Wednesday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results

Updated 2/12/2014
Wednesday’s MAC Men’s Basketball Results
Western Michigan 57, Akron 54
Toledo 82, Ohio 76
Kent State 62, Bowling Green 61
Buffalo 75, Miami 62
Eastern Michigan 73, Ball State 62
Northern Illinois 88, Central Michigan 63
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Western Michigan 57, Akron 54
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - David Brown made a pair of go-ahead free throws with 26 seconds left, and the Western Michigan men's basketball team earned their first victory over the Akron Zips since the 2007-08 season, winning 57-54 at University Arena on Wednesday.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 15-8 on the season, 8-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
Western Michigan trailed Akron 28-20 at the half but the Broncos took control of the game in the final 20 minutes, out-scoring the Zips 37-26 and holding them to 33.3 percent shooting from the field.  WMU owned the rebounding edge 17-12 in the second half and forced nine Akron turnovers, which they turned into eight points.  The Broncos controlled the paint over the course of the entire game, out-scoring the Zips 28-12 down low.
Brown finished with a game-high 17 points, running his streak of consecutive games with double-digit points to 28, while also adding six rebounds, four steals, and two assists.  Shayne Whittington scored 15 points, including 13 in the second half, and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.  Tucker Haymond and Connar Tava each finished with 12 points.
Akron led by as many as 10 points in the second half, taking the big edge on a three-pointer from Jake Kretzer to make it 35-25 with 17:59 to play in regulation.  Brown began cutting the lead with a trey of his own at the 15:11 mark to make it 38-32, and Tava scored a second-chance bucket with 12:05 to play off a Haymond offensive rebound.  Whittington got the crowd fired up with 10:36 remaining when he drove the lane for a make and drew a foul from Pat Forsythe, sinking the free throw to cut the lead to 45-43, and the big man tied the game on the next possession with a 15-footer from the left side.
The teams battled back and forth for the rest of the half, with WMU taking its first lead of the second half at the 1:16 mark on a bounce pass from Tava to Brown for the lay-up.  Quincy Diggs tied it 15 seconds later with a pair of free throw makes, but Brown sunk a pair of his own with 26 ticks of the clock left to re-take the lead for the Broncos.  Whittington added an insurance free throw with 10 seconds left to ice the win.
The first half started slowly, with both teams' defenses dictating the tempo early.  Tava gave the Broncos an early 4-2 lead with a jump hook in the paint, but Diggs drained a three from the left corner with 14:29 remaining to put the Zips ahead.  Akron opened the lead up with a small run, making it 10-4 on a make from Kwan Cheatham followed by a free throw.  Reggie McAdams capped the run with a three-pointer from the same spot with 6:31 remaining in the half to run the lead to 19-7, but Brown made a pair of free throws on the next possession, and Tava laid a ball off the glass to cut the lead to 19-11 with 5:40 to play.
Haymond slowed another Zip run with a triple form the left corner, taking the cross court pass from Austin Richie and converting it to make it 21-16 with 3:50 left.  However, the Zips scored seven of the final 11 points of the half, extending the lead to 26-16 with another trey from McAdams; Tava threw down a dunk in the final minute to cut the lead to 28-20, the deficit the teams settled on at half.
Toledo 82, Ohio 76
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo’s highly-anticipated rematch against Ohio didn’t disappoint 5,849 fans in Savage Arena on Wednesday evening as senior guard Rian Pearson scored 29 points to propel the Rockets to an 82-76 triumph over the Bobcats. The victory avenged UT’s overtime setback 11 days ago in Athens and improved Toledo’s record to 21-3 overall and 9-2 in Mid-American Conference action.
The Rockets moved into sole possession of first place in the league following Western Michigan’s 57-54 home triumph over Akron. The Broncos and Zips are now tied with Buffalo for the second-best record in league play at 8-3.
Joining Pearson in double figures was junior guard Julius Brown (17 pts.), sophomore center Nathan Boothe (12 pts.) and freshman guard Jonathan Williams (12 pts.). Williams started his second game of the season in place of UT’s leading scorer Justin Drummond, who sat out the contest due to a one-game suspension.
Toledo held a commanding 39-31 advantage on the boards and was spearheaded by junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon’s eight rebounds. UT grabbed 16 offensive caroms which led to an 18-8 edge in second-chance points.
Toledo held a slim advantage in the shooting department, notching a 48.3 field-goal percentage compared to the Bobcats’ mark of 45.8 percent. Ohio converted 11-of-28 shots from behind the three-point arc with nine of those coming in the second half.
Senior guard Nick Kellogg topped Ohio offensively with 21 points, while senior guard Travis Wilkins contributed 17 points. The Rockets limited junior forward Maurice Ndour and junior guard Stevie Taylor to nine and eight points, respectively, after the duo combined for 53 points against Toledo on Feb. 1.
Toledo led for the entire first half before settling for a 36-30 lead at intermission.
The Bobcats opened the second half determined to make a run and utilized a 14-1 spurt to take a 55-50 lead with 12:34 to play.
Brown stopped the Rockets’ bleeding with a deep trey and freshman guard Jordan Lauf followed with a layup to make it a one-point game. Pearson then took over as he scored nine straight points to put Toledo in front to stay, 65-60, with just under seven minutes remaining.
Ohio cut UT’s lead to 69-66 following a pair of Kellogg free throws with 3:14 left, but Pearson provided the Rockets some breathing room with a trey and a putback for a 74-66 cushion less than a minute later. 
Toledo converted six of its eight free throws down the stretch to secure the victory. 
The Rockets return to action on Saturday, Feb. 15 with a short trip to Ypsilanti, MI to face Eastern Michigan (14-10, 6-5 MAC). Tip-off time is set for 2:00 p.m.
Kent State 62, Bowling Green 61
KENT, Ohio – Devareaux Manley drilled a three-pointer from the left corner with 0.9 seconds remaining to lift Kent State to a 62-61 victory over Bowling Green on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center.
The Manley buzzer-beater was Kent State's second in a row on its home floor, following the 28-foot three by Darren Goodson that downed the University of Akron 11 days earlier.
Manley joined Derek Jackson in coming off the bench to lead turnarounds after Bowling Green jumped out to 13-point leads early in both halves. The one-point win matched the biggest lead Kent State enjoyed all night long.
"That was a huge shot by Dev at the end and and Derek played his best game in a Kent State uniform," said Flashes head coach Rob Senderoff, whose team improved to 13-11 overall and 4-7 in MAC play.
In his first non-starting assignment of the year, Jackson scored a season-high 25 points on 8-for-11 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. His three gave the Flashes their first points of the night with 14:59 to play in the first half. The junior guard added four assists and his two steals turned into easy layups in each half.
"I just want to win," said Jackson. "Whether that's with me starting or coming off of the bench, that means I have to approach the game the same way. This was a total team effort tonight. You had my 25 points, Devareaux with the shot at the end, Mark Henniger with the eight rebounds. We can't win tonight if it wasn't about everybody coming through. That's the way it has to be for us."
Manley finished with 14 points, going 5-of-12 from the field and 3-for-9 from the arc. His game-winner more than made up for an ill-advised foul just nine seconds earlier. With the game tied at 59-59, Manley missed a jumper from the right corner, then was whistled for shoving Bowling Green's Spencer Parker out of bounds while trying to hustle for the long rebound.
Parker made both free throws to give the Falcons a brief lead. Kent State's Kris Brewer raced the length of the floor and had his bid to driving shot blocked, but Henniger's hustle kept the play alive, giving the Flashes one last chance with three second to go after the ball deflected off of a Bowling Green player. The stage was set for Manley's last-second heroics. 
"That was a great shot by Dev at the end, but you also can't forget the play by Mark that kept the ball alive to give us that shot," said Senderoff. "That's what we've been talking about. It's about the little things that are the difference between winning and losing. Tonight we did just enough of the little things."
Bowling Green (10-14, 4-7) found its own heroic performances from players like Jehvon Clarke and Anthony Henderson, who scored 18 and 12 points, respectively. Kent native Cameron Black added a career-high 18 points and nine rebounds for the Falcons. But Bowling Green's bench added little support as Craig Sealey, J.D. Tisdale and Josh Gomez combined to go just 1-for-6 from the field for just two points to go with two rebounds.
Kent State's bench outscored the Falcons reserves 45-2 and out-rebounded them 12-2.
Buffalo 75, Miami 62
OXFORD, OH – Behind another 20-point effort from senior Javon McCrea, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team led throughout on the road Wednesday night, defeating Miami (OH), 75-62, at Millett Hall.  In the process, McCrea moved into second place on UB's all-time scoring list.  The victory improves UB to 14-7 and 8-3 in the MAC.  The 14 wins tie Buffalo's total from last season and their eight conference wins surpass their mark from last year.
Senior Joshua Freelove was dominant in the first half as his three-point shooting helped give the Bulls a game-high 17-point advantage.  With UB leading 17-10, it continued its offensive prowess and a fast-break dunk from McCrea gave the Bulls a 40-23 lead with 4:11 left in the half.  The RedHawks were able to close out the half on a 10-2 run as Buffalo took a 42-33 lead into the half.
UB regained a double figures lead over the first 10 minutes of the second half as it went up 57-46 following another dunk from McCrea.  However, Miami had one final run left and pulled within one possession, on two separate occasions, including 61-58 with 5:56 left.  The Bulls responded by scoring five straight points, beginning with a three-point play.  McCrea kept it going as back-to-back thunderous dunks gave the Bulls a 70-60 lead with just 1:06 left and Miami wasn't able to pull any closer than nine.
"I liked the way we answered defensively in the second half," said head coach Bobby Hurley.  "We took advantage of our size difference and our performance on the glass made the difference tonight."
McCrea picked up his 12th double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds.  His 25 points now give him 1,851 for his career, second in school history.  The double-double was his fourth straight.  McCrea added a pair of blocks, a pair of assists and two steals.
Freelove added 16 points, with 14 coming in the first half.  He was 4-for-7 from three-point range in the opening half and added four rebounds and an assists.
Junior Will Regan finished with eight points, while senior Jarod Oldham had six points, six assists and five steals.  Four other UB players finished with five points including Xavier Ford, Jarryn Skeete, Shannon Evans and Justin Moss.  Moss and Evans both contributed six rebounds off the bench and Evans added four assists and a steal.
For the second straight game, the Bulls held a clear advantage in the rebounding column as they outrebounded Miami, 40-25.  It was the second straight game that UB had a rebounding edge of over 14.
The Bulls shot just under 50 percent from the floor, finishing 28-for-57 (49.1).  Defensively, the Bulls forced a season-high 11 steals.
Miami was led by 17 points off the bench from Jaryd Eustace and 13 points and eight rebounds from Will Felder.
After sweeping their two-game road stand, the Bulls return home for a very important two-game home stretch which begins this Saturday vs. Ohio.  Tip off is at 2:30 and will be part of a doubleheader with the UB women, who face Northern Illinois at Noon.
Eastern Michigan 73, Ball State 62
MUNCIE, Ind. ( – The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team led for nearly the entire contest, earning a 73-62 road victory against Ball State University, Feb. 12, at John E. Worthen Arena. The victory propelled the Eagles over the .500 mark in Mid-American Conference play at 6-5 as well an improvement to a 14-10 mark overall.
Raven Lee (Detroit, Mich.-Romulus) recorded 24 points in 25 minutes to lead the Eagles, including a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Mike Talley (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale ABT (Duquesne)) added 13 points, finding most of his success at the charity stripe by sinking 7-of-9 free ones. Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio-St. Vincent-St. Mary (Wyoming)) rounded out the Eagles' scoring in double figures with 10 points. While he did not score a single point in 28 minutes, EMU center Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day (Syracuse)) was the focal point of the 2-3 zone all night long, tallying six blocks, five rebounds and three steals.  As a team, Eastern shot 22-of-48 (45.8 percent) and converted 25-of-32 from the foul line. The Green and White forced 21 turnovers, leading to 24 points.
Ball State (4-18, 1-10 MAC) found four Cardinals reach double figures as Jesse Berry's 17 points led the way. Zavier Turner recorded 15 along with eight assists while Chirs Bond scored 12. Kindon Crowder notched 10 points off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting. BSU sank 40 percent of its shots (22-of-55), including 10-of-22 from beyond the arc. The Cardinals controlled the glass, 35-28, but managed just 18 points in the paint compared to 32 for the Eagles.
Both teams were successful finding the bottom of the net in their first two possessions. Ball State found an easy bucket down low along with a three, while Eastern got a bucket from Lee and a pair of free throws by Karrington Ward (Lockport, Ill.-Lockport Township (Moraine Valley C.C)). The EMU defense came up with the first stop of the game, and Lee was able to get a layup in transition to give his team its first lead of the game, 7-6. The redshirt-freshman continued his hot start with a jumper in the paint, increasing the EMU advantage to three. While the Cardinals found a couple of deuces, Ward build the Eagles' lead with a pair of threes. Ward's eight points and Lee's six points gave the Green and White the 14-9 cushion with 14:15 remaining in the first half.
Coach Rob Murphy's defense played well right from the start of the contest, forcing BSU to make just four of its first 13 attempts from the floor. Riley was a huge factor in the middle of the 2-3 zone, swatting three blocks in the first eight minutes of the game to grow the Eastern lead to seven. However, the Cardinals cut the difference to two before Darell Combs (Chicago, Ill.-Thornwood (Blinn)) got to the hoop for a bucket as well as a free throw to make it a five-point game, 21-16.
BSU scored seven of the game's next nine points as a Berry shot from three-point land tied the game at 23. The Eagles cooled down after its hot start where they made five of their first eight shots. Following 16 points in the first eight minutes, the Green and White managed just nine points in the next eight minutes on 3-of-15 shooting during that span. Nonetheless, Eastern's defense allowed just two Ball State baskets in the final five minutes. With the game tied at 25, EMU finished the half on a 10-4 run to take a 35-29 lead at the half.
Lee led all scorers in the opening half with 13 points. Ward followed with eight and seven points, respectively, while Riley provided the defensive spark with four blocks. EMU's defense forced 11 turnovers, turning them into 10 points on the offensive side of the floor. The Eagles shot at a 39.3 percent clip (11-of-28) in the first half, including 3-of-7 from long range. The Green and White found success from the charity stripe, sinking 10-of-12.
Ball State controlled the boards in the first half, 21-16, while shooting 13-of-of-32 for 40.6 percent. Berry recorded eight first half points to lead his team in scoring, and Kindon Crowder sank all three of his shots from the field for seven points off the bench. Despite committing five fouls, EMU prevented the Cardinals from getting to the foul line in the opening 20 minutes.
After scoring just four points in the first half, Harrison came out with the hot hand in the second half, scoring five of EMU's first seven points to help build the advantage to nine, 42-33. A J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider) runner increased the lead to double digits for the first time all game, but Turner answered with a trey for BSU. The Cardinals would get within six, but a Mo Hughley (Queens Village, N.Y.-Martin Van Buren (CSU Baskersfield)) old-fashioned three-point play would get the lead back to 10, 48-38, with 12:17 remaining in the game.
The Cardinals got within four, but a Lee three and a Harrison free throw doubled the lead to eight. A defensive stop led to a fastbreak layup by Talley to make it 60-50 and forcing Ball State to call timeout with 6:03 to go in the game.  The Eagles' lead escalated to a dozen with the 8-0 run as the Eastern defense held the home team scoreless for over five minutes. Berry ended the BSU scoring drought with a long three, to get the game within single digits, 62-53, with 2:43 left. EMU held on to the lead down the stretch knocking down free throws and held on to a 73-62 win.
Eastern returns to the friendly confines of the Convocation Center to face the University of Toledo for the first contest of the two-game regular season set. The matchup between the two MAC West foes will take place on EMU Hall of Fame Day, part of a doubleheader with the women's basketball team. The EMU men's hoops team will begin at 2 p.m. followed by the women's contest against Bowling Green at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Illinois 88, Central Michigan 63

DEKALB, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois University men’s basketball team shot 57.7 percent (30-of-52), including 66.7 percent (16-of-24) in the second half, as it cruised to an 88-63 victory over Central Michigan on Wednesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. Sophomore Darrell Bowie (Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep) scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists to lead the Huskies. 
Freshman Aaric Armstead (Chicago, Ill./La Jolla Prep) scored a career-best 17 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds, redshirt junior Jordan Threloff (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb/Illinois State) chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Daveon Balls (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) added 11 points. 
“I thought our guys came out and followed the game plan,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “We really wanted to get the ball inside and have a post presence early in the game. We got the ball to Jordan Threloff and Darrell Bowie, which dictated how the game went. 
“We had a lot of players step up tonight, which was good to see, especially coming off a tough loss to Western Michigan. Our guys bounced back and took care of business.” 
The Huskies outscored the Chippewas 38-22 in the paint and held a 39-19 edge in rebounding. 
NIU (11-12, 5-6 MAC) took the lead in the early going, taking a five-point lead, 12-7, on a basket by redshirt junior Pete Rakocevic (Chicago, Ill./Wilbraham & Monson/Sacramento State) just less than six minutes into the contest. The Huskies led by four after a basket by sophomore Travon Baker (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Consortium) with 10:26 to play in the half, but Central Michigan answered with the next six points, taking its first of the contest, 23-21, with 8:36 left in the half. 
Rakocevic finished with eight points on 4-of-4 from the field; Baker also added eight points. 
NIU responded with a 13-0 burst to take a 34-23 lead with just over three minutes to play before the intermission. Aaric Armstead scored five points during the burst and Balls added five, including a pair of free throws to cap the run, as NIU took an 11-point lead. 
Central Michigan (8-15, 1-10 MAC) connected on a pair of triples in the final three minutes to help trim the lead to seven, but Baker hit a pull-up 15-footer to close the scoring in the half, giving NIU a 38-29 lead at the break. 
Aaric Armstead scored eight points in the opening 20 minutes to pace the Huskies. Threloff and Rakocevic each added six as the Huskies shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field in the first half. 
NIU scored the first six points out of the intermission, four of which came from Bowie, to extend the lead to 15, 44-29. The advantage reached 16 on a short corner jumper from Rakocevic with 15:35 to play, but Central Michigan drew back to within a half-dozen, 56-50, with 9:15 left. Chris Fowler fueled the Chippewa run, scoring 11 points during a 20-10 Central Michigan run. 
A pair of free throws from both senior Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Akser) and Balls helped push the NIU advantage back to double figures, 60-50, with 8:28 left. 
NIU led by a dozen, 68-56, and used a 10-3 burst to push the lead out to 19 with just under two minutes to play. Threloff scored six points during the burst, including a pair of dunks; as the Huskies went on to score their most points against a Division I opponent since scoring 99 on Jan. 6, 2010 against Chicago State. 
Fowler scored 19 points to lead Central Michigan; Braylon Rayson added 15 points for the Chippewas. 
NIU will take to the road this weekend as the Huskies travel to Akron, Ohio, to face the Zips on Saturday, Feb. 15. Game time at Akron is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.