CLEVELAND (March 5)(AP) -- Sanjay Adell's driving leaner with 1.7 seconds left
moved Ohio into the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference
Tournament with a 69-68 quarterfinal win Sunday over Kent.
The sixth-seeded Bobcats (20-12) capped a wild day of surprises and
nail-biting finishes at Gund Arena by eliminating the third-seeded
Both Kent and Bowling Green, arguably the league's top two teams, were
knocked off as the MAC showed why it might be the country's most
balanced conference. The four quarterfinal games were decided by a
total of six points and two of the games went into overtime.
Kent, which entered the tourney ranked 27th in the RPI and 31 in the
Sagarin Ratings, now has to hope it did enough during the regular season
impress the NCAA Tournament Committee.
Ohio advanced to play Ball State in Monday night's second semifinal.
The Cardinals beat Toledo 64-63 in overtime in one of Sunday's thrilling
In the first semifinal No. 9 seed Miami of Ohio, which stunned top seed
Bowling Green 58-56, will play Marshall. The Thundering Herd advanced
with a 58-56 win over Central Michigan.
Adell scored 21 points and freshman Steve Esterkamp had 17 for the
Bobcats, who led by 10 points with 4:07 left but had to hold off a
comeback led by Trevor Huffman.
Huffman, who finished with 21 points, scored 13 points in the final
3:58. His free throws with 12.1 seconds remaining had given Kent its
first lead since
the first half at 68-67.
Following a timeout, Ohio pushed the ball quickly up the floor and
Bobcats forward Shaun Stonerook was tied up near the baseline. But Ohio
possession arrow and Adell took an inbounds pass, muscled inside and
scored to make it 69-68.
Kent was then assessed a technical foul for calling a timeout it didn't
have, and Golden Flashes coach Gary Waters raced onto the floor to
Esterkamp missed both free throws, and Ohio was able to inbound the
ball and run out the clock before Kent had a chance to foul.
Kent was outscored 32-8 over a 12-minute stretch that began with 4:57
left in the first half, and things got so bad the Golden Flashes were
hit with a
technical foul when they came out of a timeout with six players on the
Esterkamps's two free throws gave Ohio a 47-35 lead, but the Golden
Flashes weren't quite done.
Kent's full-court press got some turnovers and Huffman scored 18 points
in the final 10:55.
Kent got little from center John Whorton. Whorton, who averages 12.9
points and nearly six rebounds per game, had two points and two rebounds
The Bobcats, who beat Kent by 10 points last week, switched to a zone
defense late in the first half and closed with a 12-0 run to tie it
27-27 at the