Thursday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 11/21/2013
Thursday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Central Michigan 90, Austin Peay 75
Kent State 72, Western Carolina 59
Wisconsin 88, Bowling Green 64
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Central Michigan 90, Austin Peay 75
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Central Michigan basketball team used hot second half shooting to dispatch visiting Austin Peay, 90-75, on Thursday night at McGuirk Arena. The contest was the first of three games in three days for the Chippewas as part of the 2013 Central Michigan Tournament. 
Central Michigan (2-2) had four players score in double figures, led by sophomore forward Blake Hibbitts’ 19 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Freshman guard Braylon Rayson sparked the Chippewas off the bench in the second half, scoring 16 of his total 18 points, including a stretch in which he netted 10 straight. Sophomore guard Rayshawn Simmons was active from beginning to end, pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. 
“Tonight, you look at us and a lot of areas we were impressive and yet I think the most positive thing about our team is there were a lot of areas where were weren’t and yet we were still able to win,” said CMU head coach Keno Davis. “We can continue to improve in those; we didn’t play our perfect game, but we played well enough. I think that if I were a fan coming to watch, I would say ‘I don’t know how good that team is but they work hard’ and I think as a coach, that’s what you’re the most proud of.” 
CMU struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 26 percent, including connecting on just 2-of-18 three-point attempts. But clutch free throw shooting and excellent pressure defense helped the Chippewas maintain the advantage for much of game’s opening 20 minutes.
High energy on defense by CMU in the first half forced the Governors into 12 turnovers. Meanwhile, Central was getting to the foul line and taking full advantage, converting on all 19 of its attempts from the charity stripe, including a team-best 6-for-6 by sophomore guard Chris Fowler. Austin Peay was kept in the game partly by the three-point shooting of guard Cory Arentsen, who drained three in the first half. 
Owners of a 39-33 halftime lead, CMU heated up quickly in the second half, making its first five shots out of the blocks, including three pointers by Hibbitts and sophomore forward John Simons. Less than four minutes into the half and the Chippewas lead had suddenly ballooned to 13 points at 52-39.
A Will Triggs lay-up at the 15:37 mark drew Austin Peay (2-2) within nine but that’s as close as the Governors would get. Back-to-back three pointers from freshman guard Josh Kozinski and Hibbitts then pushed the Chippewas lead to 15 at 58-43.
With 12:28 remaining, potential trouble arose for CMU when the floor general Fowler picked up his fourth foul of the game and was forced to the bench. But Braylon Rayson stepped in and stepped up, igniting the offense. Using his speed and quickness, the freshman scored on a lay-up, a jumper and two three pointers to push CMU’s lead to a game-high 19 at 70-51. 
Austin Peay was able to whittle the CMU lead down to 12 with just over four minutes remaining but solid free throw shooting down the stretch secured the win for the Chippewas. CMU finished the day connecting on 24-of-26 free throws (92%).
Central shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, including making 6-of-9 three pointers (66%) and outrebounded its opponent for the second straight game, pulling down 36, including 18 on the offensive end, as compared to 33 for Austin Peay. The Chippewas finished the game with an impressive 19-to-8 assist-to-turnover ratio. 
Guard Travis Betran led Austin Peay with 16 points while Triggs and guard Zavion Williams added 12 and 10, respectively. The Governors committed a total of 18 turnovers for the game and got to the foul line just 11 times, making eight. 
The Chippewas will be back in tournament action on Friday night when they take on Montana State at 7 p.m. at McGuirk Arena. The Bobcats fell to Cal State Northridge in the tournament opener in a thriller, 74-73. 
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
Kent State 72, Western Carolina 59
KENT, Ohio – Mark Henniger scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down 8 rebounds to help Kent State to a 72-59 win over Western Carolina in Thursday's Coaches vs. Cancer Classic battle at the M.A.C. Center.
The Flashes overcame a tough night shooting the ball to improve to 4-1 thanks in large part to their second-half effort plays. After taking a 27-22 lead into halftime, Kent State erupted for 45 points in the final 20 minutes.
Henniger, Devareaux Manley, Khaliq Spicer and Chris Ortiz all finished with eight rebounds as Kent State topped the Catamounts on the glass, 49-39. Turnovers also led to easy baskets, including steals and breakouts by Jackson and Henniger as the Flashes pulled away late.
"We weren't hitting from the perimeter, so we wanted to challenge Western Carolina by creating more turnovers, getting more rebounds, and then challenging Western Carolina more in transition," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff. "I thought we did a good job of that in the second half.
"Mark Henniger was great again tonight. I was very happy to see him build on another good game Sunday against Saint Peter's. I love when our guys have great games. But I want to see them do it two or three games in a row."
Kris Brewer added 12 points to the Kent State cause, including three on a prayer from just inside half court as the shot clock ran down with just 1:27 remaining in the game. 
K.K. Simmons was also a key performer down the stretch as the Flashes closed out the win. He completed his first double-digit effort in a Kent State uniform as he scored 10 points and converted 8-of-8 from the foul line. Henniger was 9-for-9 from the stripe, helping Kent State make 24-of-30 free throws as a team. 
Jackson finished with nine points, but he did his best work on the defensive end where he had three steals and held Western Carolina's Trey Sumler to just four points on 1-for-9 shooting. Sumler had averaged a team-best 16 points per game entering Thursday night.
Tawaski King led Western Carolina with 17 points and nine rebounds. Brandon Boggs added 12 points for the Catamounts, who dropped to 3-3.
The Golden Flashes (4-1) will take on USC Upstate on Friday night at the M.A.C. Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. USC Upstate was an 83-74 winner over Niagara in Thursday's first game of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic. Western Carolina will play Niagara at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Wisconsin 88, Bowling Green 64
Madison, Wis. – The #12/15 Wisconsin Badgers knocked down 12 three-pointers to propel them to an 88-64 home win over Bowling Green State University on Thursday night in the two teams' first game of the 2013 Cancun Challenge at the Kohl Arena in Madison, Wis.
The loss drops BGSU to 1-2 on the season, while the win pushes Wisconsin to 5-0 on the year.
Wisconsin was 12-of-20 (60 percent) from behind the three-point line, while the Falcons were only 1-of-9 (.111) from long range.
The Badgers also held an advantage of 13 points at the free throw line, as Wisconsin was 20-of-29 (76.9 percent) compared to BGSU's 7-of-14 (50 percent).
The Falcons were led by Spencer Parker's career-high 17 points, all of which came in the second half, while guard Jehvon Clarke and center Cameron Black chipped in with 15 and 10 points apiece, respectively. Richaun Holmes hauled in a game-high eight rebounds, while guard Anthony Henderson came away with three steals in the loss.
For Wisconsin, six different players had double digit points headlined by Ben Brust's game-high 19 points, while Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker followed up with 14 points each. Traevon Jackson added three steals to go along with his 13 points, while Josh Gasser had six rebounds and 11 points off the bench for the Badgers.
Bowling Green proved it was up to the challenge to start the contest, as Henderson hit a jumper from the left elbow to tie the score up at 2-2, while less than a minute later Black scored down low on a jump hook to put the score at 4-4 with 18:24 to go in the opening half.
Back-to-back layups from senior Craig Sealey, his first two points of the season, and Black gave the Falcons its first lead of the contest at 8-7 with 16:51 on the game clock.
However, the Badgers responded with a layup from Nigel Hayes to push the home team back out in front at 9-8, only to see the Falcons' Clarke hit a jump shot from just inside the three-point line minutes later to knot the game back up at 12-12.
After a driving layup down the lane by Clarke put Bowling Green on top at 14-13, the two teams then went back-and-forth over the next several minutes until a step-back jump shot from the right wing from Holmes put the score at 20-20 with 10:05 to play before the break.
The Badgers would then heat up on the offensive end, while the Falcons cooled off offensively, as a three-pointer from Sam Dekker kick-started a 9-2 run to give the home team a 29-22 lead.
BGSU's Black scored on another jump hook on the block to try to stop the Wisconsin run, however, the Badgers continued its hot-hand from long range to finish the half out on a 13-4 run to take a 44-28 lead into the halftime break.
After trading layups to open up the second half and put the score at 46-30, two three-pointers from Dekker and Brust over the next four minutes to push its lead out to 23 at 53.30 with 16:30 to play.
Bowling Green refused to quit, as a layup by Clarke and seven straight points from Parker kept the Falcons in the game and within striking distance as the visitors attempted to claw its way back.
The Badgers continued to shoot the ball well from the floor to hold on to a 24 point lead at 63-39 when the Falcons went to the full court press which caused several Wisconsin turnovers and some easy baskets for BGSU.
BG got a three-pointer from Henderson from the right wing, and then picked up two steals over the next several minutes which led to an 8-4 run by the Falcons who got to within 14 points at 67-53 on back-to-back free throws from Holmes with 9:12 to go in the game.
Free throws and more three-point baskets over the final nine minutes of the contest, allowed the Badgers to extend its lead back out to 24 twice en route to the 88-64 home win.
BGSU outscored the Badgers 42-30 in points in the paint and 8-2 in fast break points.
However, Wisconsin shot 28-of-51 (54.9 percent) from the field overall, while BG was 28-of-63 (44.4 percent) for the contest.
Bowling Green (1-2) will continue its four-game Cancun Challenge road trip on Saturday, Nov. 23, as the Falcons will take on St. Louis at 8 p.m.