FirstEnergy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament Central
FirstEnergy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket
Monday, March 5, 2012
First Round ( High Seed Campus Sites)
Game 1: No. 12 Northern Ill. at No. 5 Eastern Mich., 7 p.m.
Game 2: No. 9 Ball State at No. 8 Western Michigan, 7 p.m.
Game 3: No. 10 Miami at No. 7 Toledo, 7 p.m.
Game 4: No. 11 Central Mich. at No. 6 BGSU, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 (Quicken Loans Arena)
Second Round (Games on STO)
Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 7 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8, 2012 (Quicken Loans Arena)
Quarterfinals (Games on STO)
Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. No. 4 Kent State, 7 p.m.
Game 8: Game 6 Winner vs. No. 3 Ohio, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, March 9, 2012 (Quicken Loans Arena)
Semifinals (Games on STO)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. No. 1 Akron, 7 p.m.
Game 10: Game 8 winner vs. No. 2 Buffalo, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 10, 2012 (Quicken Loans Arena)
Game 11: Championship Game, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Toledo 76, Eastern Michigan 51
Ball State 62, Northern Illinois 51
Ohio 63, Miami 54
Buffalo vs. Bowling Green, 6 p.m. (STO)
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Toledo 76, Eastern Michigan 51
TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo wrapped up its regular season in impressive fashion on Saturday afternoon as the Rockets rolled to a 76-51 triumph over MAC West Division champion Eastern Michigan (14-17, 9-7 MAC) in Savage Arena.
The victory gave UT (16-15, 7-9 MAC) sole possession of second place in the West Division, and the Rockets will be the No. 7 seed in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament. Toledo will host No. 10 seed Miami in a first-round game on Monday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. in Savage Arena. Tickets will be on sale in the Savage Arena Ticket Office and by calling (419) 530-GOLD from Noon-3:00 p.m. on Sunday and all day Monday.
Sophomore G Rian Pearson spearheaded the Rockets’ attack with a game-high 27 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Junior G Curtis Dennis also played a key role for UT by notching career highs with 21 points and seven rebounds in his first start of the season. Junior G Dominique Buckley also was in double figures with 11 points and dished out five assists. Buckley combined with freshman G Julius Brown (6 asst., 1 turnover) for an impressive 11-assist, one turnover performance.
The Rockets connected on 24-of-52 field-goal attempts for 46.2 percent, made 19-of-26 free throws for 73.1 percent and won the battle of the boards, 41-37, on the way to the victory.
UT produced a strong defensive effort as well, limiting the Eagles to a 31.3 FG% and a 3-for-20 effort from behind the three-point arc.
Senior guard Darrell Lampley led EMU with 13 points.
The two teams traded baskets in the early going, before the Rockets broke a 12-12 deadlock with nine straight points. Pearson keyed the explosion with seven of his 17 first-half points.
The visitors then clawed their way back into the contest at 25-22 with 5:33 remaining, but Dennis and sophomore F Matt Smith (8 pts, 6 reb.) combined to score eight straight points to propel the Rockets to a 35-25 halftime advantage.
Toledo put away any hopes of an Eagle comeback with a 9-2 burst to open the second half highlighted by Pearson’s breakaway dunk with 17:32 left. The Rockets’ lead never dipped below 14 points the remainder of the contest.
Ball State 62, Northern Illinois 51
MUNCIE, Ind. – Sophomore guard Jesse Berry (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) tied a career-high with five second-half three pointers to help the Ball State men’s basketball team out-score Northern Illinois 35-10 in the final 16 minutes of a 62-51 Mid-American Conference West Division victory at Worthen Arena Saturday afternoon.
“Senior day is an emotional day and we didn’t get off to a great start, but our bench came in and amped up the energy,” head coach Billy Taylor said. “It started with Matt Kamieniecki and his energy running the floor making hustle plays then Jauwan Scaife and Jesse Berry took turns igniting our offense. Once Jesse caught fire in the second half, we were able to ride that wave of enthusiasm to victory.”
The Cardinals close out the 2012 regular season with a 15-14 (6-10 MAC) record to earn the ninth seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament and will travel to eighth-seeded Western Michigan Monday for the opening round. The Huskies fall to 4-25 (3-13 MAC) and will battle to an opponent yet to be determined.
Berry led all players in scoring, racking up 19 total points thanks in part to a 5-for-9 effort from behind the arc. Of his 19 points, 16 came in the second half, including 13 straight at one point in the game.
With the Cardinals trailing by 12-points (39-27) at the 16:30 mark of the second half, a three-point bucket from senior guard Randy Davis (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) sparked one of the biggest runs of the season, as Ball State rattled off 14-straight to take a 41-39 advantage.
The Huskies would reclaim the lead briefly with the next five points, but a lay-up from senior forward Jarrod Jones (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) and four straight trifectas from Berry gave Ball State control of the game.
In celebrating senior night, Jones finished the game with 11 points, seven rebounds, a block and a steal. Classmate Davis chipped in five points, four assists, three steals and a pair of boards. In his final home game, senior Pierre Sneed (Chicago, Ill./Simeon) tallied two points, two rebounds and an assist.
The game also marked the final home game in the illustrious 56-year career of the Voice of the Cardinals, Morry Mannies. Mannies has called the Cardinals’ games on 104.1 WLBC FM since 1956 for both men’s basketball and football. Ball State honored him at halftime and raised a banner into the rafters of Worthen Arena commemorating his legacy.
For the game, the Cardinals shot 39.6 (21-of-53) percent from the field, including a 36.0 (9-of-25) effort from three-point range. The Huskies hit 40.0 (18-of-45) percent of their shots, including a 47.6 (10-of-21). However, BSU was able to out-score the Huskies 23-11 off turnovers to help claim the win.
Northern Illinois jumped out to an early lead opening to a 14-5 run just six minutes into the game. The Huskies hit their first two three-pointers of the game on their way to 6-of-11 (54.5%) shooting from long range in the first half.
The Cardinals slowed the tide with a 7-2 run that was ignited by Berry converting an old-fashioned three-point play. Ball State pulled within three points at 25-25 as junior guard Jauwan Scaife (Muncie, Ind./Muncie Central) three straight from distance. Northern Illinois closed the half on a 7-2 run to take a 32-24 lead into the locker room.
Ball State connected on just 36.0 percent (9-of-25) from the field in the first half and just 25 percent (3-of-12) from long range. Northern Illinois connected on 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from the field and hit a staggering 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from long range in the opening frame.
Northern Illinois opened the second half with a three-pointer and extended the lead up to 39-27 with 16:30 left in the game. The Cardinals responded with 14 unanswered points to take a 41-39 lead. Davis started the run with a three pointer while freshman forward Aaron Adeoye (Marion, Ill./Marion) scored five points in the spurt to swing the momentum the Cardinals’ way.
The Huskies slowed the run with five straight points before the Cardinals sealed the victory with a 21-3 run on the back of Berry. He scored 16 points in the span of 5:13 of the second half as he hit five straight three-pointers against the Huskies.
Ball State connected on 42.9 percent (12-of-28) in the second half and hit 6-of-13 (46.2%) from long range as it out-scored the Huskies 38-19.
The Cardinals begin the 2012 MAC Tournament in Kalamazoo, Mich., where they face the Western Michigan Broncos in the rubber match of the season after the teams split the season series. Ball State posted a 78-69 victory in Muncie while the Broncos recorded a 78-61 victory in Kalamazoo. The Cardinals are 4-1 all-time against Western Michigan in MAC Tournament history but Monday’s meeting will be the first against WMU in the postseason since 1993.
Ohio 63, Miami 54
ATHENS, Ohio - D.J. Cooper broke Ohio’s all-time assists mark and Jon Smith had a career-best showing as the Bobcats improved to 24-7 and locked up at least a bye in the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament with a 63-54 win at Miami this afternoon.
Cooper scored an efficient 14 points, had five steals, four rebounds and four assists. His record-breaking dime came on a fast break give to T.J. Hall with 5:07 in the first half.
Cooper broke Dennis Whitaker’s mark of 651 assists that had stood since 1990. Cooper already owns Ohio’s top two single-season marks (263 in 10-11, 218 in 2009-10).
His 249 steals currently rank him second all-time to Sonny Troutman’s Ohio record, 259. Cooper also owns the single-season mark in that category (93 in 2009-10).
Jon Smith finished with a career-high 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting. The redshirt sophomore also led the Bobcats with seven rebounds. Nick Kellogg reached double figures for the fourth game in a row as he contributed 10 points and three steals.
Trailing 4-3, Ohio went on a 7-0 run capped by a Ricardo Johnson jumper to take a lead it would not relinquish.
Up 14-8, the ‘Cats went on a 6-0 run to take the lead to double digits for the first time. Ivo Baltic knocked down two jumpers and would eventually finish with all eight of his points in the first stanza.
Ohio led by 11 before Miami cut the deficit to four over the final 5:09 of the first half. The Bobcats shot 52 percent from the floor and went into the lockers ahead 28-24. Baltic led all scorers and each team turned the ball over 11 times.
Leading by six with 11:32 showing on the clock, Ohio doubled its lead over the next four and a half minutes. A traditional three-point play by Smith gave the ‘Cats a 50-38 lead with just under seven minutes to play.
Miami would not go away as it went on a 10-2 run to close the gap to four after a layup by Quinten Rollins with 2:22 showing. Free throws by Cooper, Johnson and Walter Offutt would follow as Ohio stretched the lead back to nine with seconds remaining.
Ohio will now play in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals as the No. 3 seed on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. or in the semifinals on Friday, also at 9:30 p.m., but as the No. 2 seed. The outcome of tonight’s Bowling Green-Buffalo game will decide the time and date of Ohio’s contest.
Buffalo 68, Bowling Green 64
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men’s basketball rallied from nine points down midway through the second half to beat Bowling Green, 68-64, on Senior Night at Alumni Arena Saturday night. With the win, the Bulls earned the second seed and an automatic spot in the semifinals of the upcoming FirstEnergy Mid-American Conference Tournament.
MAC Player of the Year candidate Mitchell Watt led the Bulls with a team-high 20 points, 14 of which came in the game’s final 15 minutes. Javon McCrea added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
“What a game. There were so many times in the game when it looked like something was going to happen and the other thing happened,” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “I thought our guys did a great job of persevering through some adversity and I thought [Bowling Green] did as well.”
Buffalo (19-9, 12-4 MAC) trailed for most of the first half and was behind 31-30 at the break. Bowling Green built its lead to 53-44 with 9:04 remaining and hopes for a second seed in the MAC Tournament looked grim. However, the Bulls responded with a 16-2 scoring run and a Javon McCrea layup gave the Bulls a 60-55 lead, their largest of the game.
The Falcons didn’t go away quietly and went on a 9-1 scoring run of their own to regain a 64-61 lead with 1:34 left. Watt hit back-to-back jumpers to put the Bulls ahead, 65-64, with 35 seconds left. On his second jumper, the senior forward was fouled. He missed the free throw, but fellow senior Dave Barnett swooped in for the rebound and got the ball to Jarod Oldham. Oldham was fouled and made one free throw to give the Bulls a 66-64 lead with 30 seconds left.
Bowling Green had a couple cracks at tying the game, but Titus Robinson finally grabbed the rebound and was fouled with three seconds remaining. He calmly made both free throws to seal the win for UB.
Robinson was one of four seniors playing in the final home games of their careers and all four played key roles in the comeback. Robinson scored six of his eight points in the second half. Zach Filzen knocked down three three-pointers to finish with nine points. Barnett had eight points, six rebounds and three assists.
But the night belonged to Watt. After shrugging of a sluggish start, Watt scored 11 of the Bulls’ final 22 points, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field down the stretch. His free throw with 2:05 remaining made him the 17th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
Buffalo shot 65 percent from the field in the second half, marking the third straight game the Bulls shot 63 percent or better in the second half.
Buffalo has earned its highest ever seed in the MAC Tournament and will play a semifinal contest on Friday night at 9:30 pm.