Men's Basketball Notes

Updated 12/19/1986

MAC Pepsi Players of the Week
Live TotalCast of Akron at Ohio!

Coming off a huge come-from-behind 57-54 win at Miami, the Ohio Bobcats challenge the #1 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats in an ESPN game that will begin at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Saturday. The game marks the first for an Ohio team versus a #1 ranked team since dropping a 105-81 decision to UNLV on Dec. 19, 1986. First, however, the Bobcats must get past the 11-3 Akron Zips in a game at Athens Tuesday night.

With three MAC games going into overtime the past week, the number of extended contests involving league teams this year jumped up to 12. Included was one triple overtime (Eastern Michigan 98, Ball State 93), one double overtime (Kent 73, Ohio 67) and one regular overtime game (Ball State 88, Toledo 85).

The Ball State Cardinals should file for union status after going four overtime periods in their two games last week. On Wednesday (Jan. 5) BSU took an extra period to subdue Toledo, 88-85. That, however, was just a warm-up to Saturday's triple overtime affair with Eastern Michigan. The Eagles outlasted the Cardinals by a 98-93 count. Ball State's Duane Clemens played 98 out of a possible 100 minutes, taking off one minute in each game. The two games marked the first time since the 1972-73 campaign that a Ball State team has played back-to-back overtime games.

Kent has also worked harder than normal recently. The Golden Flashes went to overtime on Jan. 2 at Miami for a 61-57 win and three days later had a double-OT contest in a 73-69 triumph over Ohio. All of that was coming off two games in two days (Dec. 28-29) in winning the UTEP Tournament.

Head coach Milton Barnes has proven last year was a fluke at Eastern Michigan. His first two years at EMU resulted in 20-win seasons before losing all five starters and plummeting to a 5-20 record last year. This season Barnes and his troops are back where they want to be -- on top of the MAC West Division with a 3-0 record, and an overall mark of 9-3. The Eagles made their statement as a contender with a 98-93 triple-overtime win at Ball State, halting the Cardinals' 10-game winning streak and extend EMU's winning streak to four. Even more impressive with the win is the fact the Ball State has a 100-17 record on its home court.

Seven MAC teams are listed among the top 100 in the latest RPI report. Leading the way at #9 is Kent, followed by #18 Ball State, #70 Marshall, #72 Bowling Green, #91 Ohio, #95 Miami and #96 Akron.

Akron's 82-79 win at Toledo Saturday night was the first for the Zips in the Glass City since Dec. 13, 1971. It was also the Zips' first win ever at Savage Hall, which opened in 1976.

Despite its 10-game winning streak being snapped, Ball State's 10-2 record ranks among the best in school history. The 1988-89 squad started 11-0, and five other teams have at least matched the 10-2 record of this year's team. If Ball State beats Miami Wednesday night, it will mark the third time in school history that a BSU team has started the season with 11 wins in the first 13 games.

With Ball State having its 10-game winning streak snapped, it falls on the Bowling Green Falcons as the team with the hot hand. Dan Dakich's crew has won five in a row for its second such winning streak of the season. BG has also won a current league-high six consecutive MAC games at home and is tied for Kent with a streak of nine consecutive home wins overall. With a win Wednesday at Western Michigan, the Falcons will go to 4-0 in MAC play for the first time since the 1961-62 squad started 7-0.

Bowling Green's 11-2 start is due in part to some highly accurate shooting. Forward Dave Esterkamp, also this week's MAC Offensive Player of the Week, has connected on 75.0% (21-of-28) from the field the last three games. As a team, the Falcons have shot over 50% from the floor in five of the last six games and are the only MAC team currently shooting over 50% from the floor (50.1%, 352-of-703). BG is also tied with Kent for the MAC lead in free throw percentage at 76.1% (235-of-309).

BG has three starters shooting at 55.0% or better from the field but none of them meet the NCAA minimum qualifications to be ranked. Len Matela at 60.0% (57-of-95), Trent Jackson at 59.6% (56-of-94) and Dave Esterkamp at 58.4% (58-of-104). Combined the three are shooting 58.4% (171-of-293) from the field.

Trailing Bowling Green by 13 points at the half and 28 points in the second half, the Buffalo offense lit up University Arena with a barrage of points and closed the gap to four. UB shot 61.6% from the field in the final stanza, making 21-of-34 shots. In the last eight minutes, the Bulls shot an amazing 81.8% (18-of-22) from the field. The shooting display was even more remarkable when you consider Buffalo's 38.8% shooting rate ranks last in the league. UB was led by Kerry Hendrickson who scored all of his 17 points in the second half, making 7-of-8 from the field.

With 1999 MAC Freshman of the Year Mike Manciel out for the season, Central Michigan has lost eight games in a row for the first time since the 1997-98 season when a nine-game losing streak plagued the Chippewas. CMU nearly broke out of its slump in a 60-55 loss at Miami, a game during which the Chippewas committed a season-low nine turnovers. On Wednesday, CMU plays at Buffalo, which also has a nine-game losing streak.

A transfer from Michigan State who had to sit out the first semester, 6-3 guard Antonio Gates made his debut for Eastern Michigan Wednesday versus Buffalo. In 11 minutes versus the Bulls, Gates scored six points and grabbed three rebounds. Saturday at Ball State, he busted out with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead EMU's 98-93 triple overtime win. Gates was first team all-state in both basketball and football at Detroit Central High School.

Marshall has three players leading the MAC in key categories. Tamar Slay paces the MAC in scoring at 20.5 ppg, J.R. VanHoose has a league-best 55.6% shooting rate from the field and Cornelius Jackson has a MAC-high 100 assists. Slay also leads all MAC players with 3.23 three-point goals per game and is the only MAC player with two games of 30 or more points this season.

Miami ranks first in the MAC in scoring defense, allowing 62.6 ppg, but is last in scoring offense with 62.7 ppg. The RedHawks also lead the MAC in three-point field goal defense (29.0%) and rank third in field goal defense (41.6%).

Miami's schedule is one of the most difficult nationally, ranking as the ninth toughest by the Sagarin Ratings and 18th in the RPI. Seven of Miami's first 11 opponents were ranked in the top 100 of the latest Sagarin Ratings (Temple, Tennessee, Xavier, Notre Dame, Dayton, Kent and Ohio). The RedHawks beat Notre Dame, who later knocked off defending national champion and #2 ranked Connecticut.

A 6-1 guard who averaged 3.9 points per game last year, Miami's Anthony Taylor has recovered from an injury last year (heel spurs/sore arches) and ranks among the MAC leaders in scoring (3rd, 19.7), field goal pct. (8th, 47.6) and free throw pct. (7th, 80.0%).

He started 25 of 26 games last season and led Northern Illinois and finished fourth in the MAC in assists (114). Now Ephrain Eaddy has returned after missing the team's first 13 games due to academic difficulties. Cleared to play for the remainder of the year, Eaddy's presence had immediate impact as evidenced by the Huskies' season-low 11 turnovers in the 68-67 win versus Western Michigan.

Northern Illinois ended last year with a 62-61 win versus Toledo on a shot at the buzzer by Rey Jones. This year's NIU hero with the game winning shot as time expired was junior guard Mike Brown, whose six-foot bank shot beat Western Michigan, 68-67, Saturday night in DeKalb.

Ohio's Shaun Stonerook became the first Bobcat in six years to get 20 rebounds and 20 points in a single game. Stonerook's high powered production of 21 points and 20 rebounds came in the 73-69 double overtime loss at Kent. Stonerook leads the MAC in rebounding with 12.3 per game, which is 3.7 more than his nearest competitor. Stonerook also has a MAC-high 12 double-doubles this season. He also went over 800 rebounds for his career.

Ohio's Steve Esterkamp celebrated his 19th birthday on Jan. 8 by leading the Bobcats with 14 points in a 57-54 victory at Miami. In addition, Esterkamp rebounded from an 0-for-10 shooting performance in the previous game at Kent. Ohio's win at Miami was the first in Oxford for the 'Cats since 1994.

Toledo Rocket forward Greg Stempin, a first team All-MAC selection last year and a preseason All-MAC player, was diagnosed as having a hyperextension and ligament sprain to his right elbow after going down hard in the first half of the game at Ball State. Stempin will likely miss the next four weeks. The 6-9 Stempin was averaging 16.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the Rockets.

Last year Kent rode to a school-record 23 wins with depth that allowed head coach Gary Waters to play 10 players 10 or more minutes a game. More of the same this year for the 10-2 Golden Flashes, who have eight players seeing 10 or more minutes a game. The depth at Kent is of quality, evidenced by sophomore Trevor Huffman, who has not started a game all year, leading the team in both scoring (14.1) and assists (4.5). Huffman was also named MVP of the Sierra Sun Classic Tournament in El Paso and MAC Offensive Player of the Week for his 26 points in the title game versus host UTEP.

Kent's 90-80 loss at Marshall ended a seven-game losing streak, tied for third in school history. Three of the school's six longest winning streaks in history have come during the past two seasons, including last year's seven- and eight-game winning streaks.

Off-season foot surgery has sidelined the 1999 MAC Freshman of the Year, Central Michigan's Mike Manciel, for the entire season. Manciel will have a screw put in his left foot and will not return this year. Manciel averaged 17.5 points and 6.4 rebounds a game last year for the Chippewas, both team highs. Look for sophomore guard David Webber to continue picking up the scoring loss left by Manciel's departure. Webber, the younger brother of Sacramento King Chris Webber, is averaging a MAC seventh-best 17.9 ppg and has a high of 29 points against Detroit.

MAC Overtime Games This Season: D 4 at Wisc.-Green Bay 67, Miami 58
D 11 at Northern Iowa 83, Bowling Green 75
D 11 Western Michigan 89 at Oakland 87
D 30 at Eastern Michigan 82, Detroit 80
J 2 Kent 61 at Miami 57*
J 5 at Ball State 88, Toledo 85* MAC Double Overtime Games This Season
N 19 Niagara 105 at Buffalo 103
D 20 Marshall 127 at Western Michigan 126*
D 21 at TCU 107, Eastern Michigan 101
D 29 Wake Forest 84, Ohio 78, at Honolulu
J 5 at Kent 73, Ohio 69* MAC Triple Overtime Games This Season
J 8 Eastern Michigan 98, at Ball State 93*
* conference game

MAC AT 54:
The Mid-American Conference is in its 54th season of men's basketball and third with a divisional format. The MAC Tournament will move to Cleveland for the first time ever in the year 2000. Following first round games on campus sites (March 1), Gund Arena will host quarterfinals (March 5), semifinals (March 6) and the championship game (March 8). Previous MAC Tournaments have been staged in Toledo, Detroit, Columbus, Rockford and Ann Arbor.

MAC Streaks
Longest Winning Streak (All Games)
10-Ball State (Nov. 24-Jan. 5)
10-Marshall (Nov. 20-Dec. 30)
7-Kent (Dec. 11-Jan. 5)
6-Bowling Green (Nov. 19-Dec. 7)
5-Bowling Green (Dec. 22-current)

Home Winning Streak (All Games)
9-Kent (Jan., 27, 1999-current)*
9-Bowling Green (Feb 3, 1999-current)*
8-Akron (Nov. 20-current)
7-Marshall (Dec. 4-current)
6-Eastern Michigan (Feb. 20, 1999-current)
6-Ohio (Feb. 24, 1999-current)

Longest Losing Streak (All Games)
8-Buffalo (Dec. 7-current)
8-Central Michigan (Dec. 4-current)
4-Northern Illinois (Dec. 23-Jan. 5)

Longest Winning Streak (MAC Games Only)
5-Akron (Dec. 11-current)
3-Eastern Michigan (Dec. 8-current)
3-Bowling Green (Jan. 2-current)

Longest Losing Streak (MAC Games Only)
4-Buffalo (Dec. 18-current)
3-Western Michigan (Dec. 20-current)
3-Central Michigan (Dec. 30-current)

Home Winning Streak (MAC Games Only)*
6-Bowling Green (Feb. 3, 1999-current)
6-Kent (Feb. 3, 1999-current)
4-Akron (Dec. 11-current)
3-Ohio (Feb. 24, 1999-current)
3-Eastern Michigan (Feb. 20, 1999-current)

*includes MAC Tournament first round games