Kent State 66, Drexel 62 (OT)
Kent, Ohio -- Seniors Chris Evans and Randal Holt hit the big shots down the stretch as Kent State upset Drexel 66-62 in overtime at the M.A.C. Center on Friday night in another opening-game stunner.
Last year's win at West Virginia in the Golden Flashes' first game under head coach Rob Senderoff captured national attention. But last year's team was a veteran group that already knew how to win on some of college basketball's biggest stages.
This season's roster is filled with true freshmen and first-year transfers who were making their debuts at Kent State on Friday. Somehow, the team with a combined 71 start under its belt found a way to upset one of the top mid-major squads in the country – a veteran group with a total of 291 games started.
"Drexel is going to win the Colonial (Athletic Association), they are going to play in the NCAA tournament," said Kent State coach Rob Senderoff. "At the start of the year they are ranked as the fourth best team in mid-major basketball."
And yet it was Kent State that looked like the more experienced team with the game on the line.
Holt banked in a three-pointer late in regulation and made two key free throws down the stretch to highlight a 17-point night. He scored 15 of that total after halftime.
Evans led the Golden Flashes with 21 points and nine rebounds. More importantly, he found a way to stay on the floor after picking up his fourth foul early in the second half. The Golden Flashes needed Evans' veteran leadership at the end, not to mention his flying tip-dunk and two free throws in overtime.
"My role is a lot different than it was last year," said Evans. "We have a lot of young guys looking at me for leadership. I'm trying to provide it … by showing the young guys how things are done at Kent State."
Holt and Evans combined to hit four straight free throws in the final 35 seconds of overtime. They were big shots considering Kent State had made just 12-for-22 as a team from the foul line in the previous 44 minutes.
Despite being out-bulked inside, Kent State's young bigs managed to hold their own on the glass, losing the rebounding battle by a slim 44-42 margin, but holding a key advantage in second-chance points at 19-16.
Junior Mark Henniger scored just two points all night, but he pulled down eight rebounds and out-worked Drexel bruisers Daryl McCoy and Dartaye Ruffin in the paint.
"Mark hadn't played 36 minutes in one game before in his career," said Senderoff. "That was the most
physical team we'll play all year, and Mark was unbelievable with those eight rebounds, fighting for loos balls and tipping rebounds.
"And (Sophomore) Kris Brewer had never played 39 minutes in his career, but he was guarding the player of the year in the Colonial who had started every game."
Brewer came up with a big block against Frantz Massenat down the stretch. He also combined with Henniger to cut off a late drive to the basket by the Drexel star, forcing a key turnover.
Massenat finished with just six points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field in 41 minutes.
Chris Fouch filled in the missing points from Drexel's backcourt, scoring 24 off the bench while going 6-for-12 from the three-point arc.
The Flashes, meanwhile, found production of some kind from all seven newcomers who checked in off the bench.
"Every one of the young guys who stepped in had an impact," said Senderoff. Even those who didn't play a lot. Nobody cared about that. Our guys cared only about winning.
"For us, for this team this year, that has to be our formula … It has to be all about winning. Those guys made huge plays down the stretch."
Despite their youth, the Golden Flashes took care of the basketball, committing just two of their 12 turnovers in the game's final 25 minutes.
"They came to play," said Drexel coach Bruiser Flint. "This was a big game for them. They showed it. Every loose ball and every loose rebound, they got them … They had a lot of young guys who did what they were supposed to do, and we had a lot of older guys who didn't do what they were supposed to do."
After squeaking out a close win over Rochester during lackluster performance on Sunday in the team's only exhibition game of the season, the Golden Flashes assumed most of the 2,650 fans in the M.A.C. Center on Friday came with low expectations.
"This was a huge win for us," said Holt. "Coming into this game, I knew more than half the people put this game on the board for Drexel. But we never want to lose in front of our home fans. We didn't want to start out 0-1, especially with Temple coming in here on Tuesday."
Kent State hosts Temple on Tuesday at noon in what will be a nationally televised game as part of ESPN's 24 Hours of Basketball marathon.
Eastern Michigan 66, Rochester (Mich.) 52
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team officially kicked off the 2012-13 college basketball season and the EMU “Ice Man” Classic with a 66-52 victory over Rochester College Friday afternoon from the friendly confines of the Convocation Center. Prior to the contest, the 2011-12 EMU men's basketball team received their championship rings and raised a banner for capturing the MAC West Division crown one year ago.
Three Eagles reached double digits as senior Derek Thompson (Detroit, Mich. - Melvindale) led the way with 14 points followed by 12 points each from redshirt junior Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio - St. Vincent St. Mary) and true freshman Ray Lee (Detroit, Mich. - Romulus). Rochester's Maynard led all scorers with 27 points.
EMU's bench proved to be a huge factor throughout the contest outscoring the opponent 35-2. The Green and White shot 49.0 percent from the floor while the Warriors shot 40.4 percent during the game. The Eagles also dominated the boards grabbing 39 rebounds compared to Rochester's 22, leading to 14 second chance points.
EMU never allowed Rochester to lead in the contest. Both teams had to gather themselves as the game started out slow, but Harrison began the scoring, converting on three free-throws after getting fouled shooting from beyond the arc. That sparked a 9-3 Eagles run to begin the game into the first media timeout. The Eagles did not let off the gas as Head Coach Rob Murphy's 2-3 zone defense along with back-to-back three-balls and a Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich. - Oak Hill Academy) dunk gave EMU a 19-5 lead.
After being held scoreless for six minutes, Rochester responded, finding holes in the EMU zone prompting a 7-0 run for the Warriors to cut the Eagle's lead in half. Thompson ended the 12-0 Rochester run with a three-pointer as the senior scored 11-of-17 first half bench points. However, Rochester senior Drew Maynard kept his team in the game by scoring half (14) of his team's points as EMU went into the locker room with a 31-28 halftime lead.
The Eagles and Warriors went back-and-forth to start the second half. A Matt Balkema (Roseville, Mich. - Warren Cousino) put-back sparked a 7-0 EMU run as the Eagles built a 51-37 lead midway through the second half.
Rochester would not go away though, as Stavros Schizaas' three got the Warriors back within single digits at 52-44 with 7:10 remaining in the game. One minute later, the Green and White were able to get into the double-bonus taking advantage of Rochester's foul trouble and going on an 11-0 run to put the game away.
With the victory, Eastern moves to 1-0 on the season, and Rochester drops to 5-2. The Eagles will be in action Sunday, Nov. 11, as they travel to Jacksonville State for the first road contest of the season with tipoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
Bowling Green 63, Lake Erie College 53
Bowling Green, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team won its 21st consecutive home opener, defeating Lake Erie College 63-53 Friday evening in the Stroh Center. Jordon Crawford scored 22 points, 16 in the first half, to led the Falcons to the win.
Bowling Green never trailed after the first five minutes and led by double-digits for much of the second half, but the Falcons could never put the game away with an offensive outburst. BGSU shot just 33 percent for the game, including 27 percent in the second half.
The Falcons won by dominating in two categories, free-throw shooting and offensive rebounding. While Bowling Green made just 60 percent of its free-throws, the team went to the line 21 more times than Lake Erie, making 21-of-35 shots. The Falcons also grabbed 20 offensive rebounds, holding a 14-5 edge in second-chance points.
Crawford made five of his first seven shot attempts, including three three-pointers, to spark the Falcons early. His final long range make gave Bowling Green a 26-19 lead with 4:29 to play in the first half. Lake Erie closed to within four points at 27-23, but Richaun Holmes and Anthony Henderson closed the half with jumpers to give the Falcons a 31-23 halftime lead.
The Storm tried to battle back early in the second half, scoring the first four points to cut the deficit in half. The Falcons, though, went on a 9-1 run highlighted by back-to-back thunderous dunks from Holmes and A’uston Calhoun that gave Bowling Green its first double-digit lead. From there, Lake Erie never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Holmes came off the bench to put together an impressive performance in his debut in a Bowling Green uniform. The sophomore junior college transfer had eight points, four rebounds and three blocked shots, finishing with dunks three times. He also showed the ability to score from distance with his 12-foot jumper late in the first half.
Chauncey Orr and Calhoun had identical stat lines with seven points and seven rebounds each. Orr had a team-high five offensive rebounds and Calhoun blocked two shots. Crawford added five rebounds, four assists and three steals to his game-high 22 points. Cam Black, who has battled injury throughout preseason, saw 10 minutes of action off the bench, finishing with two points, two rebounds and a blocked shot.
In 98 seasons of basketball, Bowling Green improved to 86-12 in season openers. The Falcons will now head on the road to play in the NIT Tip-Off Tournament. Bowling Green will play games on Monday and Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich. hosted by the University of Michigan. The Falcons will play Cleveland State Monday at 6 p.m. and will face either IUPUI or No. 5 Michigan Tuesday at either 5 or 8 p.m.
Coastal Carolina 74, Akron 70 (OT)
CONWAY, S.C. – Forty minutes was not enough in game one of the 2012-13 season as the Akron Zips fell to Coastal Carolina 74-70 in overtime on Friday at the HTC Center.
Zeke Marshall posted a double-double to open the year, leading Akron with 15 points and a game-high 10 boards to go along with three blocked shots. Freshman Jake Kretzer, who made his first collegiate start, also finished with 15 points, six boards, four assists and four steals.
The Zips (0-1) forced overtime by holding CCU scoreless over the final 3:11 of the second half. Both teams grabbed the lead in the first minute-and-a-half of overtime before CCU was able to open up a four-point advantage (68-64). However, a pair of free throws by Marshall cut the deficit to 68-66 with 2:18 left.
Reggie McAdams had a chance to tie the game at 68-68 with 1:33 remaining but missed both attempts. Raffa would hit a 3-pointer in the corner to give CCU a 71-66 lead with 1:07 remaining. Both sides traded free throws before Alex Abreu's free throws made it a three-point game (73-70) with just over 25 seconds on the clock.
The Zips' defense caused the Chanticleers to fumble the ball several times, but Akron would not be able to gain control. Coastal Carolina would hit one free throw to seal the 74-70 win.
Akron finished the game shooting 37.5 percent from the floor (21-of-56) and made 11-of-32 3-point attempts (34.4 percent). Coastal Carolina (1-0) shot 44.8 percent from the field (26-of-58) and 42.9 percent from long range (6-of-14). CCU held a slim 39-37 advantage on the boards while both teams combined for 38 turnovers (18 by Akron) and 43 fouls (21 by Akron).
Abreu and McAdams also scored in double figures, pitching in with 14 and 12 points respectively. Twelve of Abreu's 14 points came in the second half.
Anthony Raffa led all scorers with 27 points.
Raffa hit a 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining to give CCU its largest advantage of the night at 61-56. That would be the last bucket of the half for the Chanticleers as the Zips would score the final five points to force overtime.
Neither team would be able to gain much of an advantage, with the score tied 48-all heading into the under-8 media timeout. The lead changed hands several times during the stretch, with three points being the largest margin.
CCU scored the first five points to open the second 20 minutes to give the Chanticleers a 36-34 lead. A Brian Walsh 3-pointer to just over two minutes into the second half ended an 11-0 drought for the Zips, putting UA back on top 37-36.
The pace was slow to start the first game of the season, with Coastal Carolina clinging to a slim 10-9 lead through the first eight minutes of the game. Both teams combined for 10 fouls and six turnovers during the stretch, with neither team shooting better than 33.3 percent.
Akron was able to open up a little space on the Chanticleers thanks to McAdams' second 3-pointer of the first half. The Zips led 19-16 with 7:27 remaining.
The Zips' lead would grow to 34-35 with 1:46 remaining, but CCU would score the final six points of the half to cut the advantage to 34-31.
McAdams led the Zips with nine points as Marshall finished with eight points. The Zips shot 33.3 percent in the first 20 minutes (6-of-18). Marshall added five boards.
UA forced CCU into nine turnovers as the Chanticleers shot 50.0 percent in the half (11-of-22). The Zips had seven turnovers and seven assists, while holding a 20-15 rebounding advantage (11-5 offensive).
Nebraska-Omaha 77, Northern Illinois 64
OMAHA, Neb. -- Northern Illinois trailed by just one with 13 minutes remaining, but a 13-3 burst helped propel Nebraska Omaha to a 77-64 victory on Friday night at Ralston Arena. Junior forward Askel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) scored a team-high 11 points while freshman guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) added 10 for the Huskies.
“Omaha’s experience definitely got them over the hump in the second half,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “They are an extremely well-coached and fundamentally sound team and tonight you saw one team with a lot of experience and one team with a lot of inexperience.”
“It was a game of runs. We cut their lead, they came back and made a great run, but we answered again. It was there for the taking but you have to execute and take care of the ball down the stretch.”
Nebraska Omaha (1-0) shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) in the contest while NIU shot 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field. The Huskies outrebounded Nebraska Omaha, 35-28, but NIU (0-1) committed 24 turnovers.
Sophomore forward Keith Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy) opened the scoring with a layup off a slip to the rim but UNO answered with eight-straight points until redshirt junior guard Antone Christian (Nashville, Tenn./Martin Luther King Magnet) buried a corner triple to cut the lead back to three, 8-5, with 15:48 to play in the first half.
Trailing 18-11, Balls cut into the Mavericks lead with a triple. After a free throw by sophomore forward Kevin Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy), freshman guard J.J. Cravatta (Streator, Ill./Streator Township) nailed a corner trifecta to even the game, 18-18, with eight minutes to play in the first half.
NIU took a two-point lead, 21-19; on an old-fashioned 3-point play by freshman forward Sam Mader (Appleton, Wis./Appleton East) with 7:18 to play in the first half. Omaha responded with seven-straight points to take a 26-21 advantage.
The Mavericks led by four with 3:38 to play in the first half but NIU trimmed the lead to just one, 33-32, at the break. Bolin hit a jumper and freshman guard Mike Davis (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights) made a pair of free throws to pull the Huskies within one at the intermission.
Bolin led NIU with six points in the opening 20 minutes; Justin Simmons had nine to lead the way for UNO. The Huskies shot 38.5 percent (10-of-26) in the first half but used a 22-12 rebounding advantage to stay within a point at the break.
Northern Illinois scored the first four points out of the intermission until UNO answered with an 11-2 run, taking a 44-38 lead with 15:40 to play, forcing a Huskie timeout.
After the UNO lead reached 10, a quick six-point NIU burst pulled the Huskies back within four, 48-44, forcing a Nebraska Omaha timeout.
The Huskies trailed by just one after a triple from freshman guard Akeem Springs (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan Township). Nebraska Omaha responded with a 13-3 run to lead 61-50 with just over eight minutes remaining.
The Huskies climbed back to within seven after back-to-back baskets by Springs and Keith Gray, but the Huskies could get no closer as Nebraska Omaha opened the new Ralston Arena with a victory.
C.J. Carter led Nebraska Omaha with 16 points. Alex Welhouse added 13 and John Karhoff and Simmons each chipped in 12 for the Mavericks.
NIU will return to action on Tuesday morning, Nov. 13, as the Huskies travel to Valparaiso to play the Crusaders as a part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The contest is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m., and will be televised live on ESPN.
Loyola (Ill.) 62, Toledo 50
CHICAGO, IL - Loyola (IL) jumped out to an early first-half lead and proceeded to turn away every Toledo comeback attempt on Friday evening in the Rockets' 62-50 loss to the Ramblers in Gentile Arena. It was the season opener for both schools.
Sophomore G Julius Brown paced the Rockets offensively with 15 points (13 in the first half) with senior G Dominique Buckley and junior G Rian Pearson contributing nine and eight points, respectively. Pearson also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds
Senior F Ben Averkamp led Loyola (IL) with 15 points and nine boards and helped the Ramblers compile a 42-30 rebounding advantage. That glass control led to a 17-4 cushion in second-chance points.
UT could never quite get untracked offensively with a 35.1 field-goal percentage.
"Our trouble tonight was certainly on the offensive end," Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "It was a physical game, and we didn't do a good enough job of playing with frustration. One area we need to work on finishing layups when there's contact."
Freshman C Nathan Boothe played just 22 minutes after picking up two fouls in the game's opening four minutes. He was held to five points and four rebounds in his collegiate debut.
"Nathan picked up two fouls early and they were both good calls," Kowalczyk said. "He's going to be a very good player for us but he just has to learn to play without fouling."
A key juncture in the game occurred when the Ramblers held Toledo to just one field goal during a 10-minute span midway through the second half. UT had cut the hosts' lead to 38-32 two minutes into the second stanza but Loyola quickly regained a double-digit advantage.
Toledo continues its season-opening three-game, six-day roadtrip on Monday, Nov. 12 at Big Ten foe Minnesota. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. CT
No. 6 North Carolina State 97, Miami 59
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Miami opened the 2012-13 basketball season Friday night with a 97-59 loss at sixth-ranked North Carolina State (1-0).
The RedHawks (0-1) trailed early but closed the gap to six, 21-15, midway through the first half. Junior center Drew McGhee sparked a 7-0 RedHawk flurry with a jumper at the 12:01 mark, and junior forward Will Felder closed out the run with a dunk with 11:31 to play and a 3-pointer at the 10:48 mark. But the Wolfpack continued to extend their lead and used a 12-0 run to close out the half and post a 41-22 advantage at the break.
Junior forward Bill Edwards opened the second half with a 3-pointer to put the ‘Hawks within 16, but NC State rattled off nine unanswered points to push its lead to 25 and never looked back.
Junior guard Allen Roberts scored 16 points for Miami, which shot 22 percent in the first half and finished at 29 percent in the first game under new coach John Cooper. McGhee followed with nine points and a team-high six boards.
The RedHawks amassed seven steals, one more than the Wolfpack, and had a positive assist to turnover ratio with 12 assists and 11 turnovers. Freshmen guards Geovonie McKnight and Reggie Johnson had two steals apiece for the RedHawks along with two steals from Roberts.
NC State shot a sizzling 61.4 percent from the field and had six players in double figures. Rodney Purvis and Richard Howell led the way with 16 points each. Howell led all players with 10 boards.
Miami returns home to host Grambling State at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. The game had been declared a Red Out and all RedHawk fans are asked to wear their Miami red. Tuesday also is meet the team night.