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CLEVELAND, OHIO (March 2, 2000) -- MAC 2000 got underway Wednesday, March 1 as five teams won first-round games on campus sites, thus earning a trip to Cleveland's Gund Arena.
The shocker of the first-round came when #13 seed Central Michigan knocked off #4 Akron, 75-73, on the Zips' home floor. The Chippewas, who improved to 6-22 overall, had gone 0-9 on the road during the MAC regular season. Sophomore sensation David Webber paced the Chippewas with a high of 24 points. Freshman Chad Pleiness added 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Jon Borovich contributed 12 points and dished out six assists off the bench. For Akron, which saw its season end at 17-11, freshman Andy Hipsher scored game-high 27 points while the Zips got 11 points each from Nate Schindelwolf and Jami Bosley. Central Michigan will play Marshall Sunday at Gund Arena at 2:30.
The Thundering Herd, in winning its first MAC Tournament game since rejoining the league two years ago, routed Buffalo, 83-66, to increase its record to 20-8. The Bull's season ends at 5-23. Marshall led only 38-37 at the half but outscored UB 45-29 in the final frame. J.R. VanHoose paced the Herd with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Tamar Slay, the MAC's leading scorer, added 17 points. Micheal Sinclair and Damien Foster each scored 13 for Buffalo, who was playing its first ever MAC Tournament game.
Miami, like Central Michigan, won a road game, topping Eastern Michigan 64-51. Miami improved to 13-14 while EMU ended its campaign at 15-13. Anthony Taylor's 23 points, six rebounds and four assists led the RedHawks. Jason Stewart made 4-of-8 three-point goals and contributed 17 points for Miami. Eastern received 20 points courtesy of Calvin Warner and 12 points, six rebounds and four assists from Adam Hess. The RedHawks play #1 seed Bowling Green Sunday at noon.
Ohio led from start to finish in a 77-52 triumph over visiting Western Michigan. The Bobcats upped their mark to 19-12 while the Broncos concluded their season at 10-18. Sanjay Adell scored 18 points, Brandon Hunter 17 and Shaun Stonerook 11 for Ohio. The Broncos shot just 34.5% from the field and got 10 points from Jon Powell and Thadus Williams. Ohio will next be challenged by Kent, a team the Bobcats defeated 71-61 on Feb. 26.
Toledo won its 11th game in a row, but not without a struggle. In double-overtime, the Rockets survived a 68-64 thriller with Northern Illinois. UT upped its record to 18-12 while the Huskies completed a 13-15 season. Chad Kamstra fired in a game-high 27 points, including 6-of-17 from three-point range. Greg Stempin added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets. Three Huskies posted double figures in points, led by Leon Rodgers' 16. Rey Jones added 16 and T.J. Lux 12 for NIU. Toledo plays Ball State Sunday at 7:00. The Rockets and Cardinals tied for the West Division championship this year.
MAC 2000 First Energy Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, March 1 at Campus Sites - First Round Games
#13 Central Michigan 75, at #4 Akron 73
at #5 Marshall 83, #12 Buffalo 66
at #6 Ohio 77, #11 Western Michigan 52
at #7 Toledo 68, #10 Northern Illinois 64, double overtime
#9 Miami 64, at #8 Eastern Michigan 51
Byes for #1 Bowling Green; #2 Ball State; #3 Kent
Sunday, March 5 at Gund Arena
Game #1 - #1 Bowling Green vs. #9 Miami, Noon
Game #2 - #5 Marshall vs. #13 Central Michigan, 2:00*
Game #3 - #2 Ball State vs. #7 Toledo, 7:00
Game #4 - #3 Kent vs. #6 Ohio, 9:00*
Monday, March 6 at Gund Arena
Game # 5 - Winner Games #1 and #2, 7:00, FOX Sports Net
Game # 6 - Winners Games #3 and #4, 9:00*, FOX Sports Net
Wednesday, March 8 at Gund Arena
MAC Championship Game, 7:00, ESPN
* times approximate; 30 minutes following end of previous game