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SUNDAY'S MAC BASKETBALL RESULTS

February 24, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



MAC PRESS RELEASE

Sunday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Western Michigan 75, Eastern Michigan 67
Miami 55, Bowling Green 52
Toledo 85, Ball State 74
Central Michgan 70, Northern Illinois 67
 
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
 
Western Michigan 75, Eastern Michigan 67
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan men's basketball team extended its season-long winning streak to seven games by surviving a slugfest with their in-state rival, muscling past Eastern Michigan 75-67 at University Arena on Sunday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 18-8 on the season, 11-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
 
Shayne Whittington recorded his third straight double-double with 22 points and 11 points, playing 37 minutes despite recovering from flu symptoms that plagued him earlier in the week. David Brown also reached the 20-point mark, scoring 20 exactly to go along with seven rebounds, two steals, and two assists. AJ Avery came off the bench to provide a big boost in the post with eight points, eight rebounds, and a block.
 
The Broncos patched up some of the mistakes that troubled them in their previous meeting with the Eagles, committing 10 fewer turnovers and shooting much better - 18 of 44 - from the floor. WMU's strategy involved attacking the rim, and it worked to great effect; the Broncos went 34-of-44 from the free throw line, compared to just 8-of-18 for the Eagles. The Broncos also held the Eagles to just a 39.7 percent shooting day from the field.
 
The Eagles held a 59-56 lead with 8:04 to play after Glenn Bryant notched a fast break dunk off a defensive rebound by his teammate Raven Lee. The Broncos battled back with a 6-0 run built entirely at the free throw line; Brown made two at the 7:45 mark to cut the lead to one point, Whittington added a pair to re-take the lead, and Avery capped the rally to make it 62-59 with 6:43.
 
WMU continued to roll over the Eagles late, with Whittington breaking a 62-all tie with a tip-in at the 4:32 mark that brought forth a roar from the crowd. Whittington elicited another ovation from the crowd with a tip-in dunk with 4:20 to play, drawing a foul from Da'Shonte Riley and sinking the free throw for the and-1 play to make it 68-62. Daylen Harrison sank a three-pointer with 43 seconds remaining to cut the Broncos' lead to just 70-67, but the Broncos went 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds of play to seal the win.
 
EMU opened the game on an 8-2 run that was capped by a three-pointer from Mike Talley at the 17:11 mark. Brown drilled a three-pointer from the right wing to cut the lead to 8-5, and added a pair of free throws three minutes later to tie the score. J.R. Sims re-took the lead for the Eagles with another trey, but the Broncos took advantage of Darell Combs fouling Austin Richie on a three-point shot with 11:11 to play in the half as Richie made all three to take a 14-13 lead. Whittington notched an old-fashioned three-point play on a lay-up make and a foul from Mo Hughley to make it 19-13, and Brown made it an eight-point game with a three-pointer to make it 27-19. The largest lead of the half came when Kellen McCormick buried a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining, making it 34-24.
 
Miami 55, Bowling Green 52
OXFORD, Ohio--The Miami University men’s basketball team captured a gritty 55-52 win versus Bowling Green on Sunday afternoon inside Millett Hall. The win snaps a five-game losing streak by the Red and White.
 
Bowling Green’s Jehvon Clark missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as Miami improved to 10-15 overall and 6-8 in Mid-American Conference play. The win guarantees that Miami will finish the season with at least 10 wins and the most MAC wins since the 2010-11 season.
 
Sophomore guard Willie Moore and senior forward Will Felder led Miami in scoring with 11 apiece. Moore added six rebounds and three assists, while Felder added a career-high-tying four assists and three blocked shots. Moore also made the first start of his RedHawk career.
 
Bowling Green (11-16, 5-9 MAC) opened the game with a pair of three-pointers to take an early 6-0 lead, but Miami answered back with a strong effort, scoring the next 15 points. Helping in that span was Moore, who scored seven of his 11 points during that run.
 
The Falcons climbed back into the game, getting to within one at 25-24. The Red and White finished the final four minutes of the first half on a 10-1 run. Helping extend to a 35-25 halftime lead were freshmen Jaryd Eustace and Joshua Oswald. Both connected on back-to-back buckets from behind the arc late in the first half.
 
In the final 20 minutes of action, Miami recorded just five made field goals, but held Bowling Green to 27 second-half points.
 
Miami held a slight advantage in assists (16-10), turnovers (13-12) and steals (9-3). Bowling Green outrebounded Miami 39-36 and had a 38-22 advantage in the paint. The RedHawks had 18 points off turnovers, 10 fast break points and 16 points off the bench.
 
Sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight added nine points and a career-high-tying seven rebounds.
 
Miami returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in a conference game versus Akron at Millett Hall to round out a three-game home stretch. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.
 
Toledo 85, Ball State 74
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo stretched its homecourt win streak to 14 games with an 85-74 Mid-American Conference triumph on Sunday evening over Ball State. The victory improved the Rockets’ record to 23-4 overall and 11-3 in league play and put UT just one away from tying its school record of 24 in the 1939-40 campaign.
 
Junior guard Julius Brown tallied a team-high 20 points to top a balanced Toledo attack that saw five players score in double figures. Joining Brown in double digits were sophomore center Nathan Boothe (season-high 17 pts.), junior guard Justin Drummond (17 pts.), junior forward Nathan Boothe (14 pts., team-high eight rebounds) and senior guard Rian Pearson (13 pts., team-high four steals).
 
The Rockets were red-hot from the field, shooting 56.1 percent (32-of-57) from the field for their best shooting mark since a 56.1 mark vs. Central Michigan on Jan. 12. Toledo also knocked down 43.8 percent (7-of-16) of its long-distance attempts and 77.8 percent (14-of-18) of its free throws.
 
Senior forward Chris Bond paced the Cardinals with a game-high 22 points, while senior guard Jesse Berry contributed 17 points.
 
Ball State (4-21, 1-13 MAC) posted a 45.9 FG% (28-of-61) and was 8-of-22 (36.4%) from three-point range and 10-of-17 (58.8%) from the charity stripe.
 
The Cardinals took an early 9-4 lead, but Toledo quickly answered with an 8-0 burst capped off by a Brown trey with 15:16 remaining in the first half. The Cardinals kept the game close and were within 33-31 just under three minutes before halftime following a Berry three-pointer. UT responded though with the final eight points for a 42-31 advantage at intermission.
 
The Rockets saw that double-digit cushion dwindle right away following halftime as the visitors scored the first six points.  Ball State kept pushing and eventually evened the score, 60-60, on a Berry trey with 8:24 left. Drummond immediately put UT back on top, 62-60, with a driving layup and added a jumper at the 6:35 mark for a 66-61 lead.
 
Toledo put the Cardinals away after Boothe’s four straight points put the Rockets up, 80-70, with 1:50 to play.
 
UT is back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 26 with a trip to DeKalb, IL to face Northern Illinois (12-14, 6-8 MAC). The Huskies dropped a 70-67 decision at Central Michigan this afternoon.
 
Central Michgan 70, Northern Illinois 67
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan avenged a 25-point setback to Northern Illinois earlier this month, getting standout performances from Braylon Rayson and Austin Stewart to edge the Huskies, 70-67, on Sunday afternoon at McGuirk Arena. Combined with the triple overtime victory over Ball State on Wednesday night, CMU has forged its first conference-winning streak of the season.
Rayson equaled NIU’s Aaric Armstead with a game-high 19 points, leading CMU in scoring for the second consecutive game. Stewart was nearly perfect for the game, shooting 5-of-6 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line, to post 16 points to go along with a team-high six rebounds.
 
Chris Fowler added 15 points and eight assists and with three steals, giving him 51 for the year, moved into the top 10 of the CMU single season record book.
 
Central Michigan (10-16, 3-11 MAC) used Northern Illinois miscues to gain a key edge, forcing Northern Illinois into 18 turnovers, while committing just eight of its own, helping to offset a 37-22 deficit in rebounding.
 
“This was not a game that you have to win in rebounding, but you have to be close,” CMU head coach Keno Davis said. “Getting beat by 15 isn’t close, but I think we were able to win with turnovers; being able to create 18 and only have eight. I don’t know that I’ve had a team like this; that could have eight turnovers in a game that is that aggressive and then only six turnovers in a triple overtime game. I think it shows something about how our players are developing.”
 
CMU used the three ball to start fast and stake a first half lead. Six different Chippewas knocked down three-pointers, including one from John Simons at the 9:06 mark to produce a 21-17 advantage. Back-to-back buckets from Rayson, a fadeaway from 15 feet and a teardrop over NIU’s 6-9 center, then extended the CMU lead to eight at 25-17.
 
The Huskies chipped away at the deficit from the free throw line to pull within six at 27-21 but another Simons three-pointer with 2:44 remaining in the half ended the threat. NIU got four points from Darrell Bowie before the break while CMU countered with two from Zach Saylor, making the game 32-25 in favor of CMU at halftime.
 
A wild sequence of events early on in the second half helped Central build its largest lead of the game. After a basket by NIU center Jordan Threloff and two made free throws by Stewart, Rayson stole the ball from the Huskies and scored on a layup, getting fouled. After Rayson completed the three-point play, Blake Hibbitts stole the inbounds and found Stewart open for a layup, opening up a 39-27 CMU lead.
 
CMU never trailed in the second half, but Northern Illinois never went away. A Bowie three-point play at the 8:33 mark, cut the Chippewas lead to just four at 54-50 but Rayson came through in the clutch again, sinking a three-pointer to push the advantage back to seven points.
 
Just over five minutes later, with 3:15 remaining, NIU was back within four at 60-56, thanks to an Armstead triple, but CMU was able to respond again, this time getting a big three-pointer from Fowler.
 
Free throw shooting, which hindered CMU throughout the Ball State game and through much of the rematch with NIU, proved to be key down the stretch. Sophomore guard Rayshawn Simmons made five from the line at crunch time, including two with 21 seconds left to play and the Huskies within three points.
 
Still, a five-point, 70-65 lead was tenuous in the game’s final moments. Northern’s Aksel Bolin scored on a layup to make it a three-point game and then Travon Baker stole the inbounds pass. Daveon Balls missed a would-be game-tying three-pointer and Baker got the offensive rebound. But Fowler nearly stole the ball from Baker, knocking it out of bounds near mid-court with three seconds remaining. Bolin had one final look at the basket but good defense forced a poor three-point attempt, sending CMU to victory.
 
Northern Illinois (12-14, 6-8 MAC) got 14 points from Bowie, paired with Armstead’s 19, represented the Huskies only two double figure scorers. Threloff, who tipped in the game winner versus Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, had a game-high 10 rebounds despite leaving the game for a portion of the first half with an injury.
 
The Chippewas are on the road for rematches against two MAC West Division foes this week, starting on Wednesday when they meet Eastern Michigan (15-11, 7-6 MAC) in a 7 p.m. game at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. CMU will then travel to Muncie, Ind. for a Saturday 2 p.m. showdown with Ball State (4-20, 1-12 MAC).
 
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.

- See more at: http://www.mac-sports.com/tabid/969/Article/321564/Sunday-s-MAC-Men-s-Basketball-Results.aspx#sthash.suUoB7pO.dpuf


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