Sunday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 12/2/2012

Sunday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Akron 82, Middle Tennessee State 77 (OT)
Central Michigan 66, Niagara 64

Stories Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 82, Middle Tennessee State 77 (OT)
AKRON, Ohio – Freshman Jake Kretzer's clutch overtime play helped give the Akron Zips an 82-77 win over the visiting Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Sunday afternoon at James A. Rhodes Arena Arena.
Kretzer scored all of his eight points in the overtime period, making two 3-pointers and two free throws late to seal Akron's fourth win of the year.
The game featured two 10-0 runs, one for each team, and saw 14 ties and 14 lead changes.
Alex Abreu led five UA players in double figures with 19 points and pitched in with seven assists and four steals. Zeke Marshall had 14 points, five rebounds, five blocked shots and two steals while Chauncey Gilliam (13), Brian Walsh (12) and Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell (10) also reached double digit points.
The Blue Raiders were led by Raymond Cintron's 22 points including, four 3-pointers, and Marcos Knight, who had 21 points and six rebounds.
Akron (4-2) was forced into its third overtime game of the season after Middle Tennessee's Cintron was fouled in the act of shooting a 3-pointer and made three free throws with his team down 70-67.
Akron jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. Walsh and Abreu each had four points while the Zips shot 5-of-7 from the field, forcing the Blue Raiders into five turnovers and two quick timeouts during that rally.
However, Middle Tennessee (5-2) climbed right back into the game and with just under eight minutes to play in the opening period had taken their first lead, 19-18. Following the media timeout, Marshall made two free throws which allowed Akron to recapture the lead.
Cintron and Gilliam traded 3-point field goals late in the first half as control of the game switched back and forth. Treadwell's 3-point play with 2:35 left in the half extended Akron's slim margin to 33-29 and, while Abreu missed a contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer, Akron ended the half with a 34-33 lead.
Gilliam lead the way for the Zips with nine points followed by Abreu with eight and Zeke Marshall with six. Walsh and Treadwell each added four. Cintron and Bruce Massey were the leaders for Middle Tennessee with 11 and eight points, respectively.
The fast opening the Zips displayed in the first half was matched by the Blue Raiders who opened the second period with a 12-2 run, forcing Akron head coach Keith Dambrot into a timeout after just 4 minutes. Despite allowing a quick basket following the timeout that gave Middle Tennessee a 43-36 lead, the Zips took the lead with 13 minutes remaining following a 10-0 run. Gilliam started the spurt by hitting a wide open 3-pointer with just under 15 minutes left. Treadwell then made back-to-back layups following Blue Raider turnovers to tie the game at 43. MTSU's third-consecutive turnover allowed Akron to gain the lead thanks to Abreu's 3-point field goal.
The game then resumed its back and forth theme. With 10 minutes to go, Marshall was fouled as he made a dunk to give Akron the lead. He completed the 3-point play extending the advantage to 49-47.
Following two Abreu free throws and a Blue Raider turnover, Walsh hit a desperation three as the shot clock expired pushing Akron's lead to 54-47. MTSU's Kerry Hammonds ended Akron's 8-0 run with a mid-range jump shot and Cintron reduced the lead to 54-52 with his fourth 3-pointer of the game. Then, Knight scored four points in 30 seconds to give the Blue Raiders a two-point lead.
With 3:42 to play Walsh tied the game at 63 when he drove the lane and forced a goaltending violation. On the ensuing Middle Tennessee possession, Abreu intercepted a pass and sprinted the length of the court to give Akron a slim two-point lead. Following a Blue Raider basket Marshall was fouled while rebounding Kretzer's missed 3-pointer and made one free throw giving the Zips a 66-65 lead. Abreu extended the lead to three with 1:34 to go after MTSU committed its 20th turnover.
Knight scored his 20th point of the game to cut the lead to 68-67. Abreu then gave Akron a 70-67 lead with 41 seconds left, but Cintron was fouled in the act of shooting a would-be game tying 3-pointer by Treadwell. Cintron made all of his free throws to put him at 20 points on the night as well. Akron had 16 seconds to win the game, but Abreu missed a contested layup as time expired.
The Zips' next game is Sunday, Dec. 9, when they travel to Creighton for a 2:05 p.m. ET tip-off in Omaha, Neb.
Central Michigan 66, Niagara 64
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Kyle Randall's 24 points and Central Michigan's clutch performance from the line was enough to edge the Chippewas past Niagara, 66-64, Sunday afternoon in McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas (4-3) saw a double-digit lead slip away in the second half as the Purple Eagles (2-5) took their first lead of the game, 50-49, with 7:00 left and maintained it until the final 90 seconds of the game.
The Purple Eagles led by five, 58-53, with 4:47 remaining but a layup by Chris Fowler and Randall's second three-pointer of the game tied it at the 3:49 mark. That was the last field goal for the Chippewas, but they were able to win it at the line, going 8-for-10 in the final 3:01.
A pair of free throws by John Simons tied it back up at 60 apiece and steals on the other end of the court on back-to-back possessions kept the Purple Eagles from attempting a shot. Two more free throws by Fowler gave the Chippewas a two-point lead followed by another pair from Randall that stretched it to four, 64-60, with 27 seconds remaining.
The Chippewas jumped out to a 20-6 lead in the first nine minutes, hitting 7-of-13 from the floor while the Purple Eagles struggled through 2-of-14 shooting early. Randall recorded 12 of his team's first 23 points, perfect from the floor (4-4) and the line (3-3) during the stretch, and ended the half with 16 points to help the Chippewas to a 35-23 lead. They led by as many as 20 with 4:54 to go in the half but got stuck behind a 10-0 Niagara run over the next 4:24 that kept the Purple Eagles in the game.
Randall, who tallied a career-high for the second consecutive game, was one of three starters in double-figures, leading Simons with 12 and Fowler with 11. As a team the Chippewas went 8-for-8 from the line in the first half and 11-of-16 in the second for a 79.2 percent mark, attempting four fewer free throws than the Purple Eagles but making five more.
Three of Central's four wins now have come by four points or less.
The Chippewas hit the road for a two-game cross-country trip beginning Saturday at Charlotte. Central returns to Mount Pleasant for one more game before the New Year Dec. 20 against Texas State at 7 p.m.