Friday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Ohio 82, North Carolina A&T 66
Western Michigan 91, Oakland 76
Morehead State 62, Ball State 54
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Ohio 82, North Carolina A&T 66
ATHENS, Ohio - Stevie Taylor scored a career-high 19 points to pace five players in double figures as Ohio defeated North Carolina A&T this evening at home, 82-66.
The Bobcats moved to 11-1, matching the start of the 1940-41 team and now needs one more victory to match the best start through 13 games in program history set by the 1939-40 and 1920-21 squads.
Walter Offutt shot 5-of-16 from the field but finished with 14 points for Ohio. He also added five rebounds, four steals and three assists. Nick Kellogg matched Offutt in point production, going 4-of-8 from long range. The sophomore also had four steals and the duo combined to score 19 of Ohio’s first 23 points in the second half.
Ivo Baltic and Reggie Keely continued their strong play inside, combining for 23 points and 17 rebounds. Baltic finished one board shy of a double-double, which would have been the second of his career. He has led the team in rebounding five times this season, tops among the Green & White.
Ohio held a fifth-straight opponent below 70 points, improving to 9-1 this year when they are able to accomplish the defensive feat. The Bobcats forced a season-best 24 turnovers which led to 34 points. Despite its point total, N.C. A&T did manage to shoot 55.8 percent for the game, 69.6 percent in the first half.
The first 13 minutes were evenly matched as the score read 25-25. However, Taylor drilled consecutive three-pointers to open up a six-point lead. After a N.C. A&T layup, Taylor hit a third to give the Bobcats their largest lead of the half, 34-27. Taylor finished with five of Ohio’s season-high matching 12 three-pointers in the contest.
Leading 42-39 at the intermission due to Taylor’s hot shooting from the perimeter, Kellogg and Offutt began to take over. Ahead 50-45, Ohio went on an 8-1 run by getting inside. Two layups by Offutt and one each from Kellogg and Keely pushed the Bobcat lead to double figures at 58-46 with 14:59 to play.
The Aggies responded and trimmed the gap to five at 61-56 with 10:29 showing on the clock. Despite the surge from the visitors, Ohio answered with a 13-3 run of its own to take a 74-59 lead with 5:17 to play. The Bobcat defense, which had been torched in the first half, limited N.C. A&T to two field goals over the final 8:23 of the contest en route to the “W”.
Ohio has another home date before it rings in 2012 as Kennesaw State comes to town on December 30. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Western Michigan 91, Oakland 76
ROCHESTER, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball started the holiday season on the right foot on Friday, going on the road to defeat the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 91-76 in front of a packed house at Oakland's O'Rena. With the win, the Broncos improve to 5-7 overall this season and have won four straight games.
The win was a special one for WMU head coach Steve Hawkins, as it was the 150th win for Hawkins as head coach of the Broncos. He is just the third Bronco to win 150 games as a head coach, joining Herbert "Buck" Read and Bob Donewald.
Freshman off-guard Austin Richie exploded offensively in his second career start, scoring a team- and career-high 22 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 day from the free throw line. He was one of five Broncos to reach double-digits in scoring, including Mike Douglas (19), Matt Stainbrook (16), Nate Hutcheson (12), and Demetrius Ward (12). The Broncos were ablaze from the field, shooting 30-of-54 (.556) and nailing 10 three-pointers.
The Broncos bucked their recent trend of starting out the first half slowly, taking command of the tempo at the opening tip-off. After forcing a defensive stop to begin the game, Nate Hutcheson launched a three-point attempt from the left corner to give the Broncos a 3-0 lead.
Demetrius Ward stripped the Golden Grizzlies' Reggie Hamilton on the very next possession and fed Hutcheson again, who laid the ball in for his fifth point in less than a minute. Ward Hutcheson, and Austin Richie would add three-pointers on subsequent possessions for the Broncos, who began the game on a 14-5 run and stunned the packed O'Rena.
Stainbrook stretched the lead to double-digits at the 10:06 mark, taking a slick under-the-hoop pass from Ward and making a lay-up to give the Broncos a 23-12 lead. It was then that the Broncos began to establish their control down low, with Douglas and Stainbrook in particular keeping the Grizzlies on their heels.
The Broncos out-rebounded the Golden Grizzlies 21-10 in the first half and out-scored them 12-2 in second chance opportunities; in addition, WMU out-scored Oakland 18-14 in points in the paint, thanks largely to the abilities of Stainbrook and Douglas to attack the hoop.
The Golden Grizzlies jumped out to a hot start in the second half, opening on an 11-4 run and putting pressure on the Broncos in the early going. The Broncos responded with a 16-5 run of their own, though, with Richie blasting the Grizzlies for seven points on consecutive possessions. Richie drove to the hoop and drew a foul at the 13:12, but not before making his lay-up to convert a three-point play.
On the very next possession, Richie fired a three-point shot from the right corner. Laval Lucas-Perry shoved him as he released the shot, but Richie's aim was true and the Broncos were afforded the opportunity to convert a rare four-point play. Richie buried the free throw to give the Broncos a 60-41 lead with 12:35 remaining.
The Broncos would set their biggest lead of the evening at the 11:13 mark when Muhammed Conteh pushed a lay-up off the glass and drew contact; Conteh made the free throw to give WMU a 66-43 lead. The Grizzlies would claw their way back, though, with star guard Reggie Hamilton nearly single-handedly bringing Oakland back to within single digits.
After the Broncos' lead dwindled to just 10 points, Douglas hit a pair of clutch free throws to make it 83-71 with 3:51 remaining. They would spark a series of six straight points for Douglas, eventually pushing the lead to 87-71 at the 2:27 mark. Richie would make four straight free throws to seal the win for the Broncos.
Morehead State 62, Ball State 54
MOREHEAD, Ky. – The Ball State men’s basketball team dropped its second straight game Friday night as the Cardinals suffered a 62-54 loss to 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Morehead State at Johnson Arena.
The Cardinals committed a season-high 24 turnovers in the loss while also being out-rebounded by a 34-25 margin, including 18 offensive rebounds for the Eagles.
“We are shooting ourselves in the foot with our rebounding, our turnovers and missing free throws,” head coach Billy Taylor said. “We got our tails kicked on the glass for the third straight game, we turned it over way too much even against their pressure and we didn’t hit free throws in clutch situations tonight.”
Sophomore guard Tyrae Robinson (Gary, Ind./Bowman Academy) saw his first action of the season after missing the first semester for academic reasons. Robinson led the Cardinals with 14 points off the bench in 22 minutes as he hit 3-of-4 from three-point land and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Ball State (6-4) came out of the gate quickly as it opened the game on a quick 8-2 run to force an early MSU timeout. Sophomore forward Chris Bond (Gary, Ind./Bowman Academy) scored five points in the first four minutes to lead the Cardinals in the early going.
Morehead State (6-7) regrouped and turned up the pressure defensively with the full court press and posted a 20-4 run to take a 22-12 lead. The Eagles forced the Cardinals into 15 first half turnovers with the pressure while Terrance Hill scored six points in the run. Ball State closed the half on a 10-6 run to head into the locker room trailing 28-22. Robinson scored five first half points in his return to the floor, including the Cardinals’ lone first half three-pointer.
Ball State connected on just 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from the field and just 1-of-10 (10%) from long range. Morehead State ended the first half hit 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the field and 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from long range. The Eagles also mishandled the ball as they committed 14 turnovers in the opening frame.
Morehead State came out of the locker room and posted an 8-3 run to take a 36-25 lead as Marsell Holden and Ty Proffitt hit back-to-back three-pointers. The Cardinals finally started to heat up from the outside as they posted a 15-4 run to pull within one point at 43-42. Ball State hit five straight three-pointers in the run with Robinson connecting on two while Tyler Koch (Winchester, Ind./Wright State), Jauwan Scaife (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) and Jesse Berry (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) each tallied one long range shot.
The teams traded baskets until the Cardinals had the ball just over five minutes remaining trailing by one at 45-44. Senior forward Jarrod Jones (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) was fouled at the 4:51 mark with a chance to give the Cardinals their first lead since early in the first half. Jones missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt to keep the Eagles in the lead.
Morehead State responded with a 9-2 run to take a 54-46 lead with 2:25 left in the game. Proffitt hit three free throws to start the run and Milton Chavis scored on consecutive possession to extend the MSU lead. Ball State tried to battle back but Morehead State sank its final 13 free throws of the game, including eight in the last minute to seal the victory.
Ball State finished the game shooting 44.7 percent (17-of-38) from the field and 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from long range, including seven three-pointers in the second half. Scaife added eight points off the bench while senior guard Randy Davis (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) scored seven and handed out five assists.
Morehead State connected on 38.8 percent (19-of-49) from the field and just 20 percent (4-of-20) from long range on the night but the Eagles were strong from the charity stripe hitting 76.9 percent (20-of-26). Hill led MSU with 12 points while Proffitt added 11 points in the balanced scoring attack that saw 10 different Eagles score in the victory.
The Cardinals will be off for the holidays and return to action New Year’s Eve as they host Chicago State. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Worthen Arena and is the first of a men’s/women’s doubleheader.