulls the lead for good, 48-46, with 12:23 left. McCrea's jumper sparked a 14-4 UB run and a Skeete off-balanced layup put the Bulls ahead, 60-50, with 7:06 remaining.
Buffalo did a great job thwarting an Akron rally as the Zips would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way. Second-half defense played a huge key as UB held Akron to just 38 percent shooting in the second stanza. For the game, the Zips shot just 4-of-21 from beyond the arc.
Along with McCrea, three other Bulls finished in double-figures in the scoring column. Skeete had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Will Regan finished with 16 points, a game-high seven rebounds and a career-best three blocked shots. Tony Watson had 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and added six assists.
Akron was led by Zeke Marshall who finished with 17 points and five blocks. Alex Abreu and Demetrius Treadwell each tallied 14. It was Akron's first loss since losing to Detroit on December 15.
Buffalo will next host Ohio on Tuesday night at Alumni Arena.
Ball State 86, Toledo 72
TOLEDO, Ohio -- The Ball State men's basketball team continued its hot streak Saturday with an 86-72 Mid-American Conference road win over Toledo at Savage Arena.
MAC Player of the Year candidate Jauwan Scaife scored 28 points and backcourt mate Jesse Berry finished with 22 to help the Cardinals to their fifth win in the past six games. Ball State has now scored at least 85 points in three straight games.
Scaife and Berry combined for 10 3-pointers Saturday, helping Ball State shoot 54.7 percent for the game and 50 percent from beyond the arc. Chris Bond joined the duo in double figures with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Ball State held Toledo to 28.6 percent from the floor in the second half and owned a massive 44-24 advantage on the glass for the game. Matt Kamieniecki led all players with nine rebounds.
The Cardinals (13-14, 6-8 MAC) earned a split of the season series with Toledo (13-13, 8-6 MAC). Ball State has just two regular-season games remaining and will be back on the road again Tuesday for a 7 p.m. contest at Western Michigan.
"We have a little bit of a streak going," Ball State coach Billy Taylor said. "We have a good rhythm offensively, and I love the confidence I see in our players right now."
Scaife continued his dominant play Saturday and is now averaging 20 points per game in MAC play and 25.7 over his past six games. Berry topped the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season.
Ball State used a 15-0 run in the second half to turn a 50-48 deficit into a 63-50 lead with 10:54 to play. The Rockets rallied to get within two at 71-69 on a Dominique Buckley 3-pointer with 5:02 left, but Scaife answered with a 3 of his own for Ball State.
Berry hit a trey two possessions later to push the lead to 77-69 with 3:19 to play, and Toledo never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Ball State's rebounding and defense helped it overcome 21 turnovers. The Cardinals also held a 30-20 advantage in the paint and were able to turn their defense into transition offense.
"I thought our defense was terrific in the second half," Taylor said. "It was really stingy. We had a lot of activity on ball screens. We wanted to try to make them play more isolation basketball, and we had a lot of guys rotating on defense and making plays for us."
Rian Pearson led four Toledo players in double figures with 20 points, followed by Matt Smith with 16, Nathan Boothe with 12 and Julius Brown with 11.
Ball State won its third straight trip to Savage Arena. The Cardinals have now won three straight road games and four of their past five away from home this season.
Central Michigan 69, Northern Illinois 50
DeKALB, Ill. - Freshman guard Chris Fowler led Central Michigan in scoring and assists and fellow point guard Kyle Randall matched his team-high rebounding total as the Chippewas snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 69-50 win at Northern Illinois.
Fowler, making an increasingly stronger bid with each late-season game for Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Chippewas (10-18, 3-11 MAC) in scoring for the third consecutive night, but this time also grabbed a team-best five rebounds while dishing out a game-high eight assists to just three turnovers.
"He's quickly improving," said head coach Keno Davis. "We knew what we had in him early, but we're already seeing the transformation of a freshman into a sophomore right now. If he stays healthy and has a good off-season he can be a real weapon for us next year."
The Chippewas used a 15-2 run to go up 45-35 with 10:41 remaining, thanks in large part to their three-point shooting which climbed as high as 64 percent before the final few minutes.
The Huskies (5-2, 3-11 MAC) meanwhile, hit just 1-of-14 from long range and had a significant disadvantage at the free throw line as well. They put the Chippewas into the bonus just seven minutes into the contest and sent them to the line a total of 26 times - 15 more than their own 11 attempts.
Kyle Randall's 14 points and John Simons' 10 joined Fowler's 16 to comprise Central Michigan's three double-figure scorers. Fowler shot 4-of-6 from the field and 7-of-11 from the line and his five rebounds combined with Randall's five to account for one-third of the Chippewas' total.
Central avenged a loss to the Huskies earlier this season that started the 10-game skid.
"This team never lost that intensity or the enthusiasm or attitude but you worry during a losing streak that you could lose it," said Davis. "A pre-emptive win is good medicine for us tonight."
The Chippewas will play their final home game of the season Tuesday night versus Eastern Michigan.
Bowling Green 78, Ohio 65
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (21-8, 12-2 MAC) clinched a top-two seed in the MAC Championship with a 78-65 win at Bowling Green (12-17, 6-8 MAC) Saturday afternoon.
The win was Ohio’s first at Bowling Green since 2007 and set a new school record for league wins (12) during a 16-game MAC schedule. With the win, Ohio has now posted a program-record 50 wins over the past two seasons.
The Bobcats are 6-1 on the road in MAC play for the first time in school history.
Senior forward Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) led the Bobcats with his fourth 20-point effort (21 pts,10-15 FG) of the season. Junior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) added 16 points, connected on 4-of-9 3-point attempts and tied a career-high with five steals.
Senior guards Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) and D.J. Cooper (Chicago, Ill.) chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Cooper dished out six assists and passed Orlando Smart (San Francisco) for 12th on the all-time NCAA Division I assists list. Cooper now has 907 assists in his career.
With his second 3-pointer of the game, Cooper tied Tommy Freeman (2008-11) for first all-time at Ohio in career 3-pointers made (259). The Bobcats shot 52.5 percent (32-61) for the game and posted 14 steals. Ohio forced the Falcons into 22 turnovers which the Green and White turned into 22 points. Ohio also held a 40-34 edge in points in the paint.
Ohio, which leads the nation in assists per game, dished out 18 assists Saturday and the team has now distributed 537 assists on the year. The school record for assists in a season is 540.
The Falcons jumped out to a 7-2 lead, before Ohio used a 12-0 run to move ahead by eight (15-7) with 10:56 to go in the first half. Keely had six points during the Ohio surge.
Bowling Green responded with six-straight points to move within two (17-15), but the Bobcats countered with seven more – capped by an Offutt lay-in – to go back up nine (24-15).
The Bobcats moved ahead by 10 (29-19) on a bucket by Keely and extended the advantage to 13 (34-21) on a steal and finish by Kellogg with 4:55 remaining in the half.
Bowling Green responded by scoring 12 of the half’s final 18 points and took a 39-33 lead into the break.
The Bobcats shot 47.2 percent (17-36) from the floor in the stanza and forced 14 BG turnovers while making nine steals. The turnovers led to 15 points for the ‘Cats. Kellogg and Keely paced Ohio in the half with 10 points each.
Bowling Green scored the first seven points of the second half and moved ahead by one (40-39) on a lay-in by A’ustin Calhoun three minutes into the stanza.
A Cooper 3-pointer put Ohio back in front (42-40), and seven-straight points from Keely gave the Bobcats a 49-42 edge with 13:53 to play.
A bucket from the Falcons’ Richaun Holmes cut the Ohio lead to five (55-50), but the Bobcats went back up by nine (66-57) on a lay-in by Cooper with 6:28 to go.
BG made two-consecutive baskets to get back within five (66-61) but back-to-back 3-pointers from Cooper and Kellogg gave Ohio a 74-61 lead with 2:14 to go that the ‘Cats would not relinquish.
Ohio’s two-game road trip concludes with a 7 p.m. contest at Buffalo on Tuesday (March 5). The game will be broadcast locally in Western New York on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
In addition, “Voice of the Bobcats” Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon, with streaming audio available on OhioBobcats.com.
Eastern Michigan 50, Western Michigan 49 (OT)
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team took to the hardwood of the Convocation Center Saturday, March 2, where they needed overtime to beat the Western Michigan University Broncos, 50-49, in the 2013 Hall of Fame Game.
After 45 minutes of play, it took a defensive stand to seal the victory for the Green and White (14-15, 7-7 MAC).
The Green and White won the jump ball and scored the first basket of the extra period, but did itself no favors putting Western (18-10, 9-5 MAC) on the line in both of the Broncos' first two possessions of overtime. WMU converted each of its three attempts from the charity strip to gain a one point lead, 47-46.
Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich. – Oak Hill Academy) rose to the occasion, nailing a shot from the high post to put EMU in the lead, and then making a sensational block on the other end of the court.
With less than thirty second on the clock, the Broncos fouled J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind. – Snider) who knocked back both of his free-throws. WMU answered with a Nate Hutcheson layup to cut EMU's lead to 50-49.
The Broncos were forced to foul, sending Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day) to the line. Riley missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving the ball back to Western. However, the Broncos' runner fell short of the rim, giving the victory to the Eagles.
Bryant led all scorers with 15 points and had an equally impressive day on the defensive side of the ball, tallying two steals and two timely blocks. Junior Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio –St. Vincent St. Mary) concocted a terrific stat line with 13 points and six rebounds. Guards Derek Thompson (Detroit, Mich. – Melvindale) and Sims handed out three assists each.
The Eagles shot 21-of-53 (39.6 percent) from the field, but possibly more importantly shot 3-of-5 (60.0 percent) in overtime. The Broncos shot 18-of-43 (41.9 percent) and were led by Shayne Whittington with 11 point and 11 rebounds.
Bryant put EMU on the scoreboard first with a mid range jumper facilitated by a crafty pass from Thompson. The Eagles sent an early message defensively, blocking Western's first shot attempt and forcing a shot clock violation during the Broncos' second possession.
Darius Paul scored the initial points for the Black and Gold, putting back an offensive rebound. The quick hands of Matt Balkema (Roseville, Mich. – Warren Cousino) broke up a Western inbound pass and, and the senior was rewarded at the other end of the court when Harrison found him down low for the easy bucket to put the Eagles up 8-4 with 13:47 remaining in the first half.
With 6:33 remaining in the opening stanza, Paul hit a jumper from just inside the arc to give Western its first lead of the game, 15-14. Thompson responded quickly, getting a step on his man and making a runner in the lane to recapture the lead for the home team.
At the four minute mark, Harrison started to work up a lather, first making a turnaround from the low post, then nailing a fast break three to push the Eagles lead back up to six.
Riley put on a defensive clinic in the closing minutes of the first half, single-handedly stifling four consecutive Bronco scoring attempts, including a crowd energizing steal where he simply ripped the ball out of a WMU player's hands.
The Eagles shot 10-of-29 (34.5 percent) compared to 8-of-19 (42.1 percent) by the Broncos in the first half. Harrison led all first half scores with seven. Brandon Pokley led the Broncos with five. The rebound battle was close with the Eagles barley edging the Broncos, 17-14. EMU tallied seven steals leading to 13 points off turnovers.
Pokley opened the scoring in the second half making a deep three on the Broncos' first possession. WMU's Austin Richie then chipped in a triple to tie the game, 24-24, at the 17:00 minute mark.
With six minutes elapsed in the second half, Harrison cleaned up his own miss to put EMU back out front. Two Richie triples powered an 8-0 Western run to give the visiting team its largest lead of the game, 35-26.
With 6:16 remaining in the second half, a Jalen Ross (Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Day) steal started a fast break which ended with a Bryant layup to bring the Eagles back to within one of the lead. After a forced throw-away, Bryant made a mid-ranger to reclaim the lead for the Eagles.
David Brown converted a triple from the corner to put the Broncos up, 42-39, with only three minutes remaining, but Thompson immediately tied things back up with a three of his own, bringing the crowd at the Convo to its feet.
With less than one minute on the clock, Riley produced a block to give the Eagles an opportunity to put the game away, however they were unable to score on their last possession, and the game went into overtime.
Today's tilt between the Eagles and Broncos served as the 2013 Hall of Fame game as the EMU E-Club, a group of former EMU varsity athletic letterwinners, added five new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 included: Erik Henriksen (men's track and field), Ivory Hood (football), Sharon (Rose) Schwartz (women's basketball), Brian Tolbert (men's basketball) and Jerry Umin (wrestling).
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, the E-Club presented Jim Streeter, recently retired EMU Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations, with the Ron Oestrike Distinguished Service Award. The award, named after former EMU baseball-coaching legend Ron Oestrike, was first presented at the 2008 Hall of Fame ceremony to Oestrike. The award is voted on by the E-Club Executive Board and is presented to individuals that have been instrumental in assisting the E-Club.
Up next, the Eagles will head to McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant where they will meet up with the Central Michigan University Chippewas who edged the Eagles 58-52, at the Convocation Center, Jan. 15. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 5.
Kent State 78, Miami 58
OXFORD, Ohio – Chris Evans scored 21 points and Randal Holt added 19 as Kent State opened March with a 78-58 win over Miami University at Millett Hall.
The victory was Kent State's third in row and its fifth in the last six games. It also allowed the Golden Flashes (17-12, 7-7 MAC) to remain in control of their own destiny in the quest to capture the No. 4 seed and a bye to the third round of the upcoming Mid-American Conference men's basketball tournament.
"It's great to get a win in March and on the road," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "I'm proud of the way we played defense in the second half. Obviously, we weren't as good defensively in the first half."
The Golden Flashes took a slim 37-33 lead into the break despite shooting 8-for-14 from three-point range in the first 20 minutes. Miami kept the game close early in the second half, but watched its shooting percentage dip from 60-percent (12-for-20) in the first half to just 32-percent (8-for-25) after halftime.
Key second-half stops leading to one of Randal Holt's five three-pointers and an alley-oop dunk from Kris Brewer to Chris Evans highlighted a late run that allowed Kent State to pull away.
The Flashes beat Miami 87-70 in Kent back on Feb. 13. Despite Saturday's wider margin of victory, Senderoff thought the return game was much closer.
"The end score was not indicative of the game," said Senderoff. "In the last one, we spread it out early and then traded baskets down the stretch. This one was tight. It was a four-point game at halftime. It got close late and then we got a big spurt where we hit the three and Chris got the dunk."
The alley-oop pass to Evans one of nine assists recorded by Brewer, who also scored eight points.
Holt converted 5-of-9 from beyond the arc while Devareaux Manley hit 4-of-5 on his way to 12 points off of the Kent State bench. As a team, the Flashes hit a season-high 13 threes on 26 attempts.
"That's a big deal for us," said Senderoff. "When we make 13 threes, we should score a bunch of points."
Will Felder scored 18 points and Jon Harris added 16 for the RedHawks, who lost for the seventh consecutive time dating back to Feb. 2. The loss was also the sixth straight at home for Miami.
As the only four-year senior on the Kent State roster, Holt was thrilled to capture his first win at Millett Hall.
"This was a big win for us," said Holt. "The most important thing is it keeps our winning streak alive and keeps us playing better basketball going into the tournament. On a personal level, it was a big win for me because I've had a lot of frustrating games here. It means a lot to get a win here in my senior season. This year was also the first time we beat Cleveland State and the first time we won at Buffalo in my time here at Kent State."
The Golden Flashes are back in action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when they host Bowling Green on Senior Night at the M.A.C. Center.