Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Ohio 69, Kent State 68
Ball State 82, Miami 62
Toledo 75, Bowling Green 62
Akron 68, Buffalo 64
Western Michigan 76, Central Michigan 59
Eastern Michigan 42, NIU 25
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Ohio 69, Kent State 68
KENT, Ohio- The Ohio University men's basketball team (15-5, 6-0 MAC) held off Kent State (11-9, 2-4) to capture its seventh-consecutive win and remain perfect in Mid-American Conference play as it defeated the Golden Flashes on the road 69-68.
Ohio's win over Kent State marked the first time since the 1973-74 season in which the `Cats have gone 6-0 in league games. It also marked the first time since the 1992-93 campaign in which Ohio had gone 3-0 on the road to open conference play.
A competitive contest from start to finish, the game featured 15 ties and 20 lead changes, but senior guard D.J. Cooper's (Chicago, Ill.) back-to-back to free throws with 55 seconds remaining gave the Bobcats the lead for good.
Cooper finished the contest with a game-high 23 points as he connected on 8-of-14 shots from the field. He also dished out five assists and had three steals. His fifth assist tied him with former Bradley star Anthony Manuel (1989).
Fellow senior Reggie Keely (University Heights, Ohio) also had a strong night from the field as he finished with 20 points, connecting on 9-of-13 shots from the field. Junior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) chipped in as he finished with 10 points, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Ohio scored seven of the game's first 11 points, but Kent State responded by scoring the game's next six points to go up 12-9, before Cooper tied it up with a strong drive that led to a 3-point play. With KSU leading 15-12, Ohio posted four-straight to go up 16-15 and led 22-21 after another drive and finish from Cooper.
Kent held a 29-27 edge with 4:11 remaining in the first half, but Ohio re-claimed the lead after a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Stevie Taylor (Gahanna, Ohio) which made the count 32-31. The Golden Flashes scored the final five points of the half and led 36-32 at the break.
Ohio shot 50.0 percent (14-28) in the half to Kent's 40 percent (10-25), but the Flashes held a 16-1 edge in free throw attempts and converted 13 of those tries.
Keely scored seven of the first nine points of the second half to help Ohio re-take the lead, 39-38, just two minutes into the stanza. Kent State responded with a 6-0 run to take a 44-39 lead, but from there, Ohio responded with a 14-2 run of its own to surge in front by seven (53-46). Cooper notched nine of the 14 points in the critical stretch.
From there, Kent State moved back within three (53-50), before the `Cats scored seven of the next nine points to extend the lead to eight (60-52) with 7:33 to play in the game.
At that point, Kent State rallied with an 11-0 run to take a 63-60 lead with 4:43 left in the game. From there no team would lead by three points for the remainder of the game. Ohio would go on to hold KSU scoreless from the field in the final minute. KSU's final look came from inside the painted area by Randal Holt, but it would not go down as the Bobcats secured the win.
Ohio returns home to face Eastern Michigan on Wednesday (Jan. 30) inside the Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Ohio is 3-0 against MAC West Division foes this season. "Voice of the Bobcats" Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will call the action live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network powered by Horizon, with live audio and video available on OhioBobcats.com. Pre-game audio coverage begins 30 minutes prior to tip (6:30 p.m.).
Ball State 82, Miami 62
OXFORD, Ohio -- A close game entering the final minutes turned into Ball State's largest victory margin of the season Saturday at Miami University. The Cardinals pulled away for an 82-62 road win in Mid-American Conference men's basketball action at Millett Hall.
Ball State placed four scorers in double figures on their way to a season high point total. Majok Majok led all players with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Jesse Berry poured in 20 points and knocked down a career-best six 3-pointers.
Chris Bond stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals, while Jauwan Scaife added 14 points and dished out a career-high seven assists.
Ball State (8-10, 2-4 MAC) found success breaking Miami's full-court press and managed to score both in transition and in its half-court offense, shooting nearly 58 percent from the floor to snap a four-game losing streak in a big way.
On the defensive end, the Cardinals limited Miami (7-11, 2-4 MAC) to one-shot possessions for the majority of the game. Ball State held a dominant 37-17 advantage on the glass, out-rebounding its sixth straight opponent to begin MAC play.
"It was really fulfilling as a coach to see us click on so many different levels," Ball State coach Billy Taylor said. "I thought we were terrific defensively. We did a great job rebounding, collectively going to get the basketball. To have such a huge rebounding margin on the road is uncommon. That allowed us to get out in transition and we were able to play at a pretty fast tempo today."
Through more than 34 minutes of play, Ball State and Miami were locked in a tight game just like all five of the Cardinals' previous league games. But with 5:32 to play and Ball State holding a 58-54 lead, Scaife found Bond for a lay-in that ignited a run to put the game away.
The basket was the first of 12 unanswered points, the first eight of which came from Bond. The last four came from Majok, including a dunk on a pass from Bond, as Ball State extended its lead to 70-54. That 12-0 run, which also featured two Bond steals, came in a span of less than three minutes to put the game out of reach.
"Chris Bond is a guy who is a tremendous on-the-ball defender for us," Taylor said. "He does a great job in the gaps. We were able to get a number of deflections that led to run-outs, and that's big on the road, to find a way to get easy points. We knew we were going to have to continue to score because Miami plays at such a fast tempo."
The Cardinals extended their lead to as many as 22 on Berry's sixth 3-pointer of the day in the final minute as they rode out their first win at Millett Hall since 2004 and just their second since 1992. It was Ball State's most lopsided victory over Miami since 1980.
The final trey capped a big day for Berry who knocked down four of them in the first half. His early shooting helped propel the Cardinals to a 34-29 lead at the break.
Ball State then sank 68 percent of its second-half shots (17 of 25) as it worked the ball into the lane, which was freed up by its successful outside shooting in the first half. The Cardinals finished the game with a 42-30 advantage in the paint.
Three Miami players finished in double figures, led by Will Felder with 14 points. Quinten Rollins scored 12 and Reggie Johnson added 10 for the RedHawks.
Ball State will now return home to host MAC West foe Toledo for a 7 p.m. tipoff Wednesday at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals will play three of their next four at home.
Toledo 75, Bowling Green 62
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo sent a season-high 6,361 fans home happy on Saturday evening with a 75-62 triumph over arch-rival Bowling Green in its Third-Annual Tie One On game in Savage Arena. The Rockets dominated the glass by a 37-25 margin and were a near-perfect 26-of-27 from the charity stripe to end a three-game losing streak as well as a four-game skid in its series with the Falcons.
Senior G Dominique Buckley paced Toledo (7-10, 3-3 MAC) with a season-high 20 points, including a 4-of-6 performance from three-point range. He was joined in double figures by a junior G Rian Pearson (14 pts., team-high nine reb.), sophomore G Julius Brown (14 pts., team-high seven asst.) and freshman C Nathan Boothe (10 pts., 6 reb., team-high two blocks).
UT registered a 46.8 FG%, including an impressive 56.0 percent in the second half. The Falcons shot 42.4 percent from the field, including 5-of-20 from behind the three-point arc. The Rockets enjoyed a significant advantage at the free-throw line with its 96.3 percentage (26-of-27) compared to BGSU's 7-of-10 totals. Toledo now has a 78.6 FT% for the season to rank among the top five teams nationally.
Senior G Jordon Crawford paced Bowling Green (7-12, 2-4 MAC) with 20 points and seven assists, but UT's strong defensive effort forced him into an 8-of-22 shooting night from the field.
Toledo took the lead for good in the contest, 20-18, on a pair of Pearson free throws with 5:23 remaining in the first half. Junior F Matt Smith's dunk with 18 seconds remaining in the opening stanza gave UT a 28-22 halftime cushion.
Freshman G Josh Lemons' layup 5:30 into the second half capped off a 6-0 spurt and put UT in front by a 40-28 margin and forced the Falcons to call timeout. The visitors responded with a six-point streak of their own to climb back into the game, but Buckley' deep trey put UT's lead back into double digits, 47-36 with 11 minutes to play.
Bowling Green made one last charge, cutting Toledo's lead to 54-48 with 7:09 remaining but junior F Reese Holliday's trey and back-to-back Brown jumpers gave the Rockets a 61-49 advantage with just over four minutes left. UT then iced the game by making 12-of-13 free throws in the final 1:30.
Toledo now will hit the road next week for a pair of road games at Ball State (8-10, 2-4 MAC) on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Northern Illinois (4-14, 2-4 MAC) on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Akron 68, Buffalo 64
AKRON, Ohio – A second-half surge courtesy of a 19-0 run helped the Akron Zips erase a 20-point deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bulls 68-64 on Saturday night in front of 5,403 rowdy fans at James A. Rhodes Arena.
Down 32-12 with 8:30 left in the first half, Akron (15-4, 6-0 MAC) cut the Buffalo lead to six at the intermission (37-31) thanks to a 19-5 spurt. The Zips would use the 19-0 run in the second half to turn a 55-42 Bulls' advantage with 11:37 remaining into a 61-55 UA lead with 5:31 left on the clock. The comeback was the largest since UA erased a 17-point deficit to beat Youngstown State on Nov. 26, 2005.
Despite the surge, the Bulls would keep the game close, with UB's Jarryn Skeete hitting a 3-pointer and earning a free throw on the play. However, his freebee to tie the game with 1:25 remaining would rim out to keep the Akron lead at 63-62. The Zips would go 5-of-6 at the line from that point on to seal the victory.
The win extended Akron's winning streak to 11-straight games, the second-longest active streak in the nation (Kansas, 17).
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell and Alex Abreu led the Zips scoring attack with 13 points each. Jake Kretzer, who had 8 points on the night, was a key contributor to the 19-0 run when he sank two powerful 3-pointers and went 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
Zeke Marshall helped silence the Bulls as he posted six blocked shots on the night for a combined 15 swats in the past two games.
The Zips shot 44.2 percent from the floor (23-of-52) and 41.2 percent from long range (7-of-17). The Bulls closed the game connecting on 42.9 percent from the field (24-of-56) and 45.0 from behind the arc (9-of-20).
Skeete led the Bulls (7-13, 2-4 MAC) with 19 points on the night.
After opening the game shooting 9-of-9 and leading the Zips by 20, it was not until 9:11 into the game that the Bulls would miss their first shot.
Buffalo went on to shoot 31.6 percent later in the first half, connecting on only 6-of-19, allowing the Zips to close the gap and bring the score to 37-31 at halftime. UA shot 46.2 percent from the field in the first half (12-of-26) to Buffalo's 53.6 percent (15-of-28).
The Zips will travel to Bowling Green on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. ET contest on SportsTime Ohio.
Western Michigan 76, Central Michigan 59
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team earned their fourth straight Mid-American Conference victory with a strong road performance, as the Broncos defeated the Central Michigan Chippewas 76-59. With the win, the Broncos improve to 12-7 on the season, 4-2 in MAC play.
Shayne Whittington scored a game-high 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting, who used the size and strength mismatch to his advantage not just in scoring the basketball, but in finding open teammates as well. The Broncos shot 8-of-21 (.381) from three-point range in the game, including a 2-of-5 performance from Brandon Pokley and a 3-of-6 performance from David Brown. Brown finished second on the team with 13 points, Pokley posted 10, and Nate Hutcheson scored 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
As a team, the Broncos shot 46.0 percent from the field and held the Chippewas to just 29.8 percent from the floor; WMU also held the 42-27 advantage in rebounding, including grabbing 14 offensive boards. The Broncos were especially dangerous when capitalizing on Chippewa turnovers; the Broncos out-scored CMU 25-16 in points off turnovers, and out-scored them 13-7 on the fast break.
Hutcheson quelled the closest thing to a Chippewa rally in the game, as he hit a three-pointer at the start of the second half to make it 36-29. Pokley made it a nine-point game with a pull-up jumper on the baseline with just under 18 minutes to play, and Whittington scored on two straight possessions to push the WMU lead back to 11 points with 13:06 to play. Brown launched a three-pointer from the corner less than a minute later to stretch the lead to 14 points, and the rout was officially on.
Central Michigan pulled to within 10 points when Blake Hibbitts hit a three-pointer at the 10:04 mark, but Whittington made a pair of free throws on the next trip down the floor, and Pokley knocked down a three-pointer at the 7:58 mark to push the Broncos to a 17-point advantage. Darius Paul made it a 20-point game with a lay-up on a no-look pass from Austin Richie at the 5:16 mark, making it 71-51, and Paul hit another lay-up with 4:01 remaining to make it a 21-point contest. The Broncos closed out the half strong to seal the win.
The Chippewas opened the game on a 6-2 run, but the Broncos quickly responded and took the lead on their in-state rivals. Nate Hutcheson hit a three-pointer at the 16:35 mark to pull the Broncos within one point, and Brandon Pokley made a pair of free throws at 16:01 to give the Brocos the lead for the remainder of the half. Austin Richie drained a three-pointer off a ball screen on the right win to give the Broncos a 10-6 lead, and Connar Tava made it a six-point lead with 14:36 in the half with a made lay-up.
Brown was integral in the Broncos' effort in the first half, making baskets on three consecutive possessions to increase his team's lead to 12 points. Brown made a circus lay-up on the drive in the lane at the 12:12 mark, making it 16-10, and the next trip down the court buried a three-pointer from the right corner to make it 19-10. He would add one more tripped just over a minute later, bombing one from the outside at the 10:23 mark to give the Broncos a 22-10 lead and cap a 10-0 run.
The lead again reached 12 points when Jared Klein made a free throw at the 8:19 mark, making it 25-13, but from there the Chippewas would cut into the deficit. Dan Loney made it 33-21 with just under three minutes to play with a pair of free throw makes, but CMU scored the final five points of the half to cut the Broncos' lead to 33-26 at the halftime break.
Eastern Michigan 42, NIU 25
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team turned in a record-breaking defensive performance, defeating the Northern Illinois Huskies, 42-25, Saturday afternoon, Jan. 26, in the Convocation Center.
For the Eagles (10-10; 3-3 MAC), the game stood as the first time since Dec. 7, 2004 that the team held an opponent to less than 30 points. That feat occurred against Rochester College, 89-29. The 25 points given up were also the lowest points EMU has allowed since Jan. 21, 1943, when Eastern defeated Hillsdale College, 61-21.
It was a dubious day for the Huskies (4-14; 2-4 MAC), who registered just one field goal and a pair of free throws in the opening half for a total of four points. That four-point output broke their own record-low of five first-half points from Dec. 1, 2012. It also tied the 2008 Savannah State Tigers for the fewest points scored in any half during the modern era. The one NIU basket also tied the NCAA record with Savannah State for fewest field goals made in one half.
NIU shot 1-of-31 in the first half for a 3.2 percent conversion rate. That mark broke the record previously held by Savannah State, who went 1-of-23 en route to their four-point second half, Jan. 7, 2008. The Huskies started 1-of-2, but went on to miss their next 36 shots over 24:33 of play before making a basket with 14:27 remaining in the game.
Deveon Balls scored seven of the Huskies' 25 points to lead his team. The Eagles forced NIU to shoot 8-of-61 from the field including 1-of-33 from beyond the arc for a 13.1 shooting percentage making it the lowest field goal percentage in NCAA history since the beginning of the shot clock era in 1986.
The previous record occurred, Dec. 29, 2001, when Miami University shot 13.3 percent from the floor, making 8-of-60 shots against Dayton.
The Eagles were led in scoring by redshirt junior Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy) with 10 points, the only player in double digits for either team. EMU shot 13-of-35 from the field for a 37.1 shooting percentage. At the charity stripe, the Eagles converted 75.0 percent of its attempts, going 12-16.
Eastern Michigan started the game hitting three of its first five shots compared to a 1-of-10 effort for NIU. Da'Shote Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day) was a major contributor to NIU's early offensive struggles, denying three of the Huskies' opening 10 shots. A Jalen Ross (Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Day) trey at the 14:24 mark gave the Eagles an early 8-2 advantage.
The blocks and defensive stops kept coming for the Green and White as Bryant turned away NIU shots on consecutive possessions. At the other end of the court, Bryant was fouled on a dunk attempt and filled the resulting free throws to make it a 12-2 score with 10:45 to play.
After scoring the game's first basket one minute in, the Huskies did not strike again until a Mike Davis free throw fell through at 8:47. The scoreless drought spanned 10:13 and snapped a 12-0 EMU run.
The situation did not get much better for the Huskies, who fired shot after shot with no results except for a single free throw. Eastern Michigan's defense smothered NIU to the tune of 30 consecutive missed shots overall and 0-of-17 from behind the arc. The Huskies went into the locker room 1-of-31 (3.2 percent) from the field. The Eagles' 18-4 lead at the half marked the fewest combined points in a half since North Carolina Central (13) and Savannah State (5) combined for 18 in the first half a game on Jan. 20, 2010.
EMU needed little help from its offense in the first half but got just enough when called upon. Anthony Strickland (Ypsilanti, Mich. – D.H. Robichaud) and Bryant each chimed in with slams during the final five minutes to increase the lead to 14, 18-4. The Eagles completed 20 minutes of play shooting 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from the floor, 1-of-5 (20 percent) from long distance and 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe.
Riley gave the Huskies a rude awakening on their first shot of the second half when he denied Abdel Nader for his fifth block of the afternoon. Bryant then cashed in on his first shot of the second stanza and put EMU further ahead, 20-4.
Keith Gray ended NIU's streak of 24:32 without a made field goal when he made a move under the basket and underhanded a layup in with 14:27 remaining in the game. EMU still held a 23-7 lead at that point.
With NIU enjoying a mini 6-2 run, J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider) answered with a three-pointer from the left corner. A midrange jumper by senior Matt Balkema (Roseville, Mich.-Warren Cousino) at 7:06 expanded the Green and White's margin to 17, 30-13.
A defensive-minded Eagles' squad lived up to its reputation over the final seven minutes of play, limiting the Huskies to mostly outside shots. Balls registered NIU's first long ball of the game on the team's 33rd attempt with 2:05 to go.
The Eagles begin a two-game road swing against MAC East Division foe Ohio University Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Athens, Ohio. Tipoff against the Bobcats is slated for 7 p.m.