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MAC BASKETBALL SATURDAY

February 24, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



MAC PRESS RELEASE

Saturday's MAC BracketBuster Results
Western Michigan 67, Pacific 62
Kent State 70, Loyola-Ill. 63
Toledo 79, McNeese 66
Ball State 85, Sotheast Missouri State 82
Missouri State 57, Eastern Michigan 54
Manhattan 65, Buffalo 64
Southern Illinois 74, Miami 68 (ot)
Eastern Illinois 59, Northern Illinois 47
Youngstown State 86, Central Michigan 75
IPFW 88, Bowling Green 75
Belmont 81, Ohio 62

Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Western Michigan 67, Pacific 62
Boxscore
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team survived a tough test in front of a national audience, as the Broncos defeated the Pacific Tigers 67-62 in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster game at University Arena on Saturday.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 17-9 overall on the season.
 
Shayne Whittington led the Broncos with 14 points and a game-high seven rebounds, shooting 6-of-12 from the field to pace the Bronco attack.  WMU shot 24 of 50 (.480) from the field in the game, including an 8 of 20 (.400) performance from three-point range, to bypass the Tigers.  Darius Paul finished with 13 points, six boards, and four assists, and Brandon Pokley and David Brown each finished with 11 points.
 
Pacific tied the score at 36 early in the second half, but Paul broke the deadlock with his second three of the game, dropping a bomb from the left wing to make it 39-36 with 17:34 remaining.  David Brown broke another tie four minutes later, hitting a wide-open three from the left wing to give the Broncos a 44-41 advantage with 13:20 in regulation.  The Tigers took a 46-44 lead when Sama Taku made a triple from the deep right wing at the 11:50 mark, but Brown made two of three free throws at the 10:31 mark to give the Broncos a one-point edge, and made it a 49-47 contest at the 9:54 mark when he converted a backdoor feed from Paul into a lay-up.
 
Whittington extended the lead to four points on the next trip down the floor, making the righty finger roll to make it 51-47 at the 9:11 mark, and Paul kept the advantage at two possessions with a lay-up with 8:55 remaining.  Whittington swatted a shot from Gill at the 8:37 mark and the Broncos went the other way, with Hutcheson drilling a long three-pointer to stretch the Broncos' lead to seven points, capping a 9-2 run and making it 56-49.  Pacific scored five straight to make it a one-possession ballgame, but Hutcheson snagged an offensive board and put it back in to keep the lead at four points.
 
The Tigers cut the lead to 58-57, but Pokley converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 3:03 remaining to but the Broncos ahead 61-57.  They responded to another Pacific basket at 2:42 - this time a three-pointer from Tony Gill - when Paul made a jump hook in the paint at the 2:21 mark, and the freshman tacked on another point with a free throw make at the 1:32 mark.  
 
Western Michigan led Pacific 64-62 with 31.3 seconds remaining, as the Broncos managed to burn nearly all of the remaining clock and dashing the Tigers' chances of a comeback.  Shayne Whittington made a pair of free throws to put the Broncos ahead by four points, and David Brown was fouled pulling down a defensive rebound 12 seconds later to put himself on the line.  Brown made one of two to again make it a two-possession game, and the Broncos wrapped it up down the stretch for the win.
 
Paul notched the first five points of the game for the Broncos, returning to the starting line-up after coming off the bench against Northern Illinois.  Paul drove the lane on the Broncos' second possession, leaping from the conference logo to the hoop for a lay-up to put the Broncos ahead.  Paul showed off his outside game on the next possession, draining a three-pointer to give the Broncos a 5-0 lead at the 17:52 mark.  Nate Hutcheson added to the  run with a reverse baseline dunk, throwing down with the right hand to give the Broncos a five-point lead.  WMU carried the run into the first media timeout, when Whittington took a lob pass from Paul and threw down the alley-oop dunk, making it a 9-2 lead with 15:35 to play in the first.
 
The Tigers took a 15-14 lead when Tony Gill hit a three-pointer from just beyond the head of the key, but Connar Tava responded at the 11:35 mark to put the Broncos back on top.  Tava caught the ball inside the three point line, and with his back to the basket, spun to the left and lifted a floater paint.  Tava made the shot and drew contact from Gill, but missed the chance to put the Broncos up by two when he missed the free throw.
 
Tava eventually got the points back for the Broncos, making a pair of free throws at the 9:54 mark to give his team an 18-15 lead.  Brandon Pokley put the Broncos up by four when he drained a three-pointer from the left wing with 8:43 remaining, and hit another from NBA range at the 7:54 mark to put WMU up 24-20 and force Pacific into burning a 30-second timeout.  Pacific used a 10-2 run to take hold of a 29-26 lead, but Pokley knocked down an 18-footer from the right wing to cut the lead to one point, and Whittington responded with a jumper from the left wing to put the Broncos ahead 30-29 with 2:38 to play.  Richie capped a 7-0 run with a three from the right side to make it 33-29, and Western Michigan maintained that lead entering the halftime break.
 
Kent State 70, Loyola-Ill. 63
Boxscore
CHICAGO – Kent State said goodbye to the BracketBuster with a 70-63 victory over Loyola Chicago on Saturday at Gentile Arena.
 
Chris Evans led four Golden Flashes in double figures, adding 16 points to a 10-rebound afternoon and capturing his sixth double-double of the season.
 
The Golden Flashes grabbed momentum in the closing seconds of the first half when Evans extended his team's lead to 38-33 on a tomahawk dunk, then rejected a layup by Loyola's Christian Thomas at the buzzer. 
 
"During our week off, we had been talking a lot about the importance of finishing halves," said Evans. "We didn't play well in the first 15 minutes, so we wanted to finish the half on a good note. We really turned it up right before the half. 
 
"The last week really helped our bodies and helped us focus on some details, like how we play the last five minutes of each half."
 
Evans also came up with two key rebounds and a layup in a 30-second flurry as Kent State tried to hold off a late Loyola rally.
 
While Randal Holt added 13 points for Kent State, Kris Brewer and Darren Goodson continued to offer Kent State a consistent third and fourth scorer. Brewer finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. The point guard also dished out five assists against just one turnover. Goodson scored 12 and grabbed seven rebounds.
 
"Kris Brewer hit a three when the game got tight that I thought was very important," said Kent State coach Rob Senderoff. "And early in the first half, when we were struggling to score, Darren Goodson did a great job of keeping us in it."
 
Bryson Pope came off of the Kent State bench to score seven points, making all three of his shots to extend his three game streak of perfect shooting to 10-for-10.
 
Thomas was a one-man show for the Ramblers, scoring 31 points while going 11-for-19 from the field and 9-of-13 from the foul line. As a team, Loyola was 23-for-51 from the field and 14-for-21 from the line. Devon Turk was the only other Rambler to score in double figures with 10.
 
Kent State completed its 11-year run in the BracketBuster with a 7-4 mark. The Golden Flashes are one of only 10 programs to compete in the BracketBuster in all 11 years of its existence. More importantly, the Golden Flashes improved to 15-12 overall to keep alive their hopes of winning 20 games for the 14th time in 15 years.
 
"It was good to get a win, whether in league or out of league," said Senderoff. "Now we ahve to come back on Wednesday (against Buffalo). Hopefully our fans will be out there at the M.A.C. Center because it is a big game in the league standings."
 
Loyola (14-14), playing without its top scorer and rebounder in Ben Averkamp, lost for the sixth time in seven games.
 
Toledo 79, McNeese State 66
Boxscore
TOLEDO, OH - Five Rockets scored in double figures on Saturday afternoon as Toledo (13-11) cruised to a 79-66 triumph over McNeese State (11-14) in a non-conference matchup in Savage Arena. The Rockets have now won seven of their last eight contests and improved to 7-2 on its home floor this season.
 
Junior G Rian Pearson paced UT with 21 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double in his last four games. Sophomore G Julius Brown also notched a double-double by tying his career best with 11 assists to go along with 10 points.
 
Also scoring in double digits for Toledo were junior F Matt Smith (13 pts., 6 reb.), junior F Reese Holliday (13 pts.) and senior G Dominique Buckley (10 pts.). Freshman C Nathan Boothe tallied nine points, six rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.
 
Senior  G Jeremie Mitchell led McNeese State with 18 points.
 
Toledo shot 49.1 percent, including a red-hot 62.5 percent in the second stanza, and limited the Cowboys to a 42.9 shooting mark.
 
UT will now turn its attention back to Mid-American Conference play when it hosts Western Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. The Rockets and Broncos are tied for first place in the MAC West Division with 8-4 league ledgers.
 
Ball State 85, Sotheast Missouri State 82
Boxscore
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Jauwan Scaife's 25-foot 3-pointer in the final second Saturday night lifted the Ball State men's basketball team to an 85-82 BracketBusters road win at Southeast Missouri.
 
Ball State (11-14) saw a 10-point lead in the closing minutes evaporate as Southeast Missouri (14-15) made a furious rally before Scaife's shot secured the Cardinals' third win in their past four games.
 
A trey by SEMO's Marland Smith with 7 seconds left tied the game at 82-82. After a Ball State timeout, Scaife brought the ball up the floor, took a screen from Tyler Koch on the right side of the floor and drained a deep ball. From there, the Cardinals only had to survive a full-court heave.
 
"What a huge shot and a great play," Ball State coach Billy Taylor said. "We knew we were going to set a ball screen for Jauwan. He told Tyler exactly where he wanted the screen and then calmly stepped up and drained a buzzer beater."
 
Scaife finished with 18 points and five assists, leading a balanced scoring attack. Marcus Posley scored 15 points -- all in the second half -- to go along with a career-high eight assists.
 
Matt Kamieniecki posted career highs with 12 points and 14 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Chris Bond also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. The duo helped Ball State out-rebound Southeast Missouri 46-36, including 19 to 10 on the offensive glass.
 
"Kammy was amazing," Taylor said. "He really scored on their bigger guys, too. He stepped up for us and kind of had his way in there."
 
Ball State shot 51.6 percent and scored 51 points in the second half on the way to its highest point total of the season. The Cardinals survived against a hot-shooting Southeast Missouri team that knocked down 13 of 26 attempts from 3-point range.
 
Smith led five SEMO players in double figures with 21 points, while Nino Johnson had a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
 
The Redhawks started hot from the floor and built an 11-2 lead less than three minutes into the game. The Cardinals dug their way out of the hole but found themselves trailing 39-34 at halftime.
 
Ball State grabbed its first lead at 56-54 on a basket from Bond with 8:37 to play. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Scaife and Posley pushed the lead to 63-57, but SEMO responded with consecutive treys of its own to knot the game at 63-63 with 6:09 left.
 
"Obviously these guys from SEMO are some tremendous shooters," Taylor said. "We were doing everything we could to try to stop them from the 3-point line."
 
The Cardinals then out-scored SEMO 14-4 over the next four and a half minutes, taking a 77-67 lead on a pair of Scaife free throws with 1:33 on the clock. The Redhawks stormed back with full-court pressure defense and more timely 3-point shooting to pull even at 82-82 before Scaife's game-winner.
 
All nine Cardinals who played in the game scored. Freshman Bo Calhoun matched his career-high with eight points -- all in the first half -- off the bench.
 
Ball State played without a sick Chase Brogna but did see Jesse Berry and Tyler Koch return to the lineup after missing time with injuries. Both players finished with six points.
 
The Cardinals will return to Mid-American Conference action Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a home game against Central Michigan at Worthen Arena. There are four MAC games left before the conference tournament.
 
Missouri State 57, Eastern Michigan 54
Boxscore
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – Despite holding the lead for 35 minutes and showcasing a diversified offense, Eastern Michigan University's men's basketball team fell to Missouri State University, 57-54, in the 2013 Ramada BracketBuster game Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Convocation Center. 
 
The Eagles (12-15; 5-7 MAC) shot 20-of-44 (40.9 percent) and outrebounded the visiting Bears (9-20; 6-10 MVC), 32-29.  Derek Thompson (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale (Southeast Missouri State)) led all scorers with 19 points and Austin Harper (Grand Haven, Mich. –Grand Haven) demonstrated his skills as a playmaker, dishing out six assists in 29 minutes played.  
 
Missouri State shot 18-of-44 (40.9 percent) and was led by Anthony Downing who scored 16. The Eagles committed 25 personal fouls, giving the Bears 30 attempts from the free-throw line where they made 16-of-30 (53.3 percent). 
 
EMU is now 0-2 all time when facing MSU. The Eagles were 9-1 this season when leading at halftime going into today's game and held a 29-21 lead at the break.
 
The Bears were on the scoreboard first, scoring an easy layup off a back door cut by Marcus Marshall. Thompson opened the scoring for the Green and White, nailing a three with a hand in his face.   During the Eagles' next possession, Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich. –Detroit Country Day) brought the crowd at the Convo to its feet, when he rolled into the lane and finished at the rim with authority.  After J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snider) and Thompson each contributed a three, the Eagles had built an early four-point lead.
 
Halfway through the first stanza, the Eagles had pushed their lead to 10 following a Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy (Arkansas)) turnaround jumper from the high post and five hard earned-points from point Harper.
 
Coach Rob Murphy's defensive scheme stifled the Bears' offense, holding MSU scoreless for five minutes until Dorrian Williams converted on a free throw to end a six-possession drought.  
 
With five minutes remaining in the opening half, MSU answered the with an 8-o run of its own, led by Downing, to cut Eastern's lead to five.  Sims answered the bell for the Eagles, hitting a three to stop the bleeding and end the half.  The Eagles went into the break leading, 29-21.
 
The Eagles shot 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) in the first half, compared to 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) by Missouri State.  The Eagles found the range in the first half, completing 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, including three timely makes by Sims. The junior shooter led all scorers in the opening half. 
 
Missouri State's Christian Kirk got the scoring underway in the second half with four straight points in the paint.  Thompson scored the first second half points for the Eagles, losing his man with a pump fake then draining an open midrange jumper. Thompson followed that up with a four-point play, making the trey, drawing the foul, and then the ensuing free-throw.
 
With 12:20 remaining in the contest, Harper found an open Jamell Harris (Euclid, Ohio-Euclid) down low. The senior forward then proceeded to hammer the dunk home.  That played sparked a 6-0 run for the Eagles to push their lead back to nine.
 
Four minutes later, Harris again emphatically dunked, this time over a pair of Bear defenders.  Harris still had the energy to hurry back on Missouri State's next possession where he denied Kirk's dunk, meeting him at the rim.   
 
MSU's Nathan Scheer converted a three from the corner with 4:30 remaining to spark a 14-0 run for the Bears. This cut the Eagles' lead to only one point, their smallest since the opening minutes. With 2:34 left in the game, Dorrian Williams hit on a floater in the lane to seize Missouri State's first lead of the afternoon.  The Bears then stretched their lead to six.
 
With only 39 seconds still on the clock, Thompson rose up for a successful three pointer to bring the Eagles back to within one score.  EMU then resorted to putting the Bears on the line to save the clock.  MSU's Downing made both shots to build the Bears' lead back to five. Senior Center Matt Balkema (Roseville, Mich.-Cousino) scored his first points of the game with five ticks left to give the Eagles one more chance. 
 
On the ensuing inbound the referee called a double technical putting both teams on the charity stripe.  Marshall making both of his for the Bears and Sims making both of his for the Eagles, the clock and deficit for the Eagles to overcome remained the same. Unfortunately, Thomas had fouled out for the final possession.   
 
Despite a gutsy performance down the stretch, the game came down to a desperation full court shot that was unsuccessful for the Eagles.    
 
Eastern Michigan returns to the hardwood Wednesday, Feb. 27, against Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
 
Manhattan 65, Buffalo 64
Boxscore
BUFFALO, NY – Turnovers cost the University at Buffalo men's basketball team in a 65-64 loss to Manhattan in a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters matchup at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon.
 
Despite shooting 55 percent from the field, including 10-of-15 from beyond the arc, and outrebounding the Jaspers, 33-21, the Bulls couldn't overcome 24 turnovers that led to 29 Manhattan points.
 
"We just didn't take care of the basketball," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "When you shoot 21-of-38, you should win and we didn't. When you shoot 55 percent and they shoot 42, typically you should win, but we didn't take care of the basketball."
 
Tony Watson continued his torrid shooting, knocking down a career-best seven three-pointers on 10 attempts and finishing with a game-high 24 points. The senior guard has now made 19-of-28 three-pointers over the last three games – a scorching 68 percent.
 
Javon McCrea notched his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The junior forward also had a career-high six blocked shots and three steals.
 
Jarryn Skeete dished out a career-best 10 assists to go along with 11 points for his first career double-double.
 
Buffalo (11-16) was cruising early as it jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led by as many as 10 points in the first half. The Jaspers finished the half on a 9-2 scoring run to close the gap to 36-33 at the break. 21 of Manhattan's 33 first-half points came off turnovers as the Jaspers caused UB to cough the ball up 18 times in the first stanza.
 
Manhattan (11-16) carried the momentum into the second half. With the Bulls leading, 38-33, The Jaspers mounted a 16-2 scoring run to take a 49-40 lead with 13:50 left.
 
Manhattan wouldn't relinquished the lead, but not without a fight from the Bulls. Shane Richards hit a jumper to give Manhattan a 63-56 lead with 4:35 left in the game. That would be the last field goal the Jaspers would hit. McCrea scored five straight points for the Bulls to cut the lead to 65-61. Watson then connected on his seventh three-pointer with 42 seconds left to cut the Manhattan lead to 65-64.
 
Buffalo got the stop it needed defensively when Richards missed a jumper and McCrea pulled in the rebound. However, with 11 seconds left and no timeouts, UB pushed the ball up the court, but Watson was stripped going up for a shot and Skeete's off-balanced jumper at the buzzer was off the mark.
 
Buffalo gets right back into conference play when it plays at Kent State on Wednesday night.
 
Southern Illinois 74, Miami 68 (ot)
Boxscore
CARBONDALE, Ill.-Miami University's men's basketball team battled Southern Illinois University to overtime, but the RedHawks (8-17) could not pull out the win as the Salukis (12-16) captured a 74-68 overtime decision on Saturday afternoon at SIU Arena in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster event.
 
Freshman guard Reggie Johnson paced the RedHawks with 18 points, while junior guard Allen Roberts chipped in 14 points. Junior forward Jon Harris added nine points and a team-high seven rebounds for the RedHawks.
 
The Salukis held an early 11-9 edge, but Miami went seven minutes without a point, allowing Southern Illinois to build a 22-9 lead after an 11-0 run. The RedHawks fired back with a 17-3 run over the final five minutes of the opening half and took their first lead off a Roberts triple with two seconds remaining to hand MU a 26-25 advantage going into the half.
 
Johnson poured in 10 of his 12 first-half points during the late Miami scoring flurry.
 
Miami continued its momentum early into the second half, extending its run to 22-3 and building its lead to 31-25 by the 18:35 mark of the second half. SIU rallied to take a 39-38 lead off a Jeff Early bucket at the 13:22 mark. Miami quickly reclaimed a two-point edge, 41-39, off a long triple by junior guard Josh Sewell as the shot clock expired at the 12:43 mark.
 
The teams went back and forth with neither holding more than a two-point lead. Harris snagged a crucial steal on Miami's press with just over three minutes to go and tossed in a layup at 2:54 to put the RedHawks up, 54-52. On SIU's next possession, senior center Vince Legarza hauled in a key defensive rebound. The RedHawks came down the floor and junior forward Will Felder was fouled on a shot attempt and sunk both charity tosses to hand Miami a 56-52 edge with 2:13 to go.
 
Southern Illinois closed within two off a bucket from Desmar Jackson at 1:13, 56-54. The RedHawks were unable to score on their next possession, but Legarza again came up with a huge defensive board on a missed SIU shot and was quickly fouled. He missed the front end of a one-of-one and gave the Salukis the ball with just over seven seconds to play. SIU's Early drilled a jumper as time expired to send the game to overtime.
 
The Salukis went on to outscore the RedHawks 18-12 in overtime to capture the win.
 
Early lead all players with 31 points and 12 rebounds.
 
Miami returns to Mid-American Conference action when the RedHawks travel to Bowling Green for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday, February 27.
 
Eastern Illinois 59, Northern Illinois 47
Boxscore
DEKALB, Ill. -- Eastern Illinois led by two at the half and used an 8-0 to open the second stanza to build a lead that Northern Illinois couldn’t overcome, defeating the Huskies, 59-47, on Saturday afternoon at the NIU Convocation Center. Sophomore wing Abdel Nader (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) led NIU with 17 points and seven rebounds. 
 
“I thought it was a hard fought first half,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “It was one of those games that was a grinder, one or two possession, lead changes. I thought that Eastern Illinois came out of the locker room a little better than us, they went on that 8-0 run and that was the difference. We got it close, within three; we just couldn’t come up with enough stops and enough baskets.”
 
In the opening 20 minutes, the Huskies and Panthers traded leads 11 times, with five ties. Northern Illinois jumped on top 5-0 to open the contest. Freshman wing Darrell Bowie (Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep) and Nader each had a basket in the opening moments and Nader added a free throw to give the Huskies the early edge. 
 
Bowie finished with eight points and five rebounds. 
 
After Eastern Illinois pulled back to even, 6-6, neither team held a lead larger than three the rest of the first half. 
 
Trailing by three, 24-21, redshirt junior guard Antone Christian (Nashville, Tenn./Martin Luther King Magnet) pulled the Huskies back even with a triple with just over three minutes to play before the intermission. 
 
Freshman guard Mike Davis (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights) split a pair of free throws to give the Huskies a one-point lead with just over a minute to play in the half, but Malcolm Herron drained a triple with 16 seconds left to take a two-point lead into the break. 
 
Out of the intermission, Morris Woods scored the first basket, followed by four free throws for the Panthers and a bucket by Josh Piper to give Eastern Illinois a 35-25 lead just over three minutes into the second stanza. 
 
The lead was still 10 just before the midway point of the half when the Huskies went on a 7-0 run. Christian ignited the burst for NIU with a triple, Nader then connected on back-to-back baskets as the Huskies pulled within three, 42-39, with 8:51 to play in the contest. 
 
Woods and Bowie traded buckets before Eastern Illinois went on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 11, 52-41, with 3:45 left, spoiling the Huskie comeback attempt. 
 
Woods finished with 18 points to lead the Panthers. Sherman Blanford and Piper each added nine for EIU. The Panthers outrebounded the Huskies 37-28 in the contest. 
 
Northern Illinois will return to Mid-American Conference play on Wednesday, Feb. 27, when the Huskies host Eastern Michigan at the NIU Convocation Center. Game time against the Eagles is slated for 7 p.m.
 
Youngstown State 86, Central Michigan 75
Boxscore
Youngstown, Ohio- Central Michigan fell to Youngstown State, 86-75, in the 11th annual ESPN Bracket Buster. Freshman guard Chris Fowler scored a career high 19 points to lead the Chippewas.
 
The Penguins (16-12, 7-7 Horizon) jumped off to a quick start, leading by as much as 24 points in the first half. Youngstown State went on a 14-2 run over a span of four minutes. Fowler ended the run with a layup at the 14:02 mark on the half to bring the Chippewas (9-17, 2-10 MAC) within nine, 7-16.
 
Blake Allen led all scorers with 11 points at the half for the Penguins. Youngstown State shot 69 percent from the floor in the first half, including going 5-10 from the three-point line.
 
Senior guard Kyle Randall led Central Michigan at the half with eight points. Sophomore guard Austin Keel hit two three pointers in eight minutes of play during the first half. The Chippewas trailed at half, 27-45.
 
Central Michigan came out of the half and went on an 18-2 run, cutting the Penguins lead to eight with 14 minutes remaining, 45-53.
 
Allen answered quickly though for Youngstown State, making back-to-back three point baskets to put the Penguins back up by 12 points.
 
The Chippewas kept the game within single digits down the stretch thanks to 15-second half points by Fowler. Central Michigan cut the Youngstown advantage to seven with three minutes to go, but were unable to close further, falling by a final score of 75-86.
 
“I give our guys credit,” said Head Coach Ken Davis. “We didn’t look like ourselves for about 24 minutes tonight. We didn’t bring the talk, the execution, the intensity that we have had the majority of the season, but I like that we didn’t give up in this game and that we gave ourselves a chance.”
 
Fowler’s career high 19 points and five assists led the Chippewas. Randall finished with 17 points, scoring in double digits for the 24th time this season. Freshman forward John Simons had a new career high 16 points and grabbed four rebounds. Senior forward Olivier Mbaigoto led the team with six boards.
 
Kamren Belin and Allen led the Penguins with a game high 20 points. DJ Cole made a game high 12 assists to go along with his 12 points.
 
Central Michigan will be on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 27, against Ball State. The Chippewas defeated the Cardinals in McGuirk Arena on Jan. 19, 71-57.   
 
IPFW 88, Bowling Green 75
Boxscore
Fort Wayne, Ind. – IPFW made 10 first-half three-pointers and the Bowling Green men’s basketball team lost its final Bracketbusters game ever to the Mastodons 88-75 Saturday evening in Memorial Coliseum.
 
IPFW made 10 of its first 12 three-point attempts and Frank Gaines became the Mastodons all-time leading scorer with 26 points as Bowling Green fell behind by 22 before rallying to get within single-digits late. Chauncey Orr scored a team high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Falcons, adding five assists and four rebounds.
 
Bowling Green had held its last three opponents to just seven three-pointers combined on 20 percent long range shooting but IPFW found room to launch from long range Saturday. The Mastodons first two field goals were three-pointers, the latter of which sparked a 14-0 run. IPFW made four threes during that spurt and continued to fire away through the remainder of the half.
 
Gaines’ three with 5:04 left put IPFW ahead 38-16 and Michael Kibiloski added another 58 seconds later for a 41-19 advantage. Jehvon Clarke and Chauncey Orr each scored late to help the Falcons cut the deficit to 17 at the half, 43-26.
 
IPFW led by 22 once more in the second half as Gaines hit a jumper with 15:19 to play to make it 54-32. From there, though, the Falcons chipped away at the lead.
 
Orr scored on a three-point play with 12:29 to go, forced a turnover on IPFW’s next possession and found Clarke for a lay-up to make it 57-41. The Mastodons, though, weathered the storm until the final seven minutes.
 
Bowling Green trailed 72-53 before Richaun Holmes made a jumper and followed with a dunk. After IPFW came up empty on its next trip, Craig Sealey was fouled and made two free-throws to bring BGSU to within 13. The Mastodons missed another shot and Jordon Crawford made a lay-up with 5:13 left to make the score 72-61.
 
Two possessions later, Sealey had a steal and Orr scored on a fastbreak lay-up to cut the deficit to single-digits at 72-63. IPFW, though, made four free-throws on its next two trips down the floor and Bowling Green ran out of time to get closer.
 
While Orr scored 17, two other Falcons also scored in double-figures. Crawford had 14 points and Holmes came off the bench for 12. Spencer Parker added a career-high nine points just one game after scoring a career-best seven against New Orleans. In fact, for the second consecutive game, 11 different players scored for the Falcons.
 
Bowling Green held a 35-23 rebounding edge and had 12 offensive boards, nine more than IPFW. However, the Falcons committed 17 turnovers and allowed IPFW to shoot 60 percent from the field and 67 percent (12-of-18) from three-point range. BGSU shot 59 percent in the second half and 49 percent for the game.
 
IPFW won its fourth game in a row to improve to 14-16 on the season. Bowling Green fell to 11-16 and will return to Mid-American Conference play for the final four contests of the regular season. The Falcons will host a critical game against Miami Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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