Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 11/28/2012

Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Ohio 69, St. Bonaventure 64
Kent State 85, Youngstown State 78
Toledo 80, Texas A&M CC 68
Temple 54, Buffalo 39
Cleveland State 69, Ball State 63
Bradley 82, Central Michigan 65

Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Ohio 69, St. Bonaventure 64
ATHENS, Ohio - Senior point guard D.J. Cooper scored five of his team-high 16 points in the final 40 seconds to lead the Ohio University men's basketball team (6-0) to a 69-64 victory over St. Bonaventure Wednesday night at the Convocation Center.
Cooper's (Chicago, Ill.) five-point spurt down the stretch could not have come at a better time. His 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining put the Bobcats up 66-64. He then stepped up to the free throw line and knocked down a pair of clutch shots from the charity stripe with 19 seconds remaining to secure the `Cats win over the Bonnies.
In addition, Cooper dished out eight assists, which marked his second highest single game total he has posted this season.
Fellow senior Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.) also reached double figures as he scored 14 points, going 4-of-8 from the 3-point line. Junior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) finished with 13 points after he connected on 5-of-12 shooting from the field.
Senior forward Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.) pulled down a team-high six rebounds, while junior Jon Smith (Columbus, Ohio) tallied a game-high four blocks. Ohio was outrebounded 34-27 by St. Bonaventure as a team, but the Bonnies were forced into 20 turnovers, while the Bobcats had just 13 turnovers.
With the win, Ohio captured its 15th-consecutive win at home, however the `Cats streak of eight straight games with 70 points or more was snapped.
Ohio led for most of the first half, but no team lead by more than five points. That all changed at the 1:47 mark of the first half as the Bobcats went up by seven. Ohio held St. Bonaventure to just one point for the final three minutes of the first half to take a 37-29 lead into the locker room.
Offutt led all scorers at the break with 11 points, while Cooper poured in eight.
In the second half, Ohio increased its lead to as many as 11 points (18:27) and appeared to be on its way to another double-digit victory, but the Bonnies fought back and cut the Bobcats' lead to one with 9:18 (53-52) to play.
Less than three minutes later, the Bonnies took a three-point lead (56-53) with 6:52 to play. In the final four minutes, Ohio outscored SBU 10-3 to secure the win.
When it was all said and done, Ohio's matchup with St. Bonaventure featured seven ties and 15 lead changes.
The Ohio University men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday as it travels to Robert Morris. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday's matchup can be heard for free on "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Peoples Bank Ohio IMG Sports Network.
Kent State 85, Youngstown State 78
YOUNGSTOWN – Chris Evans scored 24 and Randal Holt hit several clutch baskets on his way to a 21-point night as Kent State held off Youngstown State 85-78 in overtime at the Beeghly Center on Wednesday.
The win put the finishing touches on a perfect 2-0 road trip that was the first venture away from home for seven players on the young Golden Flashes roster. 
"This was a big win for us on the road," said Kent State coach Rob Senderoff. "We had contributions from every guy who stepped on the floor. It's not easy to win on the road, so this is one our guys should be very proud to get.
"We are young, but I think our guys are starting to understand that as long as they play together and put winning above everything else, we have a chance to do some very good things this season."
While every Kent State player who saw the floor had a hand in the win, the team's senior duo paved the way to victory. Evans finished with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds in his 39 minutes. Holt, meanwhile, hit a string of clutch shots in the second half and overtime. No shot was bigger than his NBA three with 3:18 to play in extra session to put the Golden Flashes ahead for good.
"Those two seniors have been great all year," said Senderoff. "They've led the way and everyone else has followed. Their leadership has just been fantastic, as has their play."
Holt shot just 7-for-17 from the field, but converted 5-of-9 from three-point range. He was ready and willing to take the tough shots when the game was up for grabs.
"I've ways said that if you don't believe your are going to make the shot, you won't make it," said Holt. "I believe … We knew this was going to be a tough game. We knew Youngstown State was a great offensive team with a lot of scorers. So we tried to come in and grind one out."
Kendrick Perry led Youngstown State with 26 points. Point guard Blake Allen added 12. Kent State held the Penguins dangerous backcourt duo to a combined 37-percent from the field (12-for-32). Damian Eargle finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds inside for Youngstown State.
Melvin Tabb gave Kent State its own lift under the basket during a 15-point, seven-rebound night in 24 minutes off of the Kent State bench. The 6-foot-9 post converted 6-of-9 from the field and made all of his three free throws.
After trailing 36-34 at the half, Kent State took an eight point lead early in the second half with an 11-3 run that ended with one of Holt's long threes. The Penguins battled back to push the game into overtime at 68-68.
Following road wins at Nebraska and Youngstown State, the Golden Flashes will return home with a 5-2 record when they face Princeton at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Toledo 80, Texas A&M CC 68
TOLEDO, OH - Junior G Rian Pearson poured in a career-high 30 points and Toledo (2-4) pulled out an 80-68 triumph over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1-4) in its home opener on Wednesday evening in Savage Arena.
Pearson, who registered career bests with 16 free throws and 20 free-throw attempts, tallied 18 points in the first half and took just one shot in the second stanza. He took over the Mid-American Conference's scoring lead and is now averaging 19.8 ppg.
Joining Pearson in double digits were sophomore G Julius Brown (16 pts., team-high six assists) and junior F Reese Holliday (season-high 12 pts., team-high eight rebounds).
Holliday also was a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe and helped the Rockets sink a season-best 35 free throws in 46 attempts. A total of 59 fouls were called in the contest with 34 being whistled on the Islanders. 
Sophomore G Johnathan Jordan topped the Islanders offensively with 22 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. UT limited Corpus Christi's leading scorer Will Nelson to eight points, nearly 10 points below his scoring average.
The Rockets shot 41.7 percent for the game, including a 53.3 mark in the first half. UT more than made up for its 22.2 FG% in the final 20 minutes by sinking 27-of-34 attempts from the free-throw line.
Toledo took control midway through the first half with a 14-3 run to take a 24-12 advantage at the 9:37 mark. The Rockets maintained control the rest of the period and took a 44-30 lead into intermission.
UT scored five quick points to open the second half on junior F Matt Smith's three-point bomb and freshman C Nathan Boothe's jumper and extended it to 59-37 following a pair of Holliday free throws with 12:22 remaining.
The Islanders whittled away at Toledo's lead and reduced their deficit to single digits  at 69-60 with 5:04 to play. UT hit nine-of-10 free throws down the stretch thought to end any hopes of a Corpus Christi comeback. 
Toledo returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 1 with a road tilt at Cleveland State (5-2). Tip-off time form the Wolstein Center is set for 2:00 p.m.
Temple 54, Buffalo 39
BUFFALO, NY – In a game in which both teams struggled mightily offensively, Temple was able to defeat Buffalo, 54-39, at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night. The Bulls were held to their lowest point total since 2003.
For as poorly as they shot the ball from the field, the Bulls played solid defense to remain in the game for most of the night. Buffalo held the Owls to 54 points on 35 percent shooting – both season lows. Temple was averaging 79 points per game entering Wednesday night's contest.
Buffalo (2-6) was led by Javon McCrea who had a game-high 14 points and Will Regan who notched nine. Tony Watson added five points and Cameron Downing finished with four points for UB.
Temple (4-0) jumped out to a 13-2 lead and never trailed in the game. An Auraum Nuiriankh three-pointer cut the Temple advantage to 16-8 with 7:40 left in the first half. But the Bulls would get no closer as Temple built its lead to 31-16 at the half.
Buffalo held Temple to just two points over the first seven-plus minutes of the second half, but could only cut the lead to 11 points.  Each team scored 23 second-half points.
"The game obviously wasn't a beauty contest," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "I thought they were more physical than we were. We're not operating in a way where we are physically confronting our opponent. They did. They stepped up and were a very physical team."
While most of the statistics were even for both teams, one major discrepancy came at the free throw line. Temple converted 15-of-18 free throws while UB was just 2-of-3 from the charity stripe.
Buffalo will next play at St. Bonaventure on Saturday night
Cleveland State 69, Ball State 63
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Junior guard Jesse Berry scored a career-high 28 points Wednesday night, but the Ball State men's basketball team saw Cleveland State come from behind to hand the Cardinals a 69-63 loss at Worthen Arena.
Ball State got off to a hot start but could not overcome struggles on the offensive glass and a long field-goal drought in the second half, falling to 2-3 on the season. Cleveland State, after eight days of preparation since its last game, improved to 5-2 on the year.
Cleveland State guard Bryn Forbes led three-double figure scorers for the Vikings with 18 points, all of which came in the second half. Backcourt mate Charlie Lee added 16 points and forward Devon Long finished with 10.
Berry, whose previous career-high was 25 points, connected on 8-of-16 shots from the floor, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, and made good on 8-of-11 free throw attempts. He hit his first four shots and scored 10 points in the game's opening nine minutes.
His hot shooting helped Ball State come out of the gate quickly. The Cardinals made eight of their first 11 shots as a team and led by as many as 12 points early at 18-6.
But Cleveland State clawed its way back by generating takeaways and attacking the boards. The Vikings forced 19 turnovers in the game and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. They out-scored Ball State in second-chance points by a 19-6 margin.
Ball State's lead shrunk as its shooting cooled off, and Cleveland State trimmed the Cardinals' advantage to 34-30 at halftime.
"I thought the game down to two areas for us, our inability to get defensive rebounds and our turnovers," Ball State head coach Billy Taylor said. "Especially when we had a lead in the first half, I thought we did a poor job handling the basketball.
"Our turnovers led to run-outs for them, so when they were struggling to score, we gave them too many free runs at the basket."
Ball State got off to a strong start again in the second half and held a seven-point lead at 49-42 following a layup from Bo Calhoun with 12:16 to play.
But although the Cardinals continued to pick up a few points at the foul line, Calhoun's basket was the last Ball State field goal for nearly 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, Cleveland State began to heat up. The Vikings hit seven of their next 12 shots from that point, including three second-chance baskets. They went on a 20-4 run that turned their seven-point deficit into a 62-53 lead.
Ball State managed to get back within four on a 3-pointer from Berry with 11 seconds left in the game, but the Cardinals could get no closer.
Junior forward Chris Bond joined Berry in double figures for Ball State with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Cleveland State utilized some match-up zone and box-and-one defensive principles. They limited the touches of Ball State's leading scorer, Majok Majok, holding him to eight points on 3-of-6 shooting. Majok, who entered the game averaging 15.3 points, had a team-high eight rebounds.
"We didn't consistently do a good job of punching the gaps and getting the ball where we needed to get it against that defense," Taylor said. "When we look at the film, we're going to see a lot of opportunities where we just weren't strong with the basketball and didn't look to attack."
Ball State returns to action Saturday with a short trip to in-state rival Butler. The Cardinals and Bulldogs are scheduled to tip at 2 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Bradley 82, Central Michigan 65
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan had little answer for Bradley's inside scoring game as the Braves tallied 80 percent of their points in the paint to hand the Chippewas an 82-65 loss on their home court.
The Braves (5-1) scored 34 of their 40 first-half points in the lane and led by as many as 14. Up 25-11 with 9:32 left, they saw their lead dissipate to five with a 13-4 run by the Chippewas (3-3) over the next 3:22. Buckets on three consecutive possessions brought CMU to within 29-24 with 6:10 left, but the Braves were able to stretch the lead back to double digits and took a 40-29 advantage at the break. They shot 18-of-40 and turned the ball over just twice, while 13 CMU turnovers limited the Chippewas to 10-of-27 shooting.
"The first-half turnovers surprised me because, coming out of Utah, it wasn't something that had been a problem for us," said Central Michigan head coach Keno Davis.
Center Zach Saylor played only seven minutes, missing the entire second half, which allowed Bradley even easier looks at the basket as they shot 67 percent (18-27) after the break to pull away.
"Everyone knows we are thin inside and when Zach goes down we are really thin," said Davis. "I was amazed we out-rebounded them as thin as we were but they got way too many easy buckets."
Kyle Randall poured in a career-high 21 points, including a 9-for-9 performance from the line, and grabbed a team-high five rebounds - an honor he shared with John Simons who added a pair of steals during the second-half full-court press.
Five Braves reached double-figures, led by Tyshon Pickett's 17 points, 13 of which came in the first half.
Additional postgame quotes from head coach Keno Davis:
"I give Bradley a lot of credit. What you saw out them was a very well-coached team, an up-and-coming team in the Missouri Valley, and an experienced team with the majority of their rotation being seniors and juniors and one sophomore."
"Their experience, their physical play, bothered us and took us out of some of the things that have been successful for us."
"I liked our team, even though we did not execute like we need to. The effort was there. Being able to out-rebound an upperclassmen team is something we can look at as a positive, and we can go back to the practice court and try to improve on some of our deficiencies from this game."