Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 11/17/2013
Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Northern Illinois 60, San Jose State 59
Buffalo 80, West Virginia Wesleyan 60
Middle Tennessee 80, Akron 73
Pepperdine 88, Central Michigan 71
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Northern Illinois 60, San Jose State 59
DEKALB, Ill. - Redshirt junior center Jordan Threloff (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb/Illinois State) scored a career-high 17 points and sophomore guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) added a career-best 15, both from off the bench, as the Northern Illinois University men's basketball team defeated San Jose State, 60-59, on Saturday night in the NIU Invitational at the NIU Convocation Center. 
 
"I thought both teams played extremely hard," said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. "It's tough to go back-to-back nights. I thought our preparation was unbelievable, we had two walkthroughs earlier today, our guys had patience tonight and we shot 70 percent from the free-throw line. I thought we had better patience and better rhythm tonight. Everything wasn't perfect but our guys fought, hung together and found a way to finish the game.
 
"Players make plays, they made the plays tonight, it wasn't anything the coaches called. Our point guards delivered. (Jordan) Threloff finished, Daveon Balls made some plays, it feels great to get a win."
 
After leading by a pair at the half, 26-24, NIU (1-2) maintained the lead, but never by more than five  points, until a triple from D.J. Brown pulled San Jose State ahead for the first time in the second half with 7:42 left. 
 
The lead went back-and-forth until a bucket by Threloff put the Huskies in front, 46-44, with 5:47 to play. 
 
San Jose State (0-3) clawed back within one, 49-48, but another basket from Threloff extended the NIU lead once again. Threloff scored six-straight NIU points to help the Huskies create a six-point cushion, 55-49, with just over three minutes to play. The Spartans would not go away however as a pair of free throws and a triple from Jaleel Williams brought San Jose State back within one, 55-54, with two minutes left. 
 
Still leading 55-54 with 17 seconds remaining, sophomore guard Travon Baker (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Consortium) connected on a pair of free throws to give NIU a three-point lead. 
 
Baker finished the contest with four points and a career-high tying six assists. 
 
Three free throws for NIU, including a pair for junior Aaron Armstead (Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan/San Jose City College), offset by a pair for San Jose State gave NIU a four-point lead, 60-56, with just five ticks left. 
 
Isaac Thornton hit a triple for San Jose State to cut the gap to just one with eight-tenths of a second to play but NIU hung on to claim its first win of the season. 
 
Fuelled by Threloff's 17 and Balls' 15, the NIU bench scored 45 of its 60 points, and outscored San Jose State's bench by 30 points. Threloff also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds as the Huskies bettered the Spartans on the glass, 47-37, using that advantage to claim a 17-8 edge in second chance points.
 
NIU shot 70.4 percent (19-of-27) from the free-throw line and outscored San Jose State 30-10 in the paint. The Spartans countered NIU's inside advantage with 10 triples. 
 
Williams led San Jose State with 13 points; Brown added 12 while Jalen James and Rashad Muhammad each chipped in 11.  
 
The Huskies will wrap up the NIU Invitational tomorrow when they host UW Milwaukee at 3:30 p.m. James Madison and San Jose State will play the opening game of the day beginning at 1 p.m. 
 
Buffalo 80, West Virginia Wesleyan 60
BUFFALO, NY -  The University at Buffalo men's basketball team put five players into double figures including a game-high 19 points and 14 rebounds from Javon McCrea as the Bulls picked up their first victory of the season, 80-60 over West Virginia Wesleyan Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena.  The win was the first in the head coaching career of Bobby Hurley.
 
The game was close for much of the first half as Wesleyan used some strong three-point shooting to stay in the contest.  The Bobcats scored the first four points of the game before the Bulls got their offense going.  Wesleyan led 20-16 when the Bulls went on an 18-2 run, going up 34-22.  The final bucket came on a layup from Xavier Ford who flashed his athletic ability through out the afternoon; showing it early on an alley-oop dunk off a pass from freshman Shannon Evans just six minutes into the game.  UB would add one to its advantage before the half, taking a 40-27 lead into the break.
 
UB continued to be the aggressors in the second half, as senior Joshua Freelove converted on an alley-oop off a pass from Jarryn Skeete just seven seconds into the half.  The Bobcats got no closer than 10 as the Bulls went on a 14-2 run during a two and a half minute stretch where McCrea had five points and Ford broke away for another dunk.  The Bulls built their largest lead of the game at 79-56 with a driving layup from Justin Moss.
 
As a team, UB scored at least 80 points for the second straight game, while the 60 points scored by Wesleyan were a season low allowed.  The Bulls also shot a season-high 53.6% from the floor.
 
"It was nice to finally be home and play in front of a great crowd today," said Hurley.  "I thought we got some good contributions out of our guys today; we had five players in double figures and that is a real positive."
 
McCrea followed up his 31-point, 14-rebound night against Niagara with another 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way.  He also added a block and two steals.  Ford finished with 14 points off the bench, just two points shy of his career high.
 
Three other starters finished in double figures as Freelove had 13 points, while junior Will Regan finished with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in just 16 minutes due to foul trouble.  Senior Jarod Oldham had his best day of the young season, scoring 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting, while adding a game-high six assists as well as a career-best three blocked shots.  He also added three steals on the defensive end.
 
UB, which finished with a season-high 14 assists, got four dimes from Evans, who added four points and a rebound.  Moss added five points and Skeete finished with three points and two assists.
 
The Bobcats finished with three players in double figures led by 14 from Brett Ervin.
 
The Bulls will now be off for 10 days before they continue their homestand by hosting Robert Morris on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:00 pm.
 
Middle Tennessee 80, Akron 73
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Akron Zips closed out their two-game road trip with a 80-73 loss to Middle Tennessee on Saturday afternoon at the Murphy Center.
 
Quincy Diggs led the way for Akron (1-2) with a game and career-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field. He added four boards and two steals. Pat Forsythe was the only other Akron player in double figures with 11 points.
 
For the game, the Zips converted on 27-of-57 from the field (47.4 percent), but hit just 7-of-23 from long range (30.4 percent).
 
Middle Tennessee (3-0) closed the game shooting 56.3 percent from the floor (27-of-48) and hit 54.4 percent of it's 3-pointers (6-of-11).
 
Both teams had turnover problems, with the Zips committing 18 to the Blue Raiders' 19. MTSU won the rebounding battle 32-29.
 
Shawn Jones led the Blue Raiders with 24 points and 12 boards.
 
Akron opened the second half with strong defense, scoring six of its first eight points on the fastbreak thanks to two steals and a blocked shot. By the under-16 media timeout, UA would hold on to a narrow 43-42 advantage.
 
The Blue Raiders used a 9-2 run to open up a 51-45 lead by the under-12 media timeout (11:27). The Zips continued to respond, this time with four-straight points from Nyles Evans, to close to within one (52-51) with 10:26 left on the clock.
 
MTSU would use a 15-6 run over the next 4:20 to open up a 68-57 lead with 4:46 remaining. Down 10 with less than three minutes to play, Jake Kretzer hit a 3-pointer from the corner to close the gap to 72-66 with 2:07 to go in the game.
 
The Akron defense kept the pressure on and a Kretzer layup with 1:31 on the clock cut the MTSU lead to 74-70. But ultimately, the 11-point deficit would prove too much for the Zips to overcome.
 
Down 11-5 early, the Zips used a 7-2 run to force the Blue Raiders to use their first timeout of the game with 11:41 to go in the half. The MTSU lead was just one (13-12). From there, both teams would trade buckets, with the Blue Raiders calling their second timeout of the half with 8:15 to go and the game tied 19-19.
 
Kretzer gave Akron a 21-19 lead with 6:43 to go in the half thanks to a steal and fastbreak bucket, but MTSU answered to take a 25-21 lead. Down 28-21, Carmelo Betancourt hit a 3-pointer to end the 9-0 run by the Blue Raiders.
 
Diggs followed suit, giving Akron a 29-28 lead with 2:04 to go thanks to five-straight points by the senior. UA pushed its lead to 33-30 as the game would go into halftime tied at 33-all.
 
Diggs scored 10 of his points in the first half, going 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from long range. Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell pitched in with six points and three boards.
 
The Zips return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 27, when they play host to Malone in an exhibition contest at James A. Rhodes Arena. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
 
Pepperdine 88, Central Michigan 71
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Central Michigan had a three-point advantage at halftime but couldn’t hold off a second-half surge by Pepperdine and fell to the Waves, 88-71, on Saturday night at McGuirk Arena.
 
Sophomore guard Chris Fowler led CMU with a career-high 23 points while junior guard Austin Keel contributed 13 points and five rebounds in a team-high 31 minutes. Sophomore forward Blake Hibbitts added 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from behind the three-point arc. 
 
The Chippewas outrebounded the Waves, which had a distinct height advantage, 37-34, including a +9 on the offensive boards. CMU had five players with five or more rebounds, led by seven from sophomore forward Austin Stewart. 
 
Pepperdine (3-0) raced out to a quick 6-0 lead and maintained the advantage throughout most of the half. CMU got within one point at 23-22 when Hibbitts drained a three at the 8:39 mark but two minutes later the Waves lead was upped to seven, their largest of the half. 
 
Central Michigan (1-2) answered back with an 11-4 run and tied the game at 34-34 with a Fowler lay-up, two of his six points during the run, with 2:02 remaining in the half. The Chippewas took their first lead of the game at 37-36 moments later when Hibbitts hit his second three-pointer. Another Fowler lay-up and a tip in by Keel at the buzzer followed and CMU went to the break with a 41-38 lead. 
 
Pepperdine heated up in the second half, using 72 percent shooting to take control of the game. The Waves missed just two shots over the first 10-plus minutes of the period and staked their first double-digit lead of the game when guard Jeremy Major made a lay-up with 7:30 left to play, making the score 71-59. Hibbitts nailed two three-pointers during the Pepperdine run but it was not enough to change the momentum in CMU’s favor.
 
Freshman guard Josh Kozinski notched his first points as a Chippewa, sinking a three-pointer with 2:43 remaining, but Pepperdine’s lead continued to balloon, reaching as much as 19. 
 
Forward Stacy Davis led Pepperdine with 25 points. Forward Brendan Lane posted a double double, scoring 15 points to go along with a game-high 10 rebounds. 
 
The Chippewas are back in action later this week as hosts of the Central Michigan Tournament. CMU will face Austin Peay on Thursday (7 p.m.), Montana State on Friday (7 p.m.) and Cal State Northridge on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) in McGuirk Arena. Tickets can be ordered online or by phone at 1-888-FIRE-UP-2 (3473-872). Visit Central Michigan Tournament Basketball Central for complete ticket information. 
 
Central Michigan men’s basketball is on Twitter. Follow head coach Keno Davis (@CoachKenoDavis) and the program’s official Twitter account (@CMUMensBBall) to get insider news and information and team updates. The Chippewas are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CMUMensBBall.