Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 11/27/2013
Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Kent State 83, Youngstown State 79
No. 3/4 Kentucky 81, Eastern Michigan 63
Oral Roberts 63, Bowling Green 56
Utah vs. Ball State
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Kent State 83, Youngstown State 79
KENT, Ohio – Five Kent State players scored in double figures as the Golden Flashes held off Youngstown State for an 83-79 win to continue a perfect homestand on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.
 
Derek Jackson scored 15 points, Kris Brewer added 14, and the two starting guards combined for three free throws in the final 10 seconds to clinch the Flashes' fifth consecutive victory at home. 
 
"We got a lot of contributions again from several different players," said Rob Senderoff, whose team improved to 7-1. "I'm really happy with this win because Youngstown State is a very good team that is going to make some noise in the Horizon League. Kamren Belin was outstanding for them tonight."
 
Belin was 14-for-15 from the foul line and 4-of-10 from three-point range on his way to a game-high 32 points. He combined with preseason Horizon League player of the year Kendrick Perry (15 points) to lead a 14-2 run in the opening minutes to tie the game at 44-44 after Kent State took a 42-30 lead into the break.
 
For the second game in a row, K.K. Simmons came off of the bench to slow an opponent's run, drilling three three-pointers midway through the second half as the Flashes re-opened a nine-point lead. Simmons finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
 
Mark Henniger continued his run of fine play, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds after earning last week's Mid-American Conference East Division player of the week award. At the other forward spot, Darren Goodson added 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals and Chris Ortiz made a big contribution off of the bench with seven points and four rebounds in just 11 minutes.
 
Kent State dominated the glass, out-rebounding Youngstown State 40-29. The Flashes were out-scored 26-22 in the paint, but turned the game around in the second half when they turned their focus towards attacking the basket.
 
The homestand continues for Kent State on Sunday when Kennesaw State visits the M.A.C. Center for a 2 p.m. tip. All Children 12 and under will get in free when they attend with an adult paying for a full-price ticket. The Flashes close their run of seven straight games at home when Bucknell visits on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
 
No. 3/4 Kentucky 81, Eastern Michigan 63
LEXINGTON, Ky. (EMUEagles.com) – After starting the 2013-14 season 5-0, the Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team was handed its first loss at the hands of the No. 3/4-ranked University of Kentucky, 81-63, Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Rupp Arena. With the loss, the Eagles (5-1) fail to earn the right to call themselves the champions of the 2013 Keightley Classic, while the Wildcats (6-1) went 4-0 in the tournament, taking the title outright.
 
The Green and White was led by junior college transfer Darell Combs (Chicago, Ill.-Thornwood (Blinn)) who posted a career-best 23 points, along with a pair of rebounds, while Daylen Harrison (Arkon, Ohio-St. Vincent/St. Mary (Wyoming)) tied his season-high of nine points in the loss. Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy (Arkansas)) posted eight points off the bench, along with three rebounds and a trio of blocked shots as the Eagles shot 36.4 percent after going 24-for-66 from the floor and just 4-of-19 from three-point land which was good for 21.1 percent. EMU did manage to cause 20 Kentucky turnovers, while notching nine steals, including a pair from Daylen Harrison, Mo Hughley (Queens Villiage, N.Y.-Martin Van Buren (CSU Bakersfield)) and Mike Talley (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale ABT (Duquesne)) each.
 
The Wildcats had four players score in double-figures, including Julius Randle notching his seventh-straight double-double of the season. The freshman forward grabbed 10 rebounds while pouring in 14 points. Aaron Harrison led the team with 22 points, including shooting 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson notched 15 and 10 points, respectively. Defensively, Kentucky turned away nine EMU shots, including Cauley-Stein swatting seven. The Wildcats went 25-of-58 from the floor (43.1 percent), while the hitting just 3-of-16 three-point attempts (18.8 percent). The Wildcats work at the free throw line proved to be the difference with Kentucky scoring 28 of its points on 40 attempts at the line.
 
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on a pair of buckets, one from Raven Lee (Detroit, Mich.-Romulus) and Karrington Ward (Lockport, Ill.-Lockport Township (Moraine Valley CC)) each. However, Kentucky used an Aaron Harrison jumper to get on the board just over a minute into the game. After nearly two minutes of scoreless play, Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day (Syracuse)) put a jumper off the glass to put the Eagles back on top by four.
 
The Wildcats went on a 10-2 run in the next three minutes of action to take their first lead of the night, one which they never relinquished. Eastern Michigan and Kentucky traded baskets for awhile until a 13-4 run by the Wildcats had the Eagles looking at a 10 point deficit with 4:41 remaining in the opening 20 minutes of play. Eastern closed out the half with a 13-6 run, cutting the Kentucky lead to three, 35-32, heading into halftime.
 
Eastern scored 32 points in the opening half after posting 12-of-31 field goals for a 38.7 percent field goal percentage. Combs led the way with eight points, while Daylen Harrison poured in seven, with even other Eagles scoring points in the first half. Kentucky went 10-of-23 from the floor in the first 20 minutes, shooting at a 43.5 percent clip. The Wildcats went to the free throw line 21 times, while EMU saw just nine shots from the charity stripes in the first half. The Eagles did hold Kentucky to a 12.5 percent clip from beyond the arc after the Wildcats went 1-of-8 from downtown.
 
Coming out of the locker room, Head Coach Rob Murphy's Eagles traded buckets with Kentucky before a 13-2 run gave the Wildcats a 13 point lead with 12:39 left in the second half of the game. During that run, EMU was held to 3-of-15 shooting with four turnovers.
 
The Eagles managed to go back-and-forth with Kentucky, until the Wildcats gradually pulled away, leading by as many as 21 at 79-58 with 2:39 left in the game. The final 2:28 of the contest saw just three field goals made. Combs finished his night by draining a step-back trey, before Johnson had a put-back for the Wildcats. Anthony Strickland (Ypsilanti, Mich.-D.H. Robichaud (Adrian)) completed the contest with a layup for his only points of the game, making the final score 81-63.
 
Eastern returns back to Ypsilanti, Mich. Tuesday, Dec. 3, when it welcomes in the No. 24-ranked University of Massachusetts to the Convocation Center for a 7 p.m. contest. UMass comes into the game with a perfect 6-0 record. The Minutemen and Eastern Michigan have only met two times in the history of the two programs, with UMass winning both contests.
 
Oral Roberts 63, Bowling Green 56
Cancun, Mexico – Bowling Green State University had three players score in double digits and held the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles to only two points for over eight minutes in the first half, yet saw the Golden Eagles hit free throws down the stretch to escape with a 63-56 win over the Falcons in the Mayan Division Championship Game of the 2013 Cancun Challenge held at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico.
 
The loss drops BGSU to 2-4 on the season, while Oral Roberts improved to 4-3 on the year with the win.
 
Senior center Cameron Black and redshirt-junior guard Anthony Henderson both earned a spot on the Mayan Division All-Tournament Team.
 
Both Henderson and forward Spencer Parker had 12 points apiece to lead the Falcons offensively, while Black registered his second straight double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds in the loss. With his second straight double-double, Black becomes the first Falcon to accomplish that feat since Nate Miller posted three-straight double-doubles in March of 2008.
 
Forward Richaun Holmes, who fouled out late in the second half, had nine points and six rebounds, while point guard Jehvon Clarke tallied seven points and three assists in 36 minutes of play.
 
For Oral Roberts, Shawn Glover, the Tournament MVP, had a game-high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, while Korey Billbury and Adrion Webber added 17 and 10 points apiece, respectively, in the win.
 
Bowling Green got two early baskets down low in the paint from Black, yet saw Oral Roberts go back-and-forth with the Falcons over the next several minutes to tie the score up at 10-10 on a Glover jump shot with 13:48 to go in the first half.
 
Another jumper from Glover less than a minute later kicked-off a 9-2 run by Oral Roberts to push the visitors in blue out to its largest lead of the first half to that point at 19-12 with 10:55 to go before the halftime intermission.
 
After back-to-back free throws and a three-point from Webber gave the Golden Eagles a 10 point lead at 24-14, the final eight minutes of the first half belonged to the Falcons.
 
BGSU got an old-fashion three-point play from Holmes at the 6:49 mark which jump-started an 8-0 run for the Falcons, highlighted by a breakaway dunk from freshman JD Tisdale, to put the home team down just one at 24-23 with 5:06 remaining in the opening half.
 
Oral Roberts got another jump shot from Glover to push the visitors lead to three at 26-23 with 4:40 on the game clock, yet it would not slow down the offensive surge by the Falcons who ran off 12 straight unanswered points to finish the half to take a 35-29 lead into the break on back-to-back three-pointers from Parker and Clarke.
 
The Bowling Green defense gave up an early jump shot to Glover to start the second half, ending the Golden Eagles' scoring drought at five minutes, yet responded with back-to-back layups from Black and Henderson to extend its lead to 11 at 39-28 just two minutes into the second half of play.
 
BGSU continued to thwart off the Golden Eagles' scoring runs with key fast break layups, yet after a steal and breakaway layup from Henderson put the Falcons' lead to 10 at 45-35, Oral Roberts answered with a 15-5 run over the next six minutes to tie the contest up at 50-50.
 
The score would remain tied at 50-50 over the next three minutes as neither team could score the go ahead bucket, until a layup in the post by Glover out of a 30 second timeout gave the visitors the first lead since midway through the first half at 52-50 with 5:04 remaining on the game clock.
 
Bowling Green's Henderson answered back with a jump shot of his own at the 3:05 mark of the second half to knot the game back up, this time at 52-52, with just over three minutes to go in the game.
 
Oral Roberts immediately followed with a jumper from D.J. Jackson to retake the lead at 54-52 and then sent the Falcons to the free throw line on the very next BG offensive possession.
 
Yet the Falcons could not take advantage down the stretch, as BGSU went 1-of-5 from the charity stripe over the final 2:49 of the game, which forced them to foul on the defensive end where Oral Roberts went 6-of-7 to help seal the 63-56 win.
 
Bowling Green continued to play well in the paint, as the Falcons outscored the Golden Eagles 38-28 in points in the paint. However, Oral Roberts held a slight advantage in both points off turnovers, 17-14, and bench points, 12-6, over BGSU.
 
Bowling Green (2-4) will return home to host Western Kentucky on Monday night, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Stroh Center.
 
Ball State 88, Utah 69
SALT LAKE CITY -- Five Ball State players scored in double figures Wednesday night, but the Cardinals fell to Utah, 88-69, at the Huntsman Center.
 
Zavier Turned led Ball State (2-3) with 15 points, all in the second half, while Majok Majok recorded his third straight double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.
 
Utah (6-0), an athletic Pac-12 team with a size advantage, was able to get the ball to the rim, scoring 62 of its points either in the paint or at the free throw line. The Utes shot 56 percent for the game and 67 percent in the second half to hold off a Ball State rally.
 
“I was proud of our fight for a while,” Ball State coach James Whitford said. “We didn’t defend well tonight. Offensively, we made a great run in the second half and we started pushing the ball. But we made too many mistakes to win against a good team on the road.”
 
Delon Wright led Utah with 23 points, while Brandon Taylor added 17. Princeton Onwas scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Utes.
 
Jesse Berry finished with 13 points for Ball State, while Mark Alstork and Franko House added 10 each. It was the first time the Cardinals put five scorers in double figures since last year’s season opener against Grambling State.
 
Despite trailing by 15 points in the first half and again early in the second, Ball State hung around. The Cardinals trimmed the lead to 56-50 on a Tyler Koch 3-pointer with 11:23 to play and were still within single digits as late as the 8-minute mark.
 
But Utah was there to answer every Ball State run. The Utes were able to gradually build on their lead to close the game out down the stretch. In addition to a 44-24 advantage in the paint, Utah also turned 15 Ball State turnovers into 18 points.
 
The Cardinals shot better than 50 percent for much of the second half until tailing off down the stretch. They shot 38.6 percent for the game. 
 
Ball State freshmen combined for 35 points on the night. It was the duo of Alstork and House who kept the Cardinals in it early by combining for 15 first-half points before Turner went for 15 in the second.
 
Ball State will now fly back East to continue its Thanksgiving week road trip with a Saturday game at Cleveland State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.