Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 12/14/2013
Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Toledo 77, Sam Houston 61
Akron 84, Bethune Cookman 56
Ohio 72, Alabama A&M 47
UMass 80, Northern Illinois 54
Dayton 84, Central Michigan 58
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Toledo 77, Sam Houston 61
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo dominated the second half on Saturday afternoon to keep its unbeaten record intact in a 77-61 triumph over visiting Sam Houston State (7-4) in Savage Arena. The Rockets are now 9-0 this season, matching their fifth-best start in school history and leaving it one game shy of their best start in 15 years - a 10-0 opening to  the 1998-99 campaign.
Junior guard Justin Drummond paced a balanced Rocket attack with 18 points, while junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds.  Freshman guard Jonathan Williams matched his season high with 15 points, including a season-best three treys. UT’s leading scorer, senior guard Rian Pearson, also was in double figures with 12 points.
Toledo shot 50.0 percent (30-of-60) from the field, marking the seventh time in nine occasions it has made at least half of its shots in a game. UT also tallied a season-high 21 assists while committing a season-low five turnovers.  Six different Rockets dished out two or more assists led by junior guard Julius Brown’s game-high six assists.
UT’s defense produced its best defensive effort of the season, limiting the Bearkats to a 35.6 shooting mark and a 17.6 three-point FG%. SHSU entered the contest with a 43.1 three-point FG% which ranked 13th nationally.
Senior forward Terrance Motley came off the bench to lead Sam Houston State in scoring with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
After trailing 30-28 at intermission following its lowest first-half scoring output of the season, Pearson and Drummond opened and ended a 10-0 run midway through the second stanza with treys to give UT a 53-43 cushion with 9:07 remaining. Williams then knocked down back-to-back treys a few minutes later to provide the Rockets breathing room and a 67-51 advantage with 4:24 to play.
Toledo will hit the road early next week for a matchup against a veteran Arkansas State squad on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7:05 p.m. CST. The Rockets return home for their final game before the Christmas holidays with a 2:00 p.m. matchup vs. Cleveland State.
Akron 84, Bethune Cookman 56
AKRON, Ohio – A 37-6 run to close the first half helped spark the Akron Zips to a 84-56 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.
Following a 15-all tie with the Wildcats, the Zips (3-2) overpowered BCU (2-11) on both ends of the court and kept them to just six points in the last 9:48 of the first half.
Akron made a strong showing as a team, with all 11 players seeing game action recording at least one point.
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell led all players with 19 points on the night after going 7-of-7 from the field. His strong performance on offense was matched with four rebounds, one blocked shot and two steals.
Nick Harney and Deji Ibitayo also reached double figures, posting 15 and 11 points, respectively Ibitayo added five boards, three assists and one steal while Harney also finished with five boards.
Barry Smith led BCU in scoring with 14 total points.
Akron's shooting allowed them to lead by as many as 36 points. The Zips closed the game shooting 58.7 percent from the field (27-of-46), including 10-of-21 from 3-point range (47.6 percent).
The Wildcats went 21-of-54 from the field for 38.9 percent.
In the first half, Akron shot 66.7 percent from the field while the Wildcats connected on just 35.7 percent.
The Zips racked up the score from behind the arc, going 8-of-11 (72.7 percent) over the first 20 minutes. However, the Zips' highest shooting percentage of the half came from the charity stripe where they shot 80.0 percent after going 12-of-15 from the line.
A Treadwell bucket from long range at the halftime buzzer would give the Zips a 52-21 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Zips continue their homestand on Dec. 16 when they take on Oral Roberts at Rhodes Arena. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Ohio 72, Alabama A&M 47
ATHENS, Ohio – Behind a balanced scoring attack and strong defensive effort, the Ohio University men’s basketball team (7-2) surged past visiting Alabama A&M (3-5) by the score of 72-47 Saturday afternoon inside the Convocation Center.
Junior forward Maurice Ndour (Mbour, Senegal), junior guard Javarez Willis (Homer, La.) and senior guard T.J. Hall (Gainesville, Fla.) each posted 12 points to pace the Ohio offense, while Ndour added six rebounds and four blocks in another stellar defensive effort. Hall added four rebounds and two steals, while Willis tied a season-high with four assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
Ohio put forth one of its strongest defensive efforts of the 2013-14 campaign, by limiting the Bulldogs to season lows by a Bobcat opponent in points (47), field goals made (15) and field goal percentage (15-54, .278). The Bobcats also swatted nine shots and made 11 steals while holding strong advantages in points off turnovers (24-12) and fast break points (14-0).
The Bobcats connected on 50 percent of their shots (24-48) in the game and made 15 assists on the day. Ohio worked the ball well down low while holding a 36-8 edge in points in the paint against the Bulldogs’ sizable front line. Behind Hall and Willis, the Bobcats also were +14 (40-26) in bench scoring in the contest.
Ohio is 5-0 when it wins the bench scoring battle this season.
A pair of bigs also played well for the Green & White, as senior forward Jon Smith (Grove City, Ohio) notched eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while freshman forward Antonio Campbell (Covington, Ky.) added career highs in points (6) and rebounds (7) in 11 minutes off the bench.
After the teams battled back and forth over the first six minutes of action, a 3-pointer from Willis gave Ohio a four-point lead (11-7) at the 13:37 mark of the first half. From there, the ‘Cats put together an impressive 14-0 run – highlighted by nine points from Hall – to move ahead by 16 at 30-14 with 5:29 to play in the period.
The Green & White entered the break ahead by 15 (37-22).
The lead increased to 21 (54-33) with 10:45 to play in the game and Ohio went ahead by as many as 25 (65-40) on free throws by Willis with five minutes to play. Ohio held the Bulldogs without a field goal over the final 4:48 to keep Alabama A&M under 50 points for the game.
Senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) scored his 1,000th career point late in the second half and is now one of just 36 players in Ohio history to accomplish the feat.
Ohio returns to action on Wednesday (Nov. 18) against No. 22/20 Massachusetts at 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. The Minutemen will be the highest ranked team to descend upon the Convo since No. 6 Kentucky invaded Athens on Dec. 30, 1997.
UMass 80, Northern Illinois 54
AMHERST, Mass. -- The 22nd-ranked UMass Minutemen shot 57 percent in the second half and outscored the Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team, 36-19, in the final 14 minutes en route to an 80-56 victory over the Huskies on Saturday afternoon at the Mullins Center. 
Freshman guard Dontel Highsmith (Dowagiac, Mich./Dowagiac) scored 10 points to lead NIU. 
UMass shot 50 percent (29-of-58) for the contest while holding NIU to just 37 percent (20-of-54) shooting from the field. The Minutemen held a 23-5 advantage in second chance points. 
“We were hanging around 6-8 minutes into the second half,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “We got back-to-back stops but we couldn’t get back-to-back makes. It’s difficult when you are playing catch-up, down 12 at the half, and you need multiple stops and multiple baskets. UMass is a very, very good team. They have a lot of weapons and you have to give them credit.”
Raphiael Putney made a trio of threes in the opening four minutes as UMass jumped out to a quick 11-2 advantage in the opening four minutes of the contest. 
The UMass (9-0) advantage reached 14, 33-19, before an old-fashioned three-point play by redshirt junior Jordan Threloff (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb/Illinois State) and a floater from sophomore guard Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) brought NIU (3-5) back within single-digits, 33-24, with 4:18 to play in the first half. 
Threloff, limited due to illness, scored seven points, had two assists and two blocked shots. 
UMass pushed its lead back to 13 until a four-point play by Balls trimmed the lead back to nine with 1:15 left in the half. Chaz Williams, the reigning National Player of the Week, ended the opening 20 minutes with a triple, his only points of the half, as the Minutemen took a 40-28 lead into the intermission. 
Ballas led NIU with eight first half points, while Cady Lalanne and Putney each had 13 to pace the Minutemen.
Senior forward Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) opened the second half with a triple before a layup by Highsmith with 16:23 to play cut the UMass lead to just eight, 41-33. 
Bolin finished with a season-high eight points, including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, to go along with four rebounds.
Following the Highsmith basket, UMass used an 11-2 burst to push its lead to 52-35 with just under 13 minutes remaining. 
Lalanne led all scorers with 17 points, Putney and Clyde Santee each added 13 while Williams and Maxie Esho chipped in a dozen for the Minutemen, the top-ranked team in the nation according to the RPI. 
NIU will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 18, when the Huskies travel to Chicago to face Loyola. Game time against the Ramblers is scheduled for 7 p.m. 
Dayton 84, Central Michigan 58
DAYTON, Ohio – Central Michigan saw its four-game win streak come to end on Saturday evening, falling to Dayton, 84-58, at the Flyers’ UD Arena.
Sophomore guard Chris Fowler highlighted the night for the Chippewas, leading all scorers with 20 points, on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and making 6-of-7 free throw attempts. He also added a game-high five assists.
With Dayton focused on guarding against the three-point shot, CMU was able to generate offense in the first half by driving to the basket and by getting to the foul line. Seventeen of the Chippewas’ 24 first half points came from inside the paint or at the line. CMU was just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc, with John Simons accounting for the lone make with 2:40 left to play. 
Dayton jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead by the 16:48 mark, which was countered by a 6-3 CMU run thanks to buckets by Braylon Rayson, Simons and Austin Stewart. The Flyers regained the momentum and extended its lead to 10 at 20-10 with two free throws from Devin Scott. 
Central Michigan (6-4) managed again to narrow the deficit, this time to five points, at 22-17 on a made free throw by Fowler with 7:01 remaining. But Dayton answered back with an 8-0 run and then expanded its lead to 14 by the halftime break at 38-24.
Dayton (8-2) maintained its advantage the entire second half but CMU managed to pull within 10 points twice. A Fowler layup and a Rayson jumper with 15:29 left to play made the game 54-44. A 10-2 run, which included a three-pointer from Austin Keel and was punctuated by two free throws by Fowler at the 9:08 mark, put the score of at 59-49. However, CMU could close the gap no further over the remainder of the game. 
CMU struggled with one of its strong suits throughout the contest, shooting just 13.6 percent (3-of-22) from beyond the arc. The Chippewas shot 39.3 percent from the field for the game (22-of-56) and made 11-of-18 free throws (61.1%).
Rayson added nine points while Stewart totaled eight, including going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Simons pulled down a team-high six rebounds. 
Dayton’s Devin Oliver and Dyshawn Pierce each scored 15 points, leading five Flyers players in double figures.
CMU will finish out a three-game road swing next week when it takes on Jacksonville State (4-7) at the Pete Mathews Coliseum in Jacksonville, Ala. on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Tip off is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. ET. The Chippewas defeated the Gamecocks earlier this season, 66-61, on November 30 in McGuirk Arena.