Wednesday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results

Updated 1/8/2014
Wednesday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results
Akron 72, Ball State 68
Eastern Michigan 56, Bowling Green 51
Miami 77, Central Michigan 70
Ohio 59, Kent State 53
Western Michigan 87, Toledo 76
Buffalo 67, Northern Illinois 46
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Akron 72, Ball State 68
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Akron Zips opened the defense of its back-to-back Mid-American Conference regular season titles with a 72-68 road win over the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday night at Worthen Arena.
 
A Nick Harney free throw with 4.1 seconds remaining sealed it for Akron (9-5, 1-0 MAC) as the Zips extended their regular-season winning streak over the MAC West Division to 16 games.
 
Quincy Diggs led all scorers with 21 points to go with two assists, two steals and an assist. Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell was the only other Zip in double figures with 13 points, in addition to seven boards. Harney and Jake Kretzer finished with nine points each.
 
Akron closed the game shooting 40.0 percent from the field (26-of-65), but made just 3-of-23 from 3-point range (13.0 percent). The Zips did convert 17-of-24 free throw attempts (70.8 percent). The Zips finished with just eight turnovers to the Cardinals' 15, but lost the rebounding battle, 42-35.
 
Chris Bond led Ball State (3-9, 0-1 MAC) with 18 points.
 
The Zips opened the second half by pushing their lead back to double digits at 43-32 just after the first media time (15:36), but the Cardinals again answered the UA run. BSU would tie the game at 45-all by the 12:06 mark thanks to a 13-2 run. A pair of free throws by Majok Majok at the 11:07 mark gave Ball State its first lead of the game (47-45).
 
The BSU lead would be short-lived as Deji Ibitayo hit a 3-pointer on UA's next possession, followed by a Diggs floater, to give the Zips a five-point advantage (52-47).
 
With the Akron lead at just one (54-53, 6:55), the Zips opened a nine-point advantage (64-55) over the next 2:28, capped off by back-to-back layups by Treadwell and Kretzer.
 
The Cardinals made one final push, cutting the Akron lead to 69-65 on a Majok dunk. On BSU's next possession, Jesse Berry missed a layup and a key defensive board by Kretzer gave Akron the ball with 9.2 seconds remaining.
 
A pair of free throws by Diggs made it a six-point game, but BSU's Bond hit a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left to make it a 71-68 game. Harney split a pair of free throws to give Akron the 72-68 win.
 
With the game tied 4-4 early on, the Zips used the next seven minutes pushing its lead to double digits. A 14-2 run gave Akron a 19-6 advantage with just under 10 minutes to go in the opening half.
 
With Akron leading 27-12, Ball State slowly began to close the gap thanks to a 7-2 run. However, a Diggs lay-up and made free throw following the final media timeout, ended the Cardinal's streak with Akron up 30-19 with 2:50 remaining.
 
Ball State would make one final push to close the gap, as the Akron lead would shrink to six by halftime (34-28).
 
Diggs led all players with 11 points in the half as the Zips shot 37.8 percent from the field (14-of-37) and just 15.4 percent from long range (2-of-13). Ball State held a 21-17 advantage on the boards, but committed nine turnovers to Akron's three.
 
The Zips will travel to Athens, Ohio, for a matchup with the Ohio Bobcats on Sunday, Jan. 12. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. ET and the contest will air live on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.
 
Eastern Michigan 56, Bowling Green 51
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team tipped off Mid-American Conference play with a 56-51 road victory over the Bowling Green State University Falcons Wednesday night, Jan. 8, at the Stroh Center. With the win in the battle of the birds, the Eagles improved to 9-5 (1-0 MAC) on the 2013-14 campaign while the Falcons dropped to 6-8 (0-1 MAC).
 
Point guard Mike Talley (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale ABT (Duquesne)) led the Eagles in scoring with 14 points while teammate Karrington Ward (Lockport, Ill.-Lockport Township (Moraine Valley C.C.)) added 13 to go along with seven rebounds and a career-high four steals. Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy (Arkansas)) pulled down a team-best eight boards and scored all nine of his points in the second half. As a team, the Green and White shot just 34.7 percent from the field (17-of-49), including one-of-seven from beyond the arc. However, the Eagles made up for their shooting at the charity stripe, sinking 21-of-30 for a 70 percent clip. Looking to get the ball inside, Eastern tallied 28 of its 56 points inside the paint.
 
Bowling Green's starters scored 50-of-51 points while four reached double figures led by 17 points from Ward's high school teammate, Richaun Holmes. Jehvon Clarke recorded 11, and the duo of Spencer Parker and Anthony Henderson tallied 10 points apiece for the Falcons, who struggled scoring against the EMU defense all night long. BG made 16-of-52 field goals (30.8 percent) with just 3-of-16 from long range. Bowling Green held the slight rebounding advantage, 38-37, but coughed the ball up 16 times throughout the contest.
 
After both teams came up empty on their first few possessions, Bowling Green opened up the scoring with a bucket from the block by Holmes nearly two minutes into the game. On Eastern's fifth shot of the game, Talley tied things up with a nifty drive through the middle of the lane. Thirty seconds later, Raven Lee (Detroit, Mich.-Romulus) split a pair of free throws to give the Eagles their first lead of the contest; however, it wouldn't last long as Holmes converted down low for the Falcons. On the next possession, Ward answered by hitting a wide open three to put his team ahead, 6-4, with 15:39 remaining in the first half.
 
The Eagles 2-3 zone gave BGSU fits starting the game as the Falcons mustered just nine points in the first ¬¬11 minutes on 3-of-16 shooting for a 21.4 percent clip. Nonetheless, EMU made just 5-of-15 through that timeframe, holding a four-point advantage. The focal point of the Eagles' strong defense was Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day (Syracuse)), who turned away three of those shots from the bottom center of the zone.
 
Bowling Green took the lead back from EMU on a drive by Henderson, making it 20-19 in favor of the Falcons, at the 4:53 mark of the opening half. Trailing by four, Talley scored four straight, including a bucket that broke a six-minute drought without a field goal, to tie things up at 23 points apiece.  With 23 seconds left, Ward would knock down one-of-two at the line to give his team a one-point advantage, 24-23, at halftime.
 
Ward paced the Eagles with seven points and five rebounds while Talley scored six of his own in the opening 20 minutes. Despite shooting at a 32 percent clip (8-of-25), EMU scored half (12) of its first half points (24) in the paint. At the charity stripe, the Green and White converted 7-of-10 attempts. EMU Head Coach Rob Murphy had to be pleased with his defense as the Eagles forced BGSU into just 7-of-26 shooting from the floor for 26.9 percent and forcing nine turnovers. The Falcons made just one three-ball while shooting six from long range. Holmes provided the majority of Bowling Green's offense, recording 12 of his team's 23 first half points. BGSU controlled the boards, 21-17, including grabbing seven offensive rebounds that led to 10 second chance points.
 
After going scoreless in the first half, Bryant scored Eastern's first seven points of the second half in just a span of 2:30, increasing the Eagles' lead to four, 31-27. Ward then showed his defensive skills as well with a pair of steals. The junior saved the ball from going out of bounds to find Talley who completed the layup in transition. The Lockport, Ill. native took his second steal to the hoop himself, drawing a foul. Sinking both shots from the line, Ward brought the scoring difference to eight, 35-27, with 16:15 left in the contest.
 
The Falcons ended the 9-0 EMU run with a pair of free throws by Parker to cut the margin to six, before things got out of hand. Following a foul on BGSU, a scuffle broke out in which three technical fouls were called between the two teams. Due to two of the technicals being called on the Eagles, Bowling Green had an opportunity to close in on Eastern. While Holmes missed his two free throws, Henderson scored six points on back-to-back possessions to bring the game to a 36-36 standstill at 11:53 in the second half.
 
EMU responded with the game's next seven points, holding the Falcons scoreless for four minutes. Parker stopped the bleeding with a jumper in the lane, but Bryant followed a Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio-St. Vincent-St. Mary (Wyoming)) shot for a thunderous put-back dunk that brought the Eastern bench players off of their seats, keeping the difference at seven points, 45-38 with 7:23 remaining. Two free throws by Lee increased the lead to nine for the largest cushion of the game at that point.
 
With the lead down to five, EMU's leading scorers throughout the game would step up. Ward drove the lane for a bucket while being fouled and completed the old-fashioned three point play. On the next two Eastern possessions, Talley blew by his defender for the easy bucket before making a free throw to build a double-digit, 54-43, lead with only 1:29 left in the contest.
 
The Green and White will stay on the road in MAC play, heading to upstate New York to face the University at Buffalo Bulls, Jan. 11. The cross-divisional showdown is set to begin at 2 p.m. inside Alumni Arena and can be heard on WEMU (89.1 FM).
 
Miami 77, Central Michigan 70
Boxscore
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich.—Amidst a furious finish, Miami University’s men’s basketball team came away with a 77-70 win at Central Michigan University on Wednesday evening in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.
 
Four RedHawks scored in double figures, led by junior guard Will Sullivan and sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight with 17 apiece. It was a career-high for McKnight. Senior forward Will Felder finished with 15 points and a team-leading eight rebounds, while freshman guard Jaryd Eustace tied a career-high with 13 points.
 
Senior guard Quinten Rollins tied a Miami single-game record that he also tied a season ago with seven steals against the Chippewas.
 
Miami, who won its 48th MAC opening game, moves to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in MAC play.
 
Sullivan fueled an early 9-0 Miami run, scoring seven points during the flurry, as Miami leaped out to a quick 9-3 lead by the 15:50 mark. Two 3-pointers by Eustace and a bucket by McKnight helped Miami take a 17-11 lead at 11:23. A layup and a jumper Felder handed Miami a 21-13 lead at the 10:15 mark, but the Chippewas (5-8; 0-1 MAC) closed within three, 21-18, at 7:53 of the first. Freshman forward Joshua Oswald hit a jumper at 7:18 to put the RedHawk lead at 23-18.
 
Miami shot over 50 percent through much of the first half, but as hot as they were from the field in the first 13 minutes of the half, the RedHawks’ shooting went cold for the most of the remainder of the opening stanza. CMU used a 9-0 run from the 5:16 to the 1:05 mark to capture a 27-23 advantage. Eustace drained a trey with 38 seconds remaining to put the RedHawks within one going into the half, 27-26, and gave Miami its first points since Oswald’s bucket at 7:18.
 
The teams went back and forth to start the second half. CMU took a 36-33 lead at 16:26, but Miami went on a 10-2 surge—powered by a pair of Felder buckets—to capture a 46-38 advantage with 11:47 to go. A McKnight triple followed by a Rollins fastbreak layup off his own steal pushed the Miami lead to 10 at the 7:55 mark, 54-44. Sophomore guard Willie Moore picked off a CMU pass in the lane and took it the length of the floor for a bucket at 5:50 to give Miami an 11-point lead, 60-49.
 
CMU scored five straight points to cut the RedHawk lead to six, but Miami came back with four straight points to again take a double figure lead at the 4:21 mark off two Felder free throws, 64-54. Central Michigan continued to close the gap and trailed three with 59 seconds to play after the Chippewas hit a layup and then stole the RedHawks’ inbounds pass and tossed in another layup to shrink the Miami lead to 69-66.
 
After Miami went up 72-66, the Chippewas again closed within three with 31 seconds to go, 73-70. Sullivan hit a pair of free throws and tossed in a layup following Rollins’ record-tying seventh steal to seal the win.
 
Miami’s strong shooting from early in the first half returned in the second as the Red and White connected on 55.2 percent of their field goals over the final 20 minutes of action.
 
CMU’s Chris Fowler led all players with 22 points and added a game-high seven assists.
 
Miami returns home to host Western Michigan at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11. It is the last McFamily and Friends game where fans can purchase a ticket package that includes four tickets and four McDonald’s Extra Value Meal vouchers for just $40. This package is not available on game day and must be pre-purchased online or by calling the Miami Athletics Ticket office at 513-529-4295.
 
Ohio 59, Kent State 53
Boxscore
KENT, Ohio - Behind a stellar defensive effort, the Ohio University men's basketball team (11-3, 1-0) withstood a furious Kent State rally to surge past the Golden Flashes (9-5, 0-1) by the score of 59-53 Wednesday night at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center.
 
The Bobcats led 26-19 at halftime before falling behind by four with 10 minutes to play. But a key 15-4 run by Ohio midway through the second half propelled the Green & White to the victory.
 
The victory marked Ohio's second-straight MAC opener victory. The `Cats have won 25 of their past 30 league contests.
 
Ohio held Kent State to just 28.3 percent shooting (17-60) for the game, including a 4-for-22 mark (.182) from beyond the arc. The `Cats also posted 10 steals in the contest and held a 14-7 edge in points off turnovers in the game.
 
Senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) led all scorers with 19 points while chipping in six rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes on the floor. Junior forward Maurice Ndour (Mbour, Senegal) battled foul trouble all game, but still finished with nine points, five rebounds and two blocks.
 
Kellogg was one of three Bobcats with seven or more rebounds, as senior guard/forward T.J. Hall (Gainesville, Fla.) grabbed a game-high nine boards to go along with seven points and two blocks.
 
Senior guard Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.) knocked down two key 3-pointers in the second half and finished with eight points and a career-high seven rebounds, while senior forward Jon Smith (Grove City, Ohio) tallied seven points, four rebounds and four blocks for the `Cats.
 
The two teams battled back in forth through the first 12 minutes of action, with Kent State holding a 13-12 edge at the 7:54 mark of the first half. From there, Ohio began to take control on the defensive end and used an 8-2 run over the final five minutes to take a seven-point lead (26-19) into halftime.
 
The Flashes put together a 9-4 run out of the gate in the second half to move within two at 30-28. Ohio responded with buckets from Treg Setty and Kellogg to build the lead back to six (36-30), but the Flashes answered with eight straight to go up by three at 39-36.
 
The Flashes went up four at 42-38, before Ohio put together a 15-4 run over the next eight minutes to go back up seven (53-46) with 2:21 to play. The run included two key 3-pointers from Wilkins and a transition jammer from Ndour.
 
The Golden Flashes could not move closer than four for the remainder of the game.
 
The Bobcats are now 10-0 when they hold their opponent to 70 points or fewer and 9-0 when they limit their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting.
 
Ohio faces another MAC East rival Sunday at 6 p.m. when Akron pays a visit to the Convo. The game will be televised locally on Time Warner CableSportsChannel and broadcast nationally on ESPN3. Ohio fans also can listen to the contest live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m.
 
Western Michigan 87, Toledo 76
Boxscore
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team dispatched the preseason Mid-American Conference West Division favorite by double digits on Wednesday, as the Broncos defeated the Toledo Rockets 87-76 in University Arena. With the win, the Broncos improve to 8-5 on the season, 1-0 in MAC play; they handed the Rockets just their second loss of the year.
 
WMU continued its streak of lights-out offensive performances on its home floor, shooting 29-of-48 (.604) from the field and stunning the rockets with an early barrage from three-point range. The story of the game, though, was the Bronco defensive effort; one of the best offenses in the MAC and the nation entering the game, the Rockets were held to just a 36.8 shooting percentage, including a 5-of-22 (.227) mark from three-point range.
 
Connar Tava led the Broncos with 25 points on a perfect 9-of-9 night from the floor, while also adding five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Austin Richie notched a season-high 19 points, with 17 coming in the first half, and finished the game 4-of-6 (.667) from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes. Shayne Whittington recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and David Brown overcame a slow first half to finish with 12 points, his 18th straight game with double-digit scoring.
 
The Broncos pummeled the Rockets after giving up the first basket of the game, ripping off a 12-0 run to turn a one-possession game into a near-runaway. WMU lead 6-5 early on after Nathan Boothe made a pair of free throws for Toledo, but Tava scored four straight points to put the Broncos ahead 10-5, and Richie drained three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to make it 16-5 with 13:52 remaining in the half. The lead hovered around that deficit until Whittington made a hook shot over his left shoulder to put WMU ahead 26-12, and Richie tacked on another trey with under 10 minutes to play to make it 29-12.
 
Richie expanded the lead to 20 points with a three-pointer to make it 34-14 with 8:32 remaining in the half, and Tava went around end two possessions later and recorded the lay-up to give WMU its biggest lead of the night, a 22-point edge with 7:25 to play. Toledo chipped the lead away to 12 points with 1:31 remaining in the half on a three-pointer from Julius Brown, but Tucker Haymond made a pair of free throws with 32 seconds left to keep the Broncos ahead by a 47-33 mark at the half.
 
The Rockets pushed their way back into the contest throughout much of the second half, cutting the lead to just eight points on a three-pointer from Matt Smith at the 13:54 mark. Jared Klein responded with a trey of his own on the very next possession, though, to make it 59-48; Haymond would add three straight points on a free throw and a jumper to up the lead back to 14 points. Tava went on a personal 7-0 run to push the lead up to 16 points, capping it off with an and-1 lay-up and a free throw make at the 6:46 mark.
 
That would be the largest Bronco lead for the rest of the half, as Toledo caught fire and began to pull closer. It was just a two-possession ball-game with 4:42 remaining, as Rian Pearson knocked down a three from the right win to make it 74-70, but the Rockets got no closer as the Broncos pulled away. Richie made a pair of free throws with 1:51 remaining to make it 83-74, and Brown kept the lead at double-digits for good with a pair of free throw makes at the 32-second mark to ice it, making it 87-76.
 
Buffalo 67, Northern Illinois 46
Boxscore
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team put forth its best defensive effort of the season, holding the visiting Northern Illinois Huskies to just 46 points, the lowest by a UB opponent since 2011.  The 27.3% shooting performance from NIU helped lead the Bulls to a 67-46 victory in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.  The victory was also UB's third straight, improving their record to 7-4 on the year.
 
The Bulls led the contest wire-to-wire as they opened the evening on a 16-0 run over the first six minutes of the game.  The first six points of the night were recorded by junior Will Regan, who led all scorers with 15 points.  Despite UB's big lead, the Huskies didn't allow the Bulls to pull away with it early.  UB continued to lead 20-6 with 7:51 left in the half, but Northern Illinois went on an 11-2 run to pull within five at 22-17.  UB held on to the lead though into the break, 24-20.
 
The second half displayed a different UB offense as the Bulls scored 43 second-half points, shooting 61.9% percent from the floor and 62.5% from three-point range, which started on the first possession as senior Joshua Freelove drained a triple from the corner to extend the UB lead.  The Bulls ended up opening the half on a 16-7 run, extending their lead to 40-27 with 14:06 left.  The Huskies never got any closer than 10.  The Bulls were able to close out the game thanks to the emergence of senior Javon McCrea, who had 10 of his 14 points over the final six and a half minutes of action.  The Bulls also hit their final 10 free throws down the stretch.
 
"I was pleased with the defensive effort on the floor tonight holding them to 27% and forcing 19 turnovers," said head coach Bobby Hurley.  "I thought we got off to a great start, but we hit a bad stretch there at the end of the first half and we need to do a better job putting teams away.  With that said I was impressed with the way we came out in the second half and took care of business."
 
Regan paced four players in double figures with 15 points and six rebounds.  McCrea had another monster night all around, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and eight blocks.  The eight blocks tie his career-high and are tied for third in school history for a single game.
 
Freshman Shannon Evans added 11 points off the bench, while Freelove added 10 points, all coming in the second half.  Senior Jarod Oldham had eight points and a game-high five assists.
 
The UB defensive performance continued a recent trend of not allowing 60 points in a game.  Tonight marked the third straight game the Bulls have held their opponent under 60 points, the first time that has happened since the 2011-12 season.  The 46 points allowed were also the fewest by a UB team since allowing 43 points to Central Michigan on February 8, 2011.
 
Offensively, the Bulls shot over 60% in a half for the first time since last season when they did so against Akron on March 2, 2013.
 
The Bulls will look to start 2-0 in conference play this Saturday afternoon as they host Eastern Michigan at 2:00 pm.