Thursday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 12/20/2012


Thursday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Kent State 77, St. Francis (Pa.) 48
Central Michigan 92, Texas State 80
Michigan 93, Eastern Michigan 54
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Kent State 77, St. Francis (Pa.) 48
Kent State got back on the winning track with a 77-48 victory over Saint Francis on Thursday night at the M.A.C. Center.
Chris Evans' 17 points and nine-rebounds paced the Golden Flashes, who ended a three-game losing streak that seemed to last forever due to an 11-day layoff for finals. The last win for Kent State was back on Nov. 28 at Youngstown State.
"It had been a long time in terms of days," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff, whose team improved to 6-5 on the season. "It felt like an eternity since we had a good feeling. So it was great to get a win and now we have to come back in two days and get another before Christmas Break."
The Golden Flashes will host Arkansas State (6-4) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center.
"We come back after winning by a pretty good margin, and we want to come back with the same defensive intensity and sharing the ball the way we did tonight," said Evans, who comverted 6-of-8 shots and narrowly missed his third double-double of the season. "If we do those things again, we'll come out with a win."
After shooting a combined 34-percent from the field in their three consecutive losses, the Golden Flashes spent the last 11 days working on ball movement as Senderoff tried to inspiring a desire to share the ball. The result was 15 assists on 23 made baskets and an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than two-to-one (15-7)
"What happens is when you stop trying to make up with individual plays, you end up with fewer turnovers," said Senderoff.
Returning to the starting point guard job for the first time since Nov. 18, Kris Brewer accounted for five of Kent State's assists while turning the ball over just once. He was also perfect on three shots from the field, including two threes on his way to 13 points.
"Tonight was the night that's going to get me going for Saturday and future games," said Brewer. "Coach wanted us to pass the ball and be unselfish. It's all we worked on in practice, sharing the ball … That helped us get back on our feet. This win really helps us."
Defense was the other focus in practice during the break for exams. That extra work showed as well as Kent State held Saint Francis without a field goal until Ronnie Drinnion flipped in a layup with 9:39 to play in the first half. The Golden Flashes led 23-1 before the Red Storm ended that 10-plus minute drought.
The 48 points scored by Saint Francis (0-10) were the fewest by a Kent State opponent this season, and by 12 points.
Earl Bown came off the bench to lead the Red Storm with 17 points while point guard Umar Shannon added 12.
Eleven different Golden Flashes reached the scoring column, including Bryson Pope who scored nine off the bench. Randal Holt and Mark Henniger finishied with eight points each. 
Darren Goodson only scored two points, but he was a big contributor to Kent State's ball movement on offense and its hard work on defense. Goodson finished with three assists and no turnovers from the power forward position. He also added a blocked shot and a steel on defense. Like Brewer, Goodson made his first start since Nov. 18.
Kent State outscored Saint Francis 29-4 off of turnovers, 15-2 on second-chance points and 10-5 on the fast break.
The only downside to the Golden Flashes' night was Saint Francis' 33-30 advantage on the glass.
"The team we play on Saturday is very, very good and we will have to play even better than we did tonight," said Senderoff. "We'll have to play better especially on the glass because Arkansas State is very big and physical." 
Central Michigan 92, Texas State 80
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The offense continues to rise for a Central Michigan team that has produced season-high scoring efforts in back-to-back wins, this time a 92-80 victory at home over Texas State to reach six wins faster than any season since 2004-05.
A nine-point deficit with 2:25 remaining in the half was erased by eight straight points from Austin Keel and Olivier Mbaigoto to pull the Chippewas (6-4) within one, 40-39 with 34 seconds left. Finis Craddock then stole the inbounds pass under his own basket allowing the Chippewas to hold for the final shot which Kyle Randall sunk from long range to give Central a 42-40 lead going into the break.
The Bobcats (4-8) managed a 47-44 lead in the first three and a half minutes of the second half but it was the last time they would lead as the Chippewas responded with a 10-2 run over the next two minutes to go up five, 54-49.
They could not gain a double-digit lead until the final two minutes as the Bobcats came within two, 59-57, at the 11:55 mark, and within one, 67-66, with 7:10 remaining. Up five, 77-72, with four minutes to go, another Randall three sparked a 6-0 run that all but sealed their third win at home in four tries.
The season-high 92 points came on a season-best 53.7 percent (29-54) shooting night, and included 20 assists on their 29 baskets. The Chippewas got to the free throw line a season-high 31 times and converted 23 (74.2%) and limited the Bobcats' opportunities to just 10.
Three Chippewas scored in double-figures - Randall who had 18 points and shot 8-for-8 from the line, John Simons who scored 17 on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, and Austin Keel who also had 17, a new career high.
The 92 points is the most since scoring 100 in a double-overtime game against Buffalo in February 2008. It is the most in regulation against a Division I opponent since 2003 (March 14 vs. Northern Illinois, 94-72).
Michigan 93, Eastern Michigan 54
ANN ARBOR, Mich. ( — The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team's bid to knock off a second-straight Big Ten Conference opponent fell short in a 93-54 loss to the No. 2-ranked University of Michigan Thursday evening, Dec. 20, at the Crisler Center.
The Eagles (6-4) held the lead early on a pair of three-pointers by freshman Jalen Ross (Greensboro, N.C.-Greensboro Day) and redshirt junior Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy), but a fast-paced Wolverines' (12-0) offense quickly turned the tables and owned the lead for the remainder of the contest.
Redshirt junior Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio-St. Vincent St. Mary) tallied 13 points on the evening and Bryant knocked down 10 to lead the Eagles offensively. Ross' nine points were good for a career high and sophomore Antoine Chandler's (Windsor, Ontario-W.F. Herman) eight points set a personal best as well.
Overall, the Green and White went 22-of-62 (35.5 percent) including a 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) performance from beyond the arc. EMU went to the line just six times in the game, converting three.
For Michigan, Tim Hardaway, Jr. led the way with 17 points and was one-of-five Wolverines to hit double figures. Mitch McGary turned in a double-double effort with 10 points and 11 boards. U-M shots a blistering 50.7 percent (35-of-69) from the floor and was just as efficient from long range, going 12-of-24 (50.0 percent).
Trey Burke opened the scoring for Michigan off an EMU turnover, but Ross answered with a trey of his own and Bryant did the same in back-to-back possessions to put the Eagles ahead, 6-2, less than two minutes in.
But a rash of turnovers and missed shots combined with stealthy play in transition by the Wolverines allowed Michigan take an 18-6 lead as Head Coach Rob Murphy called his second timeout of the half with 12:45 showing. U-M would string together 20 consecutive points before a Thompson jumper snapped EMU's skid at the 10:40 mark and made it 22-10 for the home team.
A Bryant block led to a fast-break jumper by Ross with 3:19 to go and cut U-M's lead to 37-20. Another make by Ross and one from redshirt junior J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider) before halftime made it a 16-point EMU deficit, 40-24, after 20 minutes.
Ross led all EMU scorers at the break with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting with one long-range bucket. As a team, the Eagles shot 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) and 3-of-10 (30.0 percent) from beyond the arc. Despite their opponent's 40-point output, the Eagles managed six blocks with three credited to junior Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day), two to Bryant and one to senior Jamell Harris (Euclid, Ohio-Euclid).
Burke paced the Wolverines with 11 points as Michigan completed the first half 16-of-36 (44.4 percent) overall with a 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) effort from three-point range.
The storyline remained the same in the second half, with EMU keeping pace, 49-32, following a Bryant three-pointer. Glenn Robinson III's and-one layup and McGary's fast-break bucket promptly nullified EMU's short rally and gave UM its largest lead of the evening to that point, 54-32, with 14:15 left.  
Chandler chimed in with his first points of the game off a three-point basket and Harrison filled a layup and his free throw to bring EMU back to within 19, 64-45, at the 8:46 mark.
The Green and White were unable to come any closer to pulling off an upset, as Michigan complied a 29-9 run over the final eight minutes of play to cruise to the 39-point victory, 93-54.
The Eagles head back to Ypsilanti to start a two-game home swing Saturday, Dec. 22, with a matchup against Siena Heights. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center.