Sunday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results
Akron 83, Ohio 80 (2OT)
Northern Illinois 45, Bowling Green 36
Stories Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 83, Ohio 80 (2OT)
ATHENS, Ohio – Forty minutes was not enough as the Akron Zips gutted out an 83-80 win in double-overtime over the Ohio Bobcats on Sunday night at the Convocation Center.
Quincy Diggs led the Zips to the win with nine points in the overtime, none bigger than his put-back with 30.4 seconds to go to give Akron a three-point advantage. He finished with a team-high 20 points to go with seven boards.
Four other Zips (10-5, 2-0 MAC) reached double figures, including Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell (16), Jake Kretzer (11), Pat Forsythe (11) and Nick Harney (10).
Maurice NDour led Ohio (11-4, 1-1 MAC) with a game-high 25 points.
Ohio opened up six-point lead (68-62) with 1:43 left in the first overtime, but the Zips would close the gap on a Harney free throw and a Kretzer 3-pointer. Akron would call its final timeout of the overtime down just 68-66 with 56.4 remaining.
Stevie Taylor hit a jumper to give Ohio a four-point lead, but Diggs' 3-pointer made it 70-69 with 14.2 remaining. OU's Nick Kellogg would go 1-of-2 at the line and Diggs answered the bell again, hitting a jumper with 2.2 to go to send the game into double overtime.
Harney gave the Zips a three-point lead (79-76) with 2:29 to go in double overtime thanks to a pair of free throws. With Akron up one, Diggs rebounded his own miss to give the Zips an 83-80 lead with 30.4 remaining.
After Nyles Evans missed a pair of free throws, Ohio called timeout with 13.8 on the clock, looking to tie the game. The Bobcats had two shots to tie it, but both would come up short as Akron would win 83-80.
With the Zips leading by four early in the second half, Ohio went on a quick 6-0 run to take a 39-37 lead at the 14:13 mark. With the game tied at 41-all (12:28), Ohio opened up an eight-point lead (49-41) over the next 3:14 to force the Zips to call a timeout.
A Reggie McAdams 3-pointer with 5:22 and a Harney floater on Akron's next possession forced Ohio to call time out with its lead just three (54-51) with 4:20 to go. On the following possession, Diggs would tie the game at 56-56 with a long ball.
Ohio would take a two-point lead, but the Zips would get a stop on the defensive end on OU's next possession. Following a timeout, Treadwell would find Harney in the paint to tie the game at 60-60 with 56.5 seconds remaining. Both teams would turn the ball over late, sending the game into overtime.
Both teams showed some early jitters, combining to go 1-of-9 from the field over the first three-plus minutes. However, McAdams and Diggs would connect on back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Zips an early 6-2 lead.
With the Zips leading 12-7 near the midway mark of the half, Ohio connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to grab a 15-13 lead into the under-8 media timeout.
After both teams traded buckets, Ohio hit four-consecutive free throws to take a 21-17 lead into the final media timeout (3:57). The Zips responded with four-straight of their own from the charity stripe to tie the game at 21-all.
A Kretzer 3-pointer would give the Zips a slim 26-25 lead at the intermission. He led the Zips with six points as Akron shot 33.3 percent from the floor (8-of-24) and 50.0 percent from long range (4-of-8). UA won the battle on the boards 20-16 while committing nine turnovers to Ohio's eight.
The Zips return home for a two-game homestand beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 15, when they play host to Miami (Ohio). Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Northern Illinois 45, Bowling Green 36
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Trailing by one with three minutes to play, the Northern Illinois University men's basketball team outscored Bowling Green 11-1 down the stretch to earn a 45-36 victory on Sunday afternoon at the Stroh Center. Sophomore guard Travon Baker (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Consortium) scored a game-high 13 points, including six in the final two minutes of the contest.
With the victory, NIU improves to 7-7 overall, 1-1 in Mid-American Conference play. Bowling Green falls to 6-9 overall, 0-2 in conference play.
Trailing 35-34, senior Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Akser) knocked down a triple from the wing, pushing the Huskies back in front, 37-35, with three minutes to play. After forcing a Bowling Green turnover, a runner from Baker gave NIU a four-point lead.
A free throw by Bowling Green cut the lead back to three until Baker connected on a triple from the top of the key, beating the shot clock with 1:04 left to give the Huskies a 42-36 lead. NIU held Bowling Green scoreless in the final minute, going on to earn its first win at the Stroh Center, snapping a seven-game overall losing streak to the Falcons in the process.
"It wasn't pretty but we found a way to win," said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. "Our defense deserves a lot of credit. Anytime you hold a team to 29 percent shooting on the road and get to the free-throw line 28 times, even though we only made 13, you are doing something right. We also outrebounded Bowling Green by 11 (40-29) and everyone knows that we pride ourselves on our defense and rebounding.
"I said in the locker room that we needed a balanced offensive attack and even though we didn't score many points it was balanced, and a road win in the MAC is never easy to get."
The Falcons were within three in the early going until NIU used a 5-0 burst to take a 15-7 lead, forcing a Falcons timeout. Sophomore Darrell Bowie (Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep) finished the run with a layup to give NIU an eight-point lead with 6:06 to play in the half.
Bowie scored six points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Junior Jordan Threloff (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb/Illinois State) also grabbed eight rebounds.
Out of the timeout, Bowling Green responded with the next four points to pull within four, but a steal and jam by freshman Aaric Armstead (Chicago, Ill./La Jolla Prep) pushed the Huskie advantage back to a half-dozen, 17-11.
A pull-up jumper from sophomore Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and a triple from junior Aaron Armstead (Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan/San Jose City College) helped push the NIU lead to nine, 22-13, and the Huskies took their largest lead of the half on a jumper by Baker that gave the Huskies a 25-14 edge with 1:21 left in the half.
A dunk for the Falcons just before the buzzer cut the Huskie lead to eight, 26-18, at the intermission. Baker led NIU with seven points in the opening 20 minutes; Richaun Holmes led all scorers with eight points.
NIU shot 39.1 percent (9-of-23) in the opening stanza but held Bowling Green to just 25 percent (5-of-20) shooting in the opening 20 minutes. Both teams struggled with turnovers in the opening eight minutes of the half, each had eight in the early going, but NIU committed just one the rest of the half and Bowling Green committed just two.
The Falcons scored the first eight points out of the break, including a pair of triples, to even the contest, 26-26. Balls answered with a triple to put the Huskies back up by three but Bowling Green scored the next five to take its first lead of the second half, 31-29.
A free throw by junior Pete Rakocevic (Chicago, Ill./Wilbraham & Monson/Sacramento State) put the Huskies back in front, 34-33, before a jumper from Jehvon Clarke gave Bowling Green the lead with 5:16 left.
Bolin's trifecta then put the Huskies back in front and ignited the game-closing run.
Holmes scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded six blocks to lead Bowling Green.
The Huskies will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 15, when they host their first Mid-American Conference home game of the season against Kent State. Game time between the Huskies and Golden Flashes is scheduled for 7 p.m., at the NIU Convocation Center.