Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Akron 69, Western Michigan 66 (OT)
Bowling Green 61, Ball State 54
Buffalo 66, Central Michigan 62
Kent State 62, Eastern Michigan 58
Toledo 77, Ohio 73
Northern Illinois 62, Miami 59
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 69, Western Michigan 66 (OT)
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Forty minutes was not enough as the Akron Zips won their first overtime game of the season, defeating Western Michigan 69-66 in Kalamazoo, Mich., Wednesday night in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional matchup.
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the game, the Zips (17-7, 9-1 MAC) out-scored the Broncos 37-28 in the second half and 10-7 in overtime.
Alex Abreu tied for the game high with 15 points and added four assists and four steals. Zeke Marshall (14), Brian Walsh (12) and Quincy Diggs (10) also scored in double figures for the Zips. Akron has now won six-straight games overall and tied the best start to MAC play in school history (9-1).
Demetrius Treadwell added nine points and nine rebounds, all coming in the second half.
Mike Douglas led WMU (10-14, 4-6 MAC) with 15 points.
Diggs’ three-point play with 1:39 left in overtime gave Akron a 66-63 lead. WMU would go on to tie the game at 66-66 the line before Marshall took the lead back for the Zips with two free throws of his own with 36.6 seconds left. The Broncos would hold for the last shot, but would come up short, as Diggs would ice the game at the line.
Both teams traded points for the first five minutes of the second half as WMU held on to its nine-point advantage (35-26) with 16:24 left in the game. The Zips would then begin to chip away at that lead, scoring the next five points and trailing 35-31 with 13:42 to go.
Akron continued to grind away, erasing the once 11-point deficit to tie the game at 44-44 with 7:10 remaining. The Zips would grab their first lead since the 12:30 mark (12-10) on a traditional three-point play by Treadwell (48-47) with 5:24 left on the second-half clock.
With the game tied 53-53 with 3:33 to go, WMU scored five-straight points to regain the lead (58-53) at the 2:33 mark. The Zips forced two turnovers on the next two Broncos’ possessions to close within one point (58-57) entering the final minute.
A defensive stop on the next WMU possession gave UA the ball and a chance to take the lead following a full timeout with 34.2 seconds on the game clock. Marshall was able to convert a second opportunity to give the Zips a 59-58 lead. WMU tied the game at the line and a Diggs 3-pointer at the buzzer would not fall to send the game to overtime (59-59).
After opening up a 10-6 lead by the 16:16 mark, WMU used a 11-2 run over the next 5:45 to take a 17-12 advantage. Abreu’s 3-pointer with 8:07 left in the half ended a 5:49 scoring drought for the Zips and cut the Broncos’ lead to 17-15.
The Broncos opened up their biggest lead of the game with 1:24 left before the intermission (31-20) thanks to a 14-5 run that covered nearly seven minutes. The Zips would hit two free throws with 1:07 left to go into the locker room down 31-22.
The Zips closed the half shooting 31.0 percent from the field (9-of-29) and connected on just 1-of-7 from long range (14.3 percent). Akron forced 11 WMU turnovers to just six, but was out-rebounded 25-10.
Bowling Green 61, Ball State 54
Muncie, Ind. – A’uston Calhoun scored 27 points and Dee Brown broke a late tie with back-to-back three-pointers as the Bowling Green men’s basketball team went on the road to defeat Ball State 61-54 Wednesday evening.
Prior to Wednesday night’s victory, Bowling Green (12-11, 6-4 MAC) had not won or lost more than two consecutive games all year. The win was the Falcons’ third straight and keeps the team in contention for one of the four byes in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Calhoun took over midway through the second half, scoring 13 consecutive Bowling Green points during one stretch. His personal 13-6 run helped the Falcons go from three points down to four points ahead at 48-44 with 5:04 to go.
Ball State tied the game at 48-48 on a Jarrod Jones jumper and two Aaron Adeoye free-throws with four minutes to play. But Brown, a senior, stepped up and knocked down a three-pointer with 3:04 left. After the Cardinals came up empty on their next possession, Brown hit a corner three with 2:22 left to make it 54-48.
Ball State was never able to get back into the game as the Falcons made 7-of-8 free-throws in the final 40 seconds to win the contest. Brown made 3-of-4 and Calhoun knocked down all four of his attempts in the last 26 seconds.
Calhoun came up just one rebound shy of a double-double with nine rebounds to go with his 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Brown was the only other double-figure scorer for Bowling Green with 12 points. Jordon Crawford, who leads the MAC in assists in conference games, finished with six assists. Scott Thomas, who ranks in the top 10 in the country in steals, finished with four more takeaways.
Ball State was led by Jones, a MAC Player of the Year candidate, who had 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior point guard Randy Davis came into the game leading the country in assist/turnover ratio but had just four assists and seven turnovers. Davis had just 10 turnovers combined in his team’s first nine MAC games.
The contest featured three ties and eight lead changes, but Bowling Green went into the break with a 28-24 lead behind 10 points and six rebounds from Calhoun. A Crawford alley-oop to Torian Oglesby put the Falcons on top 11-10 with 12:01 to go and Ball State never led again in the first half.
Ball State used a 7-0 run early in the second half to take a 34-33 lead on a Davis three-pointer and the Cardinals extended the lead to three on a pair of Jones free-throws with 11:04 to go. That’s when Calhoun took over and pushed the Falcons back on top.
Bowling Green forced Ball State into 18 turnovers, five more than the Falcons committed, but the Cardinals had a 32-28 rebounding edge. The Falcons, though, outscored Ball State 15-8 on second-chance points. Bowling Green also had 34 points in the paint, six more than the Cardinals.
Buffalo 66, Central Michigan 62
MOUNT PLEASANT, MI - It wasn't a masterpiece, but then again winning at a venue where no current players have experienced a win is no easy feat.
The University at Buffalo men's basketball team fought through that to defeat Central Michigan (7-16, 2-8 MAC), 66-62, at McGuirk Arena on Wednesday night to extend its winning streak to seven and win a program-record fourth straight conference road game. Javon McCrea recorded a double-double to lead the way.
The Bulls (15-6, 8-2 MAC) ran out to an 11-point lead in the first half thanks to the hot hand of Zach Filzen, who responded after a 1-9 effort against Toledo with four threes in the first half to lead all scorers with 12. Auraum Nuiriankh also chipped in a pair of long-distance bombs for six of his 11 total points.
"Central played a combination of zone and box-and-1 against Zach and he was able to make some three along with some other guys," said head coach Reggie Witherspoon. "Then they switched to man-to-man and I think after a while we were able to find holes in that but it took us out of our rhythm."
For the second straight game, the frontcourt depth was tested by foul troubles. This time the victims were Mitchell Watt and Titus Robinson, who only managed six and nine minutes, respectively. Cam Downing again entered and provided a lift, and Xavier Ford skyed for three rebounds in his four minutes of relief off the bench.
Thanks to a hot half from downtown, UB was able to overcome a sluggish 1-8 from the free throw line and 6-15 performance from inside the three-point line. Taking a 34-23 lead into the locker room, the Bulls were forced to change up their style due to a Central Michigan team that found a new fire coming into the final frame.
After a Watt layup to open the half, Central came out with a 7-0 run to make the score 36-30. The two teams traded baskets before another Watt jumper gave Buffalo a 42-32 lead. Central again made a strong run, going on a 12-2 spurt thanks to two three pointers from Austin Keel that knotted the score at 44 at the 9:58 mark. The teams then traded off streaks again, with UB taking an 11-0 run thanks to two Nuiriankh three pointers and the Chips responding yet again coming off the mat with a 10-0 run to make the score 57-56 in Buffalo's favor with just 3:45 to play.
"We were able to go inside more in the second half but we didn't do it with enough rhythm to sustain it," Witherspoon said. "Defensively we were OK but we didn't have energy, the energy we really needed to close things out and put some distance on them."
With the team's back up against the wall, McCrea dished out a perfect pass to Watt for an "and-one" dunk that padded the Bulls lead, and the Chips would get no closer than four points for the rest of the way. Buffalo's rebounding dominance carried over from the Toledo game as it claimed a 48-27 advantage on the glass. The team's 14 offensive rebounds led to 18 second-chance points. McCrea's 16 points (on 7-11 shooting) and 10 rebounds gave him his third double double of the conference season. Watt pitched in 12 second-half points and seven rebounds while Jarod Oldham had three points, six assists and eight rebounds.
Kent State 62, Eastern Michigan 58
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — Kent State's Randal Holt hit a three pointer from the top left of the arc to give the Golden Flashes a 59-58 lead with 23.5 seconds left and the Golden Flashes would added three free throws to hand the Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team a 62-58 loss here Wednesday, Feb. 8, evening in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional game in the Convocation Center.
With the score knotted at 56-all, EMU sophomore guard J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider), called on to replace senior guard Darrell Lampley (Linden, N.J.-Linden-Lakeland) who was injured on the previous play, connected on a jumper to put the Eagles up two, 58-56, with 48.7 left. That set up Holt's long three and sealed the game for the Golden Flashes.
Eastern, now 10-14 overall and 5-5 in MAC action, had three players in double figures with Lampley leading the way with 18 points while senior guard Antonio Green (Inkster, Mich.-Dearborn Heights Robichaud) added 12 and junior forward Jamell Harris (Euclid, Ohio-Euclid) chipped in 10.
Senior forward Justin Greene, the MAC Player of the Year in 2011, would lead Kent State with 17 points while senior guard Carlton Guyton added 11 and junior forward Chris Evans totaled 10. The win boosts Kent to 17-6 overall and 7-3 in league play.
Eastern would finish the game making 24-of-54 field-goal attempts for 44.4 percent and the Green and White would connect on 6-of-12 three-point field goals. Kent made 22-of-47 attempts for 46.8 percent from the field and 5-of-18 from beyond the arc for 27.8 percent. The Eagles held a 30-29 rebound edge.
Eastern opened the game with an offensive flurry, racing to a 14-5 lead in the game's first six minutes.
The visitors would slowly slip back into the game, pulling within one, 20-19, on a Green layup with 7:01 left.
After Eastern built its lead back to five, 29-24, on a triple by Quintin Dailey (Las Vegas, Nev.-Sheridan J.C.) at the 4:42 mark, the Golden Flashes would get a layup by Green and Guyton's second straight three-point goal to force a 29-all tie with 3:29 remaining.
The two teams would then trade baskets through the final minutes and Kent would score the final three points of the half to take a 32-31.
Eastern would finish the first half shooting 46.2 percent from the field, making 12-of-26 attempts and 4-of-8 three-point goals while Kent was making 12-of-20 field-goal attempts for 60 percent. The Golden Flashes would also make 3-of-9 triples. Eastern managed a 12-11 advantage on the boards in the first 20 minutes.
Kent ran off the first five points of the second half to take a 34-31 lead, but the Eagles answered that challenge, out-scoring the Flashes, 11-4, to go on top 42-38, with 15:44 left in the second half.
Eastern would keep that four-point lead at 44-40 with 13:52 left on a layup by junior center Matt Balkema (Warren, Mich.-Cousino), but the visitors woul then go on an 8-2 run to grab a 50-46 lead at the 9:47 mark, the last two on a jumper by Eric Gaines.
The home squad would once again find an answer, this time, first on a tip by Balkema and then a triple by Green to tie the game at 54-54 with 5:15 left.
Toledo 77, Ohio 73
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo fought off a frantic Ohio rally on Wednesday evening to knock off their Mid-American Conference East Division counterparts, 77-73, before a lively crowd in Savage Arena. The victory prevented the Bobcats (19-5, 7-3 MAC) from registering their 20th victory and lifted UT’s record to 11-13 overall and 3-7 in the MAC.
Sophomore G Rian Pearson and sophomore F Matt Smith paced the Rockets offensively with 18 points apiece with junior G Curtis Dennis and freshman G Julius Brown joining them in double figures with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Pearson also spearheaded a dominant effort on the glass that led to UT owning a 43-32 rebounding advantage with a career-high 16 boards, including nine of the Rockets’ season-high 20 offensive caroms.
Junior G D.J. Cooper paced the Bobcats with 18 points and game-high five assists.
The visitors opened the contest on fire, scoring the game’s first 15 points but UT began to chip away and utilized a 19-2 spurt to take a 31-28 advantage on a pair of Dennis free throws just over three minutes before halftime.
Sophomore G Reese Holliday’s layup at the buzzer provided the Rockets a 38-34 lead at intermission.
UT carried its momentum into the second stanza and Smith’s back-to-back buckets gave the Midnight Blue and Gold its first double-digit lead, 49-38, with 14:29 to play.
The Rockets were able to maintain a comfortable cushion until Cooper’s eight straight points gave Ohio a 72-71 advantage with 1:35 remaining. Dennis answered with a three-point play on UT’s next possession though for a 75-73 lead at the 1:08 mark setting the stage for a climactic ending.
Junior F Ivo Baltic misfired on a jumper on the Bobcats’ ensuing possession, but UT came up empty as well when a Dennis trey rimmed out. Cooper then launched a deep three that missed with six seconds remaining, but Holliday traveled after the Rockets grabbed the rebound.
Cooper’s in-bounds pass then went of bounds with 2.2 seconds left, and Smith’s two free throws secured the victory.
Northern Illinois 62, Miami 59
DEKALB, Ill. -- Trailing by as many as 10 points in the second half, the Northern Illinois men’s basketball team used a 21-8 run to close the game to earn a 62-59 victory over Miami University on Wednesday night at the NIU Convocation Center.
Senior forward Tyler Storm (Geneseo, Ill./Geneseo) scored a career-best 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the three-point arc. Sophomore forward Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) added 12 points, a game-high nine rebounds and a team-best four assists while freshman guard Stian Berg (Baerum, Norway/Norges Toppidretts Gymnas) chipped in 11 points in 36 minutes of action.
“It was probably the best two halves of basketball we have played all year,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “Guys made big plays, we had to show resiliency after getting down 10 in the second half. Tyler Storm started it, we missed a lot of shots but we grabbed offensive rebounds and converted tip-ins. No matter what, the staples of this program are going to be rebounding and defense, we had 16 offensive rebounds and we made them count.”
A triple by Miami’s Jon Harris, one of five threes for Harris on the night, gave the RedHawks a 51-41 lead just past the midway point of the second half, but that’s when the NIU comeback began.
A tip-in and a trifecta from Storm, followed by a tip-in from Bolin, quickly cut the Miami lead to just three, 51-48. Following another Miami triple, Bolin had another put-back and a free throw and junior guard Tony Nixon (South Holland, Ill./Seton Academy) added a tip-in to cut the lead to one, 54-53, with 4:42 to play.
Nixon finished with six points and five rebounds.
Miami responded with a basket to regain a three-point lead before Storm scored and Bolin knocked down a triple to give NIU a 58-56 lead with two-and-a-half minutes left.
Neither team scored for the next 90 seconds until a pair of free throws by Miami’s Quinten Rollins tied the game at 58.
On the next possession, Berg drove baseline and threw in a circus up-and-under layup to put NIU up 60-58 with 39 seconds to play.
“Tyler (Storm) set a good ball screen, they had to switch and I had (Julian) Mavunga on me, so I was trying to draw a foul (on the drive),” said Berg of his layup. “I was seeking contact and I just threw it up and it went in.”
Miami split a pair of free throws and Berg made a pair to put NIU up by three with 2.5 seconds left. On the final possession, Miami got the ball to midcourt and appeared to send the game to overtime with a triple at the buzzer, but upon review the shot was after the horn and the Huskies claimed the victory.
NIU shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) in the second half while holding Miami to just 36 percent (9-of-25) shooting. The Huskies converted 25 second chance points in the contest, holding the RedHawks to just 12 second chance points. The NIU bench outscored its Miami counterpart, 35-11.
Julian Mavunga and Harris led Miami with 15 points, Mavunga was held to just two rebounds in the contest, he came in averaging a league-best 10.1 boards per game.
Even at 22 with five minutes left in the first half, Miami scored five-straight to open up a 27-22 advantage before NIU finished the half with an 8-2 burst to take a 30-29 lead into the intermission.
Freshman forward Keith Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy) opened the second half with a pair of free throws before Miami used a 15-2 run to take a 44-34 lead with just over 14 minutes left. The RedHawks lead hung around 10 for the next five minutes until NIU went on its game-winning run.