Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 12/22/2012

Saturday's MAC Men's Basketall Results
Miami 82, Illinois-Chicago 70
Ohio 93, Maryland-Eastern Shore 57
Western Michigan 87, Mount St. Mary's 66
Kent State 73, Arkansas State 69
Oakland 59, Eastern Michigan 57
Nebraska 89, Central Michigan 75
Washington 67, Northern Illinois 57

Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Miami 82, Illinois-Chicago 70
OXFORD, Ohio-After nearly a month on the road, the Miami University men's basketball team (4-6) returned home to Millett Hall and defeated the Flames from Illinois-Chicago (9-3), 82-70. Sophomore guard Will Sullivan led to way with a career-high 16 points, and three other RedHawks ended up in double figures on the afternoon.
 
Miami jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead, led by back-to-back baskets from junior forward Will Felder, the second coming off of a beautiful pass from junior guard Quinten Rollins. UIC responded with an alley-oop to Josh Crittle, who was then called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Junior guard Allen Roberts sank both of the free throws following Crittle’s foul.
 
Roberts’ freebies were followed by a layup from the Flames’ Hayden Humes. The RedHawks then rattled off a 12-2 scoring run headed by Rollins, who scored seven points in that span. This gave Miami a commanding 20-9 lead at the 11:58 mark.
 
UIC answered back with six straight points of its own to cut the deficit to five, but buckets from freshman guard Geovonie McKnight and junior forward Jon Harris helped Miami’s lead creep back up to nine, 24-15. The RedHawks held their commanding lead for the rest of the half, going into halftime with a 39-28 advantage thanks to a buzzer-beating three from Felder.
 
Felder led all scorers in the first half with nine points and freshman guard Reggie Johnson was close behind with eight. The 11-point halftime lead tied for the largest of the season thus far.
 
Sullivan opened up the scoring in the second half with a 3-pointer, but the Flames scored eight unanswered points to cut the Miami lead to six, 42-36. Another trey from Sullivan increased the lead to nine and gave him nine points on the afternoon, marking a new career high. UIC pulled within six points again thanks to four points from Crittle, but Harris and McKnight led a 7-0 scoring run to put the RedHawks up by 13, 53-40.
 
The Flames answered right back with seven straight points of their own, but Sullivan continued his big game by scoring on consecutive possessions to increase his team’s lead to 10. UIC would not give up, though, and clawed its way back to within seven, 62-55, with just under eight minutes remaining.
 
Despite coming within seven points, the Flames never really came close to reclaiming the lead, and the RedHawks came away victorious, 82-70.
 
Sullivan led all scorers with 16 points, double his previous career high. Harris and Felder each finished with 14 points and freshman guard Reggie Johnson added 12 while also leading the team with five rebounds.
 
UIC had five scorers reach double figures. Gary Talton, the Flames’ leading scorer on the season, ended up with 15 points. Hayen Humes led all players with six rebounds.
 
Miami shot the ball extremely well in the second half, going 14-21 from the field and 5-8 from behind the arc. Harris alone was a perfect 4-4 and made all three of his three point field goal attempts.
 
The RedHawks will be at home for their next three games, including their next matchup on December 30 against Wilmington College. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
 
Ohio 93, Maryland-Eastern Shore 57
ATHENS, Ohio - Six Ohio University men's basketball players scored in double figures to lead the Bobcats to a convincing 93-57 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
 
With the win, Ohio improved to 8-4 on the year and 8-1 in home games. The Green and White have posted a 17-1 mark in their last 18 home games.
 
Ohio had six players score in double figures for the first time this season. Walter Offutt (Indianapolis, Ind.), Travis Wilkins (Springfield, Mo.), Ivo Baltic (Kansas City, Mo.), Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio), Jon Smith (Columbus, Ohio) and Kadeem Green (Toronto, Canada) each finished with 15, 14, 12, 12, 10 and 10 points, respectively as the Bobcats scored a season-high 93 points.
 
As a team, Ohio dished out a season-high 29 assists, which tied a program record. Cooper distributed a season-high 14 of those 29 helpers.
 
Maryland Eastern Shore held a slim advantage in the early going as it lead Ohio 10-9 at the 16:05 mark of the first half. Ohio responded by going on a 12-0 run to open up a 21-10 advantage.
 
UMES would close back to within single digits thanks to a dunk from Olatunji Kosile, which made the count 21-12 with 12:14 to go in the first half. One minute later, Ohio went back up by double digits thanks to a pair of free throws by Smith.
 
The Bobcats would go on to outscore the Hawks 28-20 to close out the first half and take a 51-32 lead heading into the locker room. Wilkins led the team with 11 points at the break. As a team, Ohio shot 65.4 percent from the field in the first half.
 
In the second half, Ohio wasted little time in putting away the Hawks as it opened up a 30-point lead with 13:34 to go in the game to secure the win. In the second half, Ohio hit at a 51.4 percent clip (18-35) from the field.
 
Ohio returns to action on Dec. 29 as it travels to Norman, Okla. to faceoff against the Oklahoma Sooners. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (EST). Fans can listen to the game for free on OhioBobcats.com. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon.
 
Western Michigan 87, Mount St. Mary's 66
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Shayne Whittington broke the 20-point scoring barrier for the second straight game, and the Western Michigan men's basketball team defeated the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 87-66 at University Arena on Saturday.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 8-4 on the season and a perfect 4-0 record at home.
 
Whittington set a career-high with 24 points against the Mountaineers, going 10-of-11 from the field and adding four free throws to bump his total.  Freshman Darius Paul also set a career-high in scoring, posting 19 points to go with four rebounds, two assists, and a steal.  Brandon Pokley also reached double-digits, scoring 15 points.
 
The Broncos were on fire from the floor against the Mountaineers, breaking their opponent's press to go 32-of-53 (.600) from the floor.  WMU recorded 21 assists, tied for third-most in a single game in school history.  Austin Richie led the Broncos with eight helpers, a career-high for the sophomore.
 
The first half of the game saw the Broncos lighting it up from the floor, making 16-of-24 shots from the field and getting to the free throw line 12 times as WMU put the screws to the Mountaineers early.  The Broncos opened the game on a 9-3 run, with Richie starting things up with a steal and a fast break lay-up, and Pokley capping the run with a wide-open three-pointer at the 18:05 mark.  The Mount cut the lead to just one point at the 15:40 mark, but Whittington stretched it out with a tip-in and a jumper on consecutive possessions to make it 17-12 at the 14:49 mark.
 
The lead continued to expand, hitting double-digits for good when Nate Hutcheson scored on a fast break lay-up at the 9:04 mark, making it 31-21.  Jared Klein notched a fast break lay-up of his own at the 5:26 mark, and Whittington added a pair of free throws to make it 41-24 with 3:10 to play.  The lead would stretch to 18 points with under a minute to play in the half, but a Mount St. Mary's lay-up with 12 seconds remaining gave the Broncos a 16-point edge at the break.
 
Things improved steadily over the course of the second half, with the lead reaching 20 points on a Paul lay-up with 17:49 to play.  Paul scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, including the first six points of the second half, and Pokley drained another triple to give the Broncos a 23-point lead.  The high water mark came with 14:16 to play, when Klein picked up a loose ball and scored on a fast break to make it 61-32.  
 
The Broncos' lead would dip below 20 points for just 88 seconds for the rest of the game, with Paul converting an "and-1" opportunity at the 6:09 mark to make it a 20-point game again.  Connar Tava scored five points in a row for the Broncos late in the half, and Charles Harris set the final margin of victory with a free throw make at the 1:19 mark, making it 87-66.

Kent State 73, Arkansas State 69
Boxscore

Kent State held off Arkansas State for a 73-69 win on Saturday night in a perfect warm-up for the start of Mid-American Conference play next month.
 
"Playing Arkansas State is a lot like playing Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, and a lot of other teams in our league," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff, whose team improved to 7-5 heading into an eight-day break for Christmas. "They are tough, experienced and extremely well coached. It was a very good win for us."
 
After playing keep away for almost 30 seconds while clinging to a two-point lead, the Golden Flashes sealed the win on a pair of free throws by Chris Evans with just six seconds to play.
 
"We did a really good job and kept moving the basketball so they couldn't foul us," said Senderoff. "At the end, Chris had the ball in his hands and at that point they had to foul … All season long, our seniors have come through when we've needed our seniors to make free throws."
 
Fellow senior Randal Holt broke out of a two-game shooting slump with 19 points to lead the Flashes. Evans finished with 16 points and six rebounds, and true freshman Kellon Thomas added 14, including two key baskets as the Golden Flashes were trying to shake the Red Wolves in the closing minutes.
 
After watching Arkansas State cut a nine-point lead to just one, Thomas hit a three from the left corner to put Kent State up 64-60 with 5:25 to play. Less than two minutes later, he flipped in a driving layup to push the lead back out to seven points at 69-62.
 
Thomas was part of an earlier spark provided by a bench crew that included Mark Henniger, Bryson Pope and Earvin Morris. That group entered the game in the first half and changed the momentum after Arkansas State jumped out of the gate to a 14-4 lead.
 
"Arkansas State came out on fire," said Holt. "They were really aggressive and we made some changes. Guys came in and were wonderful. They brought energy to the game and life back to our team. Those younger guys really stepped up tonight. Kellon was great. He made some big plays down the stretch. We have got to continue to get that from our team all year."
 
Henniger scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. The junior was forced into extended minutes with Melvin Tabb suffering from flu symptoms. Tabb started, but only managed to play seven minutes.
 
"We were hoping we would get the Jordan flu game, and we didn't get it," said Senderoff, referring to Michael Jordan's historic performance in the 1997 NBA finals. "Melvin was sick. He hadn't eaten in two games, he didn't go through a lot of the pregame. We knew we were going to need Mark, and he came through for us and really played hard."
 
The Red Wolves kept fighting back behind the shooting of Ed Townsel and Cameron Golden. The starting guards finished with 24 and 15 points, respectively.
 
Kent State hopes to build on their back-to-back home wins when they return from Christmas break on Dec. 30 to face Fairmont State.
 
"We are going to enjoy this break a lot more now," said Henniger. "This will give us some momentum."
 
Oakland 59, Eastern Michigan 57
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team dropped its first home contest of the season, falling to the Oakland Golden Grizzles, 59-57.  Oakland's quick ball movement and a first half deficit were too much for the Eagles to overcome despite late game heroics.
 
Jalen Ross (Greensboro, N.C.-Greensboro Day) scored a career-high 17 points shooting 6-of-13, while Jamell Harris (Euclid, Ohio-Euclid) led Eastern's defensive effort with two blocks, two steals, and six rebounds.
 
Oakland's Travis Bader led all scorers with 21 points; shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line and nailing five triple tries.
 
Eastern  (6-5) shot 19-of-47 (40.4 percent) for the game, while Oakland (5-8) went 17-of-54 (31.5 percent).
 
Oakland opened the scoring with a three from Ryan Bass. The Grizzles took an early 8-2 lead assisted by two quick turnovers by Eastern.
 
Junior Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich. -Detroit Country Day) worked the glass impressively for the Eagles, tallying five rebounds in the opening 10 minutes of play and eight total on the day.
 
Tough defense by Harris and seven first-half points from the hot hand of Ross kept the Eagles in the contest.
 
Glenn Bryant's (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy) huge dunk energized the entire Convocation Center and brought the Eagles back to within a two score game. Bryant then closed the half for Eastern with a long three. However, the Grizzles countered with a 4-0 run to extend their lead to 29-21.
 
The Eagles shot 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) from the field in the first half scoring eight in the paint.  The Grizzlies, who looked committed to taking three points shots, went 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from the field and specifically 4-of-12 (33.3 percent) from downtown. 
 
Oakland opened the second half on a 6-0 run before Derek Thompson (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale) responded with a floater in the lane opening an 8-0 run for the Eagles.
 
Midway through the half, Oakland scoring threat Bader hit back-to-back threes before EMU Head Coach Rob Murphy called a timeout to refocus his squad. The timeout worked, as Ross answered with a quick three of his own immediately following the break.
 
Four hard-earned points and solid defensive play from junior Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio-St. Vincent-St. Mary) powered an 11-4 Eastern run that cut Oakland's lead to 49-40 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
 
A late six-point surge by Thompson pulled Eastern to within two, which opened the door for Ross to tie the game up with two made free throws and a go-ahead layup by Matt Balkema (Roseville, Mich.-Cousino).  Balkema's first points of the game gave Eastern their first lead of the afternoon.
 
After Oakland retook the lead, smart defensive play earned redshirt junior J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider) free throws and the opportunity to take the lead or send it to overtime. He converted 1-of-2 to tie the game. 
 
Oakland's Bass, who scored the opening points of the contest, drained a mid-range jumper to take the lead with only five seconds remaining.  The Eagles were unable to score on their final possession and in turn failed to defend home court for the first time this season. 
 
The Eagles will be back in action inside the Convocation Center, Dec. 28, to take on Siena Heights with tipoff scheduled for 4 p.m.
 
Nebraska 89, Central Michigan 75
Boxscore

EL PASO, Texas - Kyle Randall led all players in scoring and rebounding but a 10-0 deficit in the first 90 seconds was too much for Randall and Central Michigan to overcome in an 89-75 loss to Nebraska in the first round of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.
 
Randall scored 11 of the team's final 17 points and had 20 of his game-high 27 in the second half. 
The senior point guard hit all 15 of his free throw attempts and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
 
The Cornhuskers (8-3) jumped out to the double-digit lead by the 18:24 mark with buckets on their first four possessions while forcing the Chippewas (6-6) into two turnovers and a missed jumper. Central settled down to come right back within six on their next two possessions, but after the Huskers missed a field goal they hit eight of their next nine attempts to go up 30-15 midway through the half.
 
Down 19 six minutes before the break, the Chippewas used a 14-5 run to close within 10, 43-33, and improve their shooting percentage to 43 percent by halftime. With about eight minutes remaining, Nebraska had an 86-36 advantage in field goal percentage.
 
The Chippewas employed the full-court press most of the second half, allowing them to stay close. A 7-0 run, all scored by Randall, brought CMU within seven, 69-62, with 6:25 to play, but Nebraska responded with its own 14-4 run to keep the Chippewas at bay and go up 17 with 3:04 left.
 
Central got to the line 33 times, converting 27 (81.8%) and forced Nebraska into 15 turnovers, but the Huskers became the third consecutive opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
 
CMU will face either Arkansas-Pine Bluff or host UTEP Sunday at 7 pm Eastern Time.
 
Washington 67, Northern Illinois 57
Boxscore

SEATTLE -- An 11-3 run pulled Northern Illinois within six with 1:43 to play, but Washington made enough plays down the stretch to escape with a 67-57 victory on Saturday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena. Sophomore wing Abdel Nader (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) led NIU with 18 points.  
 
Nader scored in double figures for the third time in four games this season after missing practice on both Thursday and Friday due in a leg injury suffered Wednesday night against Seattle University.
 
“Our guys definitely responded from Wednesday night’s game because we guarded our opponent tonight,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “You have to give Washington credit, but I thought that we definitely checked a lot better and that made a big difference. I thought our guys really played hard against a good Washington ballclub.”
 
Northern Illinois (2-9) shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) while holding Washington to just 31.6 percent (18-of-57) shooting, but UW made 22-of-24 free throw attempts and NIU was just 8-of-11 from the charity stripe. 
 
Back-to-back baskets by Mader and sophomore forward Kevin Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy) evened the score, 10-10, seven-and-a-half minutes into the contest. Washington (8-4) then used a 13-2 run to take an 11-point lead, 23-12, until freshman guard Akeem Springs (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan Township) made a layup to trim the lead back to single digits with just over seven minutes to play in the half. 
 
Kevin Gray finished with a season-high-tying 10 points and five rebounds in just 16 minutes of action before fouling out. 
 
A 6-0 burst brought Northern Illinois within a half-dozen, 31-25. Freshman forward Darrell Bowie (Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep) opened the burst for NIU, Kevin Gray and freshman guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) each added baskets to bring NIU within striking distance with 1:39 to play in the half, but Washington scored the final five points of the opening stanza to take a 36-25 lead into the intermission. 
 
C.J. Wilcox led all scorers with 10 for Washington in the opening 20 minutes; Kevin Gray led NIU with six. Northern Illinois shot 44.0 percent (11-of-25) in the first half while holding Washington to just 32.3 percent (10-of-31) shooting, but Washington was 11-of-12 from the charity stripe to just 2-of-5 for NIU and UW outrebounding NIU, 21-13, in the first half. 
 
After NIU cut the Washington lead to eight, 40-32, UW used a 9-2 spurt to push its advantage to 49-34 with 14:29 to play.
 
Northern Illinois continued to hang around, scoring eight of the next 11 to pull back within 10, 54-44. The lead ballooned back to 14 before back-to-back triples from Nader and junior forward Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) pulled NIU within eight, 60-52, with four minutes to play. 
 
After a triple by Washington, Bolin answered with another trifecta and sophomore forward Keith Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy) added a layup to bring NIU within six, 63-57, with 1:43 left. On the ensuing possession it looked like Northern Illinois had the stop it needed, but Abdul Gaddy came up with an offensive rebound and then made a pair of free throws. 
 
The bigger Washington Huskies grabbed 22 offensive boards in the contest and outrebound NIU overall, 42-30.
 
NIU came up empty on the next possession and Washington made two more free throws for the final 10-point margin. 
 
Wilcox led Washington with 22 points. Aziz N’Diaye added 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while Gaddy chipped in 12 points. 
 
“This was a successful trip,” said Montgomery. “We went 0-for-2 but we definitely got better as a team. We did some team-building things, we saw the sites, and it was just unfortunate that we ran into a better team tonight.”
 
Following a brief Holiday break, Northern Illinois will return to action next Saturday, Dec. 29, when the Huskies hosts Massachusetts at the NIU Convocation Center. Game time against the Minutemen is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.