Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

Updated 12/28/2013
Saturday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Toledo 85, Coppin State 66
Cleveland State 78, Kent State 70
Duke 82, Eastern Michigan 59
South Carolina 78, Akron 45
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Toledo 85, Coppin State 66
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo started strong and never trailed on Saturday afternoon as the Rockets remained unbeaten with an 85-66 triumph over Coppin State (4-8) in Savage Arena. With the victory, UT improved to 12-0 to match the 1940-41 squad for the second-longest unbeaten start to a season in school history.
Senior guard Rian Pearson paced a balanced Rocket attack with a game-high 22 points with junior guard Julius Brown (18 pts.), junior guard Justin Drummond (13 pts.) and senior forward Matt Smith (season-high 10 pts.) also scoring in double figures.
Toledo also dominated the glass for a third-straight outing with a commanding 47-25 rebounding advantage. Over its last three contests, UT has outrebounded its opponents by a 136-84 margin.
Freshman guard Jordan Lauf led the Rockets’ rebounding efforts with a season-high 10 caroms with junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon tying a season best with nine boards.
Brown also spearheaded the Rocket offense with a game-high seven assists to help UT tally 19 helpers as a team with just 11 turnovers. Toledo shot 49.2 percent (29-of-59) from the field and limited the Eagles to a 39.7 shooting mark (23-of-58).
Senior guard Andre Armstrong came off the bench to lead the Eagles with 15 points.
Toledo took control in the latter stages of the opening stanza, ending the half on a 16-2 run for a 44-24 halftime advantage that was the Rockets’ largest lead after 20 minutes this season.
UT increased its lead to 22 points early in the second half before the Eagles rallied to within 71-58 with five minutes to play. Brown was able to restore the Rockets’ cushion back to 20 points at 82-62 though with a trey at the 2:06 mark.
Toledo now has a quick turnaround as it returns to action on Monday, Dec. 30 with a trip to Lawrence, KS to battle No. 16 Kansas. Tip-off time from Allen Fieldhouse which can be seen on ESPN 3 is 7:00 p.m. (CT).
Cleveland State 78, Kent State 70
KENT, Ohio – Kent State lost for the second time in a row on its home floor, falling 78-70 to Cleveland State on Saturday night at the M.A.C. Center despite a season-high 18 points from Derek Jackson.
The 55th best free-throw shooting team in the nation split too many pairs from the foul line in the second half and ended up making just 65.5-percent of its free throws (19-for-29). Cleveland State, meanwhile, managed to close out its win from the foul line, where it connected on 21-for-24 (87.5 percent).
The Vikings built a lead that reached 11 points with 4:38 to play. The Flashes pulled back to within three points with 3:02 remaining after two K.K. Simmons free throws, but suffered too many empty possessions in the final three minutes.
"I've got to tip my hat to them. Cleveland State played very well," said Kent State coach Rob Senderoff. "I try to give other team credit when they deserve it … Overall our effort wasn't where it needed to be to win games, especially on the defensive end."
Jackson led all scorers with 18 points, connecting on 5-of-9 from the floor. While he also finished with five rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes, Jackson converted just 6-of-11 from the foul line. 
"I can't explain that," said Senderoff. "Derek is a usually a very good free-throw shooter. Yesterday in practice he made 49 in a row."
Mark Henniger added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Flashes. Henniger broke Trevor Huffman's record for consecutive free throws made (39) by making his first four attempts on the night to extend his streak to 41 before finishing 6-for-7. Darren Goodson also scored 14, but made just five of his 16 shots from the field, including 2-of-8 from three-point range. As a team, Kent State made just 7-of-27 from beyond the arc.
Cleveland State's bench outscored Kent State's 28-15 thanks in large part to Sebastian Douglas, who scored 14 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting. He also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. 
"Every play Sebastian Douglas made was a big one," said Senderoff. "Trey Lewis also made some big shots for them. Everyone who stepped on the floor for them seemed to come up with a big play."
Bryn Forbes matched Douglas' team high. His 14 included a buzzer-beater three to give the Vikings a 30-28 lead at halftime.
Trey Lewis and Anton Grady added 12 points each for Cleveland State (8-6) while Marlin Mason scored 10. Jon Harris contributed eight points off the bench, all coming in the second half.
Kent State won the rebounding battle 32-28 with half of those coming off of the offensive glass as the Flashes outscored the Vikings 17-8 in second-chance points.
The Flashes (9-3) will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule on Tuesday when it travels to Princeton. They open Mid-American Conference play at home when Ohio University visits the M.A.C. Center on Jan. 8.
Duke 82, Eastern Michigan 59
DURHAM, N.C. ( – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team fell to the No. 9-ranked Duke University Blue Devils, 82-59, Saturday afternoon inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. With the setback, the Eagles dropped to 7-4 on the season while Duke improved to 10-2.
Mike Talley (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale ABT) led the Eagles for the second straight game, scoring 20 points, just one shy of his career high. Karrington Ward (Lockport, Ill.-Lockport Township) tallied 11 points while grabbing six rebounds, and J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider) also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points. EMU shot 37.5 percent from the floor (21-of-56), sinking just 4-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Eagles made 23 trips to the foul line, successfully making 13 of them. Eastern scored 26 points in the paint while also recording 18 points off 14 Duke turnovers.
Freshman standout Jabari Parker netted a team-high 23 points for the Blue Devils. Teammate Andre Dawkins added 20 by taking all of his shots from three point land, going 6-of-10. Duke made 24-of-60 attempt from the field for a 40.0 percent clip, including 10-of-29 from long range. Legendary Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski's team made frequent trips to the line all afternoon, sinking 24-of-32 from the charity stripe. The Blue Devils also out-rebounded EMU, 47-32, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds for 18 second chance points.
The Eagles took the opening tip and scored on its first possession as Talley drove the lane and converted while drawing the foul. The EMU starting guard converted the old-fashioned three point play to put the Eagles ahead, 3-0. Duke responded with a pair of dunks by Parker to take its first lead of the game; however, Talley answered with a three from the top of the key to give his team the early 6-4 advantage. The matchup of Parker versus Talley continued as the Duke freshman drilled a three from the wing to give the lead back to Duke.  Following a free throw, Parker and Talley had scored all of the points for their respective teams going into the first media timeout, as Duke led by two, 8-6.
Coming out of the break, Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio-St. Vincent-St. Mary) checked into the contest and immediately made an impact, sinking a jumper over Parker to knot the contest up, 8-8. The Blue Devils proceeded to convert a pair of free throws on the other end, but Harrison tied the game up once again with another basket from the wing.
EMU would go through a four-minute scoring drought that allowed Duke to score eight straight. Finally, Sims ended the dry spell with three pointer to cut the deficit to five. Sims continued on a tear coming off the bench, scoring eight of Eastern's next 10 points to get within one bucket, 22-20, with 7:13 remaining in the first half.
Over the next four minutes, the Blue Devils broke open the contest with a 10-1 run to build their lead into double digits. The Eagles tallied four of their next six points from the charity stripe to cut the margin to 10, 37-27, going into the locker room.
The Green and White made one-third of its shots in the opening half, converting 9-of-27 from the field. Talley led the Eagles with nine points while Sims added eight off the bench. Eastern struggled from beyond the arc (2-of-9) as well as from the foul line, making 7-of-12.
Parker scored 14 first half points to pace the Blue Devils at the break on 6-of-11 shooting. As a team, Duke shot at a 37.9 clip (11-of-29), only making three of its 14 attempts from three point land. The Blue Devils converted 12-of-19 from the charity stripe while holding a 23-18 advantage in rebounding as well.
Both team exchanged buckets back and forth to begin the final 20 minutes, but the Eagles trimmed the margin back to single digits, 43-35. Nonetheless, Duke quickly built the lead back up with an 8-0 run, forcing Head Coach Rob Murphy to call timeout with 13:23 remaining in the game. Following two Duke free throws, Ward ended the run by splitting a pair of free throws of his own.
Trailing by 20, an EMU double team in the back court allowed Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy) to swipe the ball only to find Ward down the middle of the lane. The junior Eagle took the ball and soared through the air to throw down a thunderous dunk that drew recognition from the Duke faithful inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. However, Duke answered right back as Rasheed Sulaimon completed a three-point play after being foul on his successful shot attempt.
Just as he started, Talley finished strong by scoring the final seven points of the game for the Eagles to bring the final score to 82-59.
The Green and White remain on the road to close out the 2013 calendar year, traveling to Syracuse University to face the No. 2-ranked Orange, Dec. 31. The New Year's Eve tilt is set for 3 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.
South Carolina 78, Akron 45
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Akron Zips ended their four-game road trip with a 78-45 loss at South Carolina on Saturday at the Colonial Life Arena.
Quincy Diggs led the Zips with 13 points as Akron (6-5) finished the shooting 32.5 percent from the floor (13-of-40) and 25.0 percent from long range (4-of-16). Deji Ibitayo finished with eight points.
Akron lost the rebounding battle 34-27 while committing 21 turnovers.
Brenton Williams led South Carolina (5-6) with 24 points.
Both teams shot the ball well to open the game, with the Zips connecting on 42.9 percent from the floor while South Carolina hit on 44.4 percent over the first eight minutes. Akron would cling to a slim 14-13 lead at the under-12 media timeout (11:45).
With the Zips leading 18-15, the Gamecocks used a quick 9-0 run to open up a 24-18 advantage by the 5:02 mark of the first half. Akron responded, closing the gap to 25-23 on a Carmelo Betancourt layup, but SC would score five of the last six points of the half to take a 30-24 lead into the locker room.
Diggs led the Zips with seven points in the first half as Akron shot 38.1 percent from the floor (8-of-21) and 40.0 percent from long range (2-of-5). UA out-rebounded SC 16-14, but committed eight turnovers to just three by the Gamecocks.
South Carolina opened the second half on a 7-1 run, forcing Akron to use its first timeout of the second half trailing 39-25 with 17:35 left in the game.
The SC lead would grow to 47-25 at the 12:24 mark as the Zips would struggle from the field in the second half. Akron would not be able to put a run together, ending the road trip with a 78-45 loss.
The Zips return home to wrap up their non-conference schedule with two-straight games at James A. Rhodes Arena. Akron will play host to Coppin State on New Year's Eve at 6 p.m. ET.