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MAC Men's Basketball East Division Player of the Week
Nikola Cvetinovic, Akron, Forward
Junior, Loznica, Serbia (Virginia Episcopal School)
Cvetinovic led the Zips to victories over MAC East Division foes Miami (Ohio) and Buffalo last week, averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and one steal per game. In the Zips' 72-55 win over Miami (Ohio) on Feb. 23, Cvetinovic led all scorers with 21 points while grabbing nine boards and dishing out three assists in 30 minutes on the court. In Akron's 69-60 over the Bulls on Feb. 26, Cvetinovic posted a team-high 22 points to help the Zips to their seventh-straight victory, sixth-straight in league play. Cvetinovic scored 14 of his points in the second half and finished the game having made 6-of-10 field goals and 10-of-11 free throws. The junior was 6-for-7 from the line and 4-for-5 from the floor after intermission. Cvetinovic also had four rebounds and two steals in his 100th career game as a Zip. Cvetinovic closed the week shooting 66.7 percent from the floor (14-for-21) and converting on 88.2 percent of his chances from the charity stripe (15-for-17).
MAC Men's Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Jarrod Jones, Ball State, Forward
Junior, Michigan City, Ind. (Michigan City)
Jones led the Cardinals to back-to-back wins last week over Eatern Michigan and Central Michigan to remain tied atop the MAC West Division. Jones averaged a double-double of 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the two victories while shooting 50 percent (11-of-22) from the field. He posted his 10th double-double of the season against EMU with a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds. He followed that up with a 11-point, seven-rebound effort Saturday at CMU as the Cardinals rallied from a 23-point second half deficit.
Javon McCrea, Buffalo, Forward
Freshman, Newark, N.Y. (Newark)
McCrea recorded his fourth double-double of the season against Kent State on Thursday with 15 points and 11 rebounds - the most double-doubles by a UB freshman in school history. He added three blocked shots and four steals against the Golden Flashes. McCrea scored a game-high 23 points at Akron on Saturday. He added three rebounds, a block and a steal against the Zips.
Jalin Thomas, Central Michigan, Forward
Senior, Columbus, Ohio (Pensacola Junior College)
Thomas propelled the Chippewas to their first road win in 11 tries on Wednesday in DeKalb, Ill., scoring a career-high 29 points on 7-of-13 shooting from behind the arc, in CMU's 64-58 defeat of the Huskies. The senior came out on fire in the first half, knocking down seven of his first 10 shots and making 5-of-6 free throws to score 20 of the Chippewas' 33 first half points.
Michael Porrini, Kent State, Guard
Junior, Massilon, Ohio /GulfCoast C.C. (Fla.)
Porrini led the Golden Flashes to a 2-1 week and back to the top of the Mid-American Conference standings. Porrini filled up the box score with 11.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 4.3 apg over the three game span, but it was his clutch performances that stood out the most. The 6'2" junior guard began the week helping Kent State erase a seven-point deficit with four minutes remaining in a 74-72 win at Western Michigan on Monday. Porrini, who totaled 15 of of his team high 19 points in the second half With the game tied at 72-72, Porrini first grabbed an offensive rebound with 30 seconds left to give Kent State an opportunity to take the final shot of regulation. Following a time out the Golden Flashes ran the clock down to under 10 seconds when the 6'2" guard was isolated at the top of the key. Porrini, who had 15 of his team high 19 points in the second half, secured an offensive rebound with 30 seconds left, then delivered the game winning 17-foot pull-up jumper with two second left. Not to be out done he also stole a three-quarters court desperation in bounds pass to seal the win. On Thursday vs Buffalo he had eight points, but none were bigger than the tomahawk dunk with 19 seconds left with Kent State clinging to a one-point lead in what turned out to be a 72-69 win. He added another eight points along with a career high nine assists in the loss to Ohio on Saturday. Porrini helped orchestrate a 30-8 second half run by the Golden Flashes that erased a 21-point deficit with 15 minutes to play. He also nailed a three pointer in the overtime session. By scoring 15 of his game high 19 points in the second half as Kent State erased a seven-point deficit.
Julian Mavunga, Miami, Forward
Junior, Indianapolis, Ind. (Brownsburg)
Mavunga recorded back-to-back double-doubles last week, averaging 18.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg in a pair of MAC games. He has posted double-doubles in three of Miami's last four games and five of its last eight games. Mavunga tallied a team-leading 14 points and led all players with 10 rebounds at Akron. He followed that with a 22-point, 11 rebound performance in a win over Bowling Green to help keep Miami atop the East Division standings in a tie for first place. It was his seventh 20-point scoring effort of the season and marked his sixth double-double in 2010-11 and his 12th career double-double ... against the Falcons, Mavunga also dished out six assists, which led to 15 RedHawk points ... he was in on 44 percent of Miami's scoring against BGSU having a part in 37 of the RedHawks' 84 points.
Tommy Freeman, Ohio, Guard
Senior, Muncie, Ind. (Central)
Freeman scored a game-high 20 points on the strength of five three-pointers as Ohio defeated Bowling Green by double digits at home. With his first field goal of the night, Freeman passed Bobcat great Dave Jamerson with his 240th career three-pointer. The senior then passed another milestone when he scored his 1,000th career point in the Bobcats' win at Kent State. Freeman hit double digits for the seventh time in his last nine games, was a perfect 8-8 from the line (13-14 for the week) and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds for Ohio. He also led Ohio in scoring for the week and shot 43 percent from the field including going 6-12 from beyond the arc. Freeman is second in the league in both three-pointer made and three-point percentage. He ranks 10th nationally in three-point percentage and 14th in three-pointers made. He is also connecting on 88 percent of his free-throw tries in league play, second in the MAC.
Flenard Whitfield, Western Michigan, Forward
Junior, Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King)
Whitfield led the Broncos in scoring in two of three games this week as WMU went 2-1 with a home win over Toledo and a 27-point road victory at EMU. Whitfield opened with 24 points and eight rebounds in a two-point loss to Kent State. In that game, he scored six points in 1:09 to end the first half. After scoring 11 in a game against Toledo that saw WMU go up by as many as 38, Whitfield answered with a 16-point performance at Eastern Michigan, scoring eight of 10 points during the team's 10-point run that put the game in WMU's control for good. Whitfield shot 61.8 percent from the field (21-for-34) this past week and has now scored in double figures in 18 games this season, including six of the last seven.