Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Akron 52, Eastern Michigan 48
Toledo 83, Bowling Green 76
Buffalo 69, Ball State 48
Central Michigan 78, Kent State 73 (OT)
Western Michigan 90, Ohio 74
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Akron 52, Eastern Michigan 48
AKRON, Ohio – The Akron Zips used defense and some timely baskets late in the game to edge Eastern Michigan 52-48 on Wednesday night in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional matchup at James A. Rhodes Arena.
After trailing the Eagles by as many as 13 points, including by 12 in the second half, the Zips kept EMU to one field goal over the last 5:57 of play. UAs would outscore the Eagles 16-3 to close out the game and get the victory.
Akron (15-7, 7-2 MAC) was led by a pair of double-doubles by Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell and Nick Harney. Treadwell finished with 17 points, 14 boards and two steals while Harney posted 15 points and 10 boards.
Darell Combs and Daylen Harrison led Eastern Michigan (12-10, 4-5 MAC) with 10 points each.
The Zips shot just 32.1 percent from the floor (17-of-53) and made 3-of-23 long balls (13.0 percent), but connected on 15-of-20 from the charity stripe (75.0 percent). Twelve of Akron's 15 makes came in the second half.
Down 12 with 10:16 to go (43-31), the Zips slowly began to chip away at the EMU lead. It wasn't until Carmelo Betancourt's offensive board, put-back and free throw with 2:42 to go that the Zips would tie the game for the first time at 46-all. Two possessions later, Harney would give the Zips the lead for good thanks to a layup following his third offensive board of the game.
Betancourt finished with six points, three assists, one rebound and one steal.
Akron started the first half going nine and a half minutes with just two field goals, while EMU used a 12-2 run to pull ahead 17-5 by the 10:52 mark.
The Zips would fall behind by as many as 13 points before keeping Eastern Michigan from scoring a field goal through the last 5:34 of the half. Akron trailed 27-18 at the intermission. UA ended the first half shooting 7-of-29 from the field for 24.1 percent while Eastern Michigan shot 41.7 percent from the field (10-of-24).
The Zips are back in action on Sunday, Feb. 9, when they travel to Bowling Green, Ohio, to take on the Bowling Green Falcons. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. ET and the game will air live on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3.
Toledo 83, Bowling Green 76
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo used its balanced offense to jump out early on Bowling Green to force the Falcons to play a game of catch-up it ultimately could not win in an 83-76 Rocket victory before 6,031 enthusiastic fans at Savage Arena Wednesday night.
Toledo (19-3, 7-2 MAC) was led by junior guard Justin Drummond’s 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Senior guard Rian Pearson added 16 points and junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon chipped in with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Toledo overcame a hum-drum 37.1 field goal percentage by making 29-of-35 free throws. The Rockets never trailed in the contest.
Bowling Green (10-12, 4-5 MAC) was led by junior guards Jehvon Clarke and Anthony Henderson, who scored 23 points each.
Toledo led its arch-rival by as many as 16 points in the first half but had to withstand a steady BG rally that saw the Falcons cut the lead to one midway through the second half. But Drummond scored 11 points in a key stretch of the second half and the Rockets made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to secure its 11th home victory against no defeats.
The Rockets came out roaring in the first half, forcing Bowling Green to call and early timeout at the 16:48 mark after Pearson made a layup to give UT a 7-0 opening edge. By the time the Falcons got on the scoreboard at the 15:29 mark they were trailing 11-2 and in a hole they would be stuck in all night long.
A pair of three-pointers from the corner by Williams and a layup by Drummond pushed the Rocket lead to 26-10 and forced BG Coach Louis Orr to call another timeout at the 9:38 mark. Toledo’s lead hovered between 12 and 14 points until Anthony Henderson knocked down a three at the 2:32 mark to cut the lead to 38-27. The Falcons cut the lead to nine at the break, 41-32, on a layup at the buzzer by Spencer Parker.
Henderson pumped in another three in the early moments of the second half to further cut into Toledo’s lead, 43-37. Later, Henderson capped a 6-0 BG run with a layup at the 15:21 mark to pull BG within two, 47-45. Moments later, Jehvon Clark had a pair of easy layups to bring BG to within one, 55-54, with 11:30 to play.
But it seemed that every time Bowling Green rallied, the Rockets answered. Justin Drummond made a huge play, grabbing an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, then converting a corner three-pointer to put Toledo up, 64-58. After BG cut the lead to three moments later, Drummond hit another three from the other corner to push UT’s lead to 71-65 with 5:25 left.
The Falcons cut the lead to 71-69 on yet another jumper by Henderson with 3:16 remaining, but a jumper and two free throws by Drummond and a pair of free throws by Weatherspoon pushed Toledo’s lead back up to eight. The Falcons were forced to foul down the stretch, and the Rockets converted 9-of-10 shots from the stripe to seal the victory.
The Rockets return to action at Ball State Saturday afternoon.
Buffalo 69, Ball State 48
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team used a strong defensive effort and a big second-half run as they won their 10th straight at Alumni Arena this season with a 69-48 victory over Ball State. Senior Javon McCrea reached another milestone in his career as he went over 1,800 career points with a 19-point, 14-rebound effort. The victory improves UB to 12-7 on the season and 6-3 in MAC play.
Both teams got off to a slow start on Wednesday evening as the Cardinals took their only lead of the night, 6-5, six and a half minutes into the game. The Bulls responded with a 10-2 run to take a 15-8 lead after junior Will Regan knocked down a three pointer with 7:51 left. Ball State pulled within two, 21-19 with 3:59 left, but the UB defense held the Cardinals scoreless for the remainder of the half. In that time, the Bulls were able to put five points up, taking a 26-19 lead into the break. The 19 points are the fewest the Bulls have allowed in a half this year.
Ball State pulled within two points over the first three and a half minutes of the second half, but the Bulls answered with a 17-6 run to take a 48-35 lead. The final points of the run coming on a three-pointer from senior Jarod Oldham, who had a season-high 17 points.
The Cardinals moved back within 48-39, but the Bulls went on another run, this time 16-5, taking a 64-44 lead with just 4:06 left. The Bulls led by as many as 23 points late in the game before coming away with the 69-48 victory.
"We did an excellent job on the defensive end tonight," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "We struggled a little bit offensively, but these guys were here for us. Jarod [Oldham] he is always solid defensively for us and tonight he was solid on the offensive end too. Javon brought a great physical presence inside, which paid off in the second half."
The Bulls had three players in double figures led by the 10th double-double of the season from McCrea, who finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. He also added an assist, three blocks and two steals. The 19 points give him 1,801 for his career, just the third player in school history to reach that mark.
Oldham finished with a season-high 17 points as he went 10-of-11 from the free throw line. Oldham also added four rebounds, a game-high five assists, a block and two steals. Regan added 13 points, six rebounds and two assists. Senior Joshua Freelove had eight points and three assists
The Bulls got eight points off the bench from freshman Shannon Evans, who added two rebounds, three assists, a blocks and two steals. Sophomore Justin Moss finished with four points and a rebound.
As a team, UB went 26-of-35 from the free throw line, including 21-of-24 (87.5%) in the second half. The 35 free throws attempted were the second most in a single game this season.
Ball State was led by 15 points from Chris Bond and 11 points from Zavier Turner, while Majok Majok finished with eight points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.
After playing seven of their first nine against opponents from the MAC West, the Bulls will face their final cross-division opponent on Saturday night as they travel to Central Michigan. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Central Michigan 78, Kent State 73 (OT)
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A 22-point, 11-rebound performance by sophomore forward John Simons and a strong team defensive effort in the second half lifted Central Michigan to its first MAC win of the season, a 78-73 overtime thriller over Kent State on Wednesday night at McGuirk Arena.
Simons put on a shooting exhibition in the second half, sinking five three-pointers en route to recording CMU’s first double-double of the season and helping the Chippewas erase a seven-point halftime deficit. After being hampered by foul trouble early in the game, sophomore guard Chris Fowler, the MAC’s leading scorer in conference play, bounced back in a big way in both the second half and overtime, totaling 18 points, five assists, and four steals. Braylon Rayson and Rayshawn Simmons, who each scored 10 points, made key plays down the stretch to secure the victory.
“It’s nice to be able to come in after each game and talk about how hard this team is playing and improving, but it’s better to come in and talk about winning even more," said CMU head coach Keno Davis. "Because of the effort we’ve been putting forward, the losses take its toll, so it’s nice to get the monkey off the back and it gives us the opportunity to play a little looser in crunch situations. It didn’t take a basketball mind to see we were a bit tight on the free throw line or on defense, and I think winning can help cure that. I think we can go back to the practice court and fix those deficiencies we had with a winning streak going forward.”
Central Michigan (8-13, 1-8 MAC) looked to be closing in on a win in regulation, owning a four-point lead with under two minutes left to play, but back-to-back three-pointers by Kent State’s K.K. Simmons in the final 45 seconds knotted the score at 61-61. CMU has one last good look at the basket but a Fowler layup was no good and an Austin Keel put back spun on the rim and dropped out, sending the game to overtime.
Play in the overtime period was back-and-forth; just as CMU looked to be pulling away, the Golden Flashes would respond. Three different times the Chippewas would cobble together a four-point lead and KSU would answer back with a three-pointer or three-point play to keep it close. As he was all night, Simons’ was huge for CMU in overtime, scoring eight points.
After Fowler completed a three-point play to make the score 74-70 with 34 seconds remaining, Kent State got one of those clutch three-pointers, as Kellon Thomas knocked down the trey. Blake Hibbitts was then fouled and sent to the line, where he made 1-of-2, pushing the CMU lead to two at 75-73. With the ball looking to tie or win the game, Kent State’s Simmons committed an offensive foul, giving the ball back to the Chippewas. Rayshawn Simmons, who missed two key free throws late in regulation, redeemed himself by downing 3-of-4 in the final 15 seconds to secure the win for CMU.
In the first half, CMU shot just 32 percent and Fowler was held at bay by a physical Kent State defense, scoring two points through the first 20 minutes of play. Kent State was able to establish momentum toward the end of the half, going on an 8-2 run over the final four-plus minutes to head to the halftime locker room with a 32-25 lead.
CMU stormed from the break, led by Simons, who knocked down three three-pointers through the first 3:25 of the half to pull the Chippewas within three at 37-34. At the same time, Central amped up the full court pressure, forcing Kent State into multiple turnovers. The Golden Flashes also quickly got into foul trouble, receiving four personal fouls through the first 2:30 of play.
With the score tied at 43-43, the Chippewas went on a 12-4 run, getting seven consecutive points from Fowler to stake its largest lead of the game at eight. Kent State then scored seven of the next eight to get to within two points at 56-54 but a Rayson fast break layup ended the run. The teams traded single free throws before the Golden Flashes’ Simmons took center stage beyond the arc to force the overtime.
CMU battled on the boards throughout the game, outrebounding Kent State, 37-34. Besides Simons, Austin Stewart and Hibbitts hit the glass hard, recording seven and six rebounds, respectively. Also key was the Chippewas’ ability to score off the 18 turnovers they caused, turning the miscues into 22 points.
Kent State (12-10, 3-6) was led by Kris Brewer’s 17 points and Darren Goodson’s double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Chippewas will be back in action this weekend, welcoming Buffalo (12-7, 6-3 MAC) to Mount Pleasant on Saturday for a 7 p.m. clash.
Central Michigan men’s basketball is on Twitter. Follow head coach Keno Davis (@CoachKenoDavis) and the program’s official Twitter account (@CMUMensBBall) to get insider news and information and team updates. The Chippewas are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CMUMensBBall.
Western Michigan 90, Ohio 74
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Austin Richie poured in a career-high-tying 22 points, including 13 in the second half, and the Western Michigan men’s basketball team used a second half surge to defeat the Ohio Bobcats 90-74 at University Arena on Wednesday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 13-8 on the season, 6-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
Richie finished the game with 22 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a perfect 3-of-3 mark from three-point range, as well as a 9-of-9 night from the free throw line. The scoring mark tied a career-high set during his freshman campaign, when he dropped 22 points on Oakland on Dec. 23, 2011. Also reaching the 20-point threshold was David Brown, who reached 20 exactly while also adding five steals and two rebounds. Shayne Whittington added 18 points, including 15 during a crucial portion of the second half, and Connar Tava recorded 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting to round out the big offensive night.
The Broncos continued their hot-shooting ways from the field, going 28-of-47 (.596) overall and 8-of-13 (.615) from three-point range. WMU was aggressive in attacking the rim, shooting 35 free throws compared to just 11 for the Bobcats and drawing 28 fouls over the course of the game. WMU forced Ohio into 16 turnovers, including eight steals, and outscored them 24-7 in points off turnovers.
The second half began with Western Michigan holding just a one-point edge, a lead that soon evaporated as the Bobcats took a 45-42 lead on a three-pointer from Maurice Ndour. Brown quickly knotted the score back up with a triple of his own from the right corner, and the teams promptly began trading leads and tied scores. Brown made it a five-point game with 13:07 remaining on another open three, but Travis Wilkins pulled Ohio to within two points with a trey on the next possession, and Stevie Taylor scored on a fast break lay-up with 11:42 remaining to tie the score at 50.
The last Ohio lead came with 9:27 remaining in regulation, with Taylor again drilling a three-pointer to make it 57-54. Kellen McCormick responded with a long-range shot from the head of the key to tie it again, and Taylor Perry gave WMU the lead for good with a free throw make at the 8:39 mark to make it 58-57. Richie extended the lead to four points with a three-pointer from the right wing, and Whittington made it a three-possession game with an and-1 dunk behind the Bobcats’ press, giving the Broncos a 64-57 lead. Richie made a pair of free throws with 5:40 remaining to make it a 10-point game, and from there the rout was on; WMU used a 20-4 run to run their lead up to 13 points, and Tava gave the Broncos their biggest lead of the game with a lay-up to make it 88-72 with 35 seconds to play.
The early portion of the first half made it appear that the Bobcats would be the ones to pull away, however. Ohio led by as many as 11 points in the first half, taking a 25-14 lead with 8:28 to play and keeping the Broncos at arm’s length. The Broncos went on a 10-0 run to end the first half, though, cutting the lead to seven points on a hook shot by Tava, and making it 36-33 on an and-1lay-up by Brown. Richie closed out the scoring in the first half with a well-time three-pointer, turning what was a deficit into a 37-36 Bronco lead with 49 seconds remaining in the half.