Sunday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results

Updated 1/27/2014
Sunday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results
Toledo 81, Kent State 78
Western Michigan 62, Ball State 53
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Toledo 81, Kent State 78
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo rallied from a six-point deficit with five-and-a-half minutes left to notch a come-from-behind 81-78 victory over Kent State (11-8, 2-4 MAC) on Sunday night in front of 5,611 fans inside Savage Arena. The victory improved the Rockets’ record to 17-2 overall and 5-1 in league play and also kept UT perfect in 10 home dates this season.
 
Junior guard Justin Drummond topped Toledo in scoring for the second-straight contest as he tallied 15 points in 24 minutes of action. He was joined in double figures by junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon (14 pts.), junior guard Julius Brown (14 pts.) and senior guard Rian Pearson (11 pts.).
 
Pearson also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and 16th of his Rocket career. His work on the boards helped the Rockets register a 37-34 advantage on the glass.
 
Brown dished out seven assists to help UT post an impressive 15 assist/seven turnover ratio as a team.
 
Toledo also received significant contributions from its freshman trio of center Zach Garber (8 pts., 5 reb.), guard Jonathan Williams (7 pts.) and guard Jordan Lauf (4 pts.). Garber came on in relief of sophomore center Nathan Boothe, who was forced to the bench due to foul trouble.
 
Senior forward Darren Goodson led Kent State with a game-high 17 points with junior guard Derek Jackson and Kris Brewer tallying 16 and 14 points, respectively.
 
The tightly-played contest saw 13 lead changes and 12 instances where the score was tied.
 
Pearson’s three-point play brought Toledo within 67-66 with 4:34 left and Drummond knocked down a pair of free throws to knot the score at 68-68 with 3:59 remaining. A Weatherspoon slam put the Rockets ahead to stay, 72-70, with 2:14 to play and a Drummond dunk and ensuing free throw gave UT some breathing room, 77-72, with 1:02 on the clock.
 
Jackson then hit a pair of treys to keep the Golden Flashes within striking distance but Toledo was able to hold off its visitors to improve its record to 7-0 in games decided by four points or less.
 
The Rockets will now hit the road this week for a pair of contests beginning with a 7:00 p.m. matchup on Wednesday, Jan. 29 vs. Miami (8-9, 4-2 MAC) in Oxford, OH. Toledo will then visit Ohio University (14-5, 4-2 MAC) on Saturday, Feb. 1 in a 1:00 p.m. tilt that will be televised on ESPNU.
 
Western Michigan 62, Ball State 53
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Western Michigan men’s basketball team came back from a halftime deficit to win for the first time this season, as the Broncos held off a feisty Ball State team to win 62-53. With the win, the Broncos improve to 11-7, 4-2 in Mid-American Conference play.
 
The Broncos trailed 26-25 at the end of the first half but came back to outscore the Cardinals by 10 points in the second, out-pacing them 37-27 in the last 20 minutes to take the decision at University Arena. WMU played its characteristic tough defense from the field, limiting the Cardinals to a 15-of-50 (.300) day from the floor and out-rebounding them 36-34. Ball State committed 21 turnovers in the game, including 11 that were directly forced and stolen by the Broncos, who out-scored them 22-15 in points off turnovers.
 
Shayne Whittington was a force for the Broncos, going off for a season-high 21 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season; the senior center also contributed three assists, three steals, and two blocked shots. David Brown finished with 17 points and two steals, and Connar Tava added 11 points, five rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
 
The Broncos made their move early in the second half, going on a 17-5 run to open the period and turn what was a one-point deficit into an 11-point advantage. Brown gave the Broncos the lead for good with a three-pointer on a kick-out by Tava at the 18:24 mark to make it 30-28, and Whittington put back a missed shot from Tava on the Broncos’ next possession to put the Broncos ahead by four points. Brown went coast-to-coast for a fast break lay-up with 15 minutes remaining to make it 38-31, and Taylor Perry closed out the run with a pair of free throw makes at the 12:01 mark.
 
Chris Bond snapped the Cardinals’ six-minute drought without a field goal at the 11:17 mark with a three-pointer to make it just a 42-34 game, but the Broncos kept Ball State off the scoreboard for another two minutes and continued to tack on to the lead. The closest the Cardinals got for the rest of the game was five points, when Bond made a pair of free throws to make it 58-53 with 2:48 remaining in the contest. Tucker Haymond added a pair of free throws in the final minute to up the lead back to seven points, and Brown added two more with 20 seconds remaining to set the final deficit and seal the win.
 
The first half was back and forth for the most part, with neither team leading by more than five points at any given time. Jesse Berry put Ball State ahead 14-9 with 12:23 remaining in the half, but the Broncos embarked on a 7-0 run capped by a lay-up from Haymond to take a 16-14 lead with just under seven minutes remaining. Bo Calhoun tied the score at 23-all with a jumper at the 3:47 mark, and Zavier Turner’s three-pointer made it 26-23; however, Tava made a turnaround lay-up with 53 seconds left in the first half to pull the Broncos within one and end the period.