Wins By Rockets and Falcons Tighten MAC Title Chase

Updated 2/16/2000
February 16 wins by Bowling Green and Toledo helped close the gap as both teams look to win divisional titles. A first place finish ensures divisional champions a first round bye in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament.

BG knocked off East Division leader Kent, 71-61, to pull within a half-game of the Golden Flashes. Toledo's 66-61 triumph over Ball State, the Rockets seventh win in a row, enabled the Rockets to tie the Cardinals for first place in the West. Western Michigan won its second game in a row, beating Northern Illinois to tie the Huskies for fourth place in the West.

Wednesday's Scores
Toledo 66, Ball State 61
Bowling Green 71, Kent 61
Western Michigan 92, Northern Illinois 85

Saturday's Schedule
Miami at Ball State, 1:00
Akron at Kent, 3:00, MAC ESPN+ Syndication
Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green, 3:30
Western Michigan at Toledo, 7:00
Marshall at Buffalo, 7:30

Game Recaps
At Toledo 66, Ball State 61 - The Rockets won their seventh consecutive game, all MAC contests, to improve to 14-12 overall and 8-7 in the league. Ball State fell to 16-8 overall and 8-7 in the conference. Craig Rodgers and Chad Kamstra each scored 18 and Rodgers added eight rebounds for the Rockets, who also received 12 points from Greg Stempin. Ball State's Duane Clemens led all scorers with 26 points. The Cardinals' Lonnie Jones scored 13 points and was credited with five blocked shots.

At Bowling Green 71, Kent 61 - The Falcons captured their third win in a row, boosting their record to 19-6 overall and 11-4 in the MAC East, just one-half game behind the first place Golden Flashes. Kent saw its five-game winning streak snapped, dropping the team's record to 20-5 overall and 12-4 in league play. Anthony Stacey scored a game-high 24 points in becoming the school's career leader in points. Dave Esterkamp contributed 15 and Brandon Pardons 10 points and four assists. Kent, the defending tournament champion, was paced by Nate Meers' 17 points and John Whorton's 12. BG shot 56.0% (28-of-50) from the field and forced 17 turnovers. Kent led 32-30 at the half but saw the Falcons gain a 41-29 second half scoring advantage for the win.

At Western Michigan 92, Northern Illinois 85 - The Broncos won their second in a row to improve to 10-14 overall and 6-9 in the MAC West. NIU dropped to 12-12 overall and 6-9 in league play. WMU was paced by 34 points from Tony Barksdale. Also contributing for the winners was Thadus Williams with 16 points, Taylor Bro with 12 and Rod Brown with 10 points and eight assists. The Huskies T.J. Lux posted numbers of 30 points and 12 rebounds, while Leon Rodgers had 19 points and Rey Jones 12.