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Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results

February 27, 2014

Wednesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Miami 65, Akron 61
Bowling Green 73, Kent State 66
Buffalo 69, Ohio 64
Eastern Michigan 64, Central Michigan 42
Western Michigan 88, Ball State 81 (OT)
Northern Illinois 74, Toledo 66
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Miami 65, Akron 61
OXFORD, Ohio – Two big defensive plays in the final four seconds capped a furious finish as Miami University’s men’s basketball team won a nail-biter on Wednesday night, defeating Akron 65-61 at Millett Hall. The win was the second straight for the RedHawks, who improved to 11-15 overall and 7-8 in Mid-American Conference play.
To start the night, Miami won the opening tip and sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight scored a quick basket to give the RedHawks an early 2-0 lead. The Zips (17-11; 9-6 MAC) responded with an 11-1 run.
Trailing 11-3, junior guard Will Sullivan snapped the Zips’ scoring surge with a fast-break layup and Miami began to inch their way back. 
With the score sitting at 15-11, Sullivan knocked down a 3-pointer to put the RedHawks within one. Senior forward Will Felder scored next, giving Miami their first lead of the game, 15-14, with 7:13 remaining in the half.
Sullivan then knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Red and White on top, 18-16. Next  time down the court, Sullivan knocked down another trey, putting the RedHawks up by five and capping their 18-5 run. Miami led 21-16 with 3:48 remaining in the first.
The two teams traded points over the rest of the first half and entered the locker room with Miami ahead, 27-20. Sullivan finished the half with 15 points including three 3-pointers.
Coming out of the half, Miami widened their lead, holding a 38-28 advantage with 15 minutes left in the game. Felder threw down a big fastbreak slam dunk to put the RedHawks ahead 43-30, their largest lead of the night.
Over the remainder of the second half, Akron began to chip away at the 13-point deficit before tying the score at 53 apiece with 5:50 remaining. The two teams went back and forth over the next four minutes but Miami never surrendered its lead.
With 90 seconds left in the game, Miami held a 62-59, but Akron’s Quincy Diggs knocked down a jumper with 1:06 remaining to put the Zips within one.
Akron fouled Sullivan with 20 seconds left in the game, sending him to the line for a one-and-one attempt. Sullivan missed his attempt and Akron had another opportunity.
The Zips took the ball down court with the game clock now below the shot clock. With four seconds remaining in the game, Felder blocked Akron’s Quincy Diggs’ and the RedHawks regained possession, leading 62-61. Sullivan recovered the ball and was fouled almost instantly. Sullivan knocked down the first free-throw but missed the second.
With 1.2 seconds left on the clock and Miami winning 63-61, Akron had one final chance. Miami’s senior guard Quinten Rollins intercepted the inbounds and was fouled with 0.9 seconds left. He made both free-throws en route to the RedHawks’ 65-61 victory.
Rollins tallied six steals during the win, putting his career total at 203. He became the 15th player in MAC history to record 200 career steals and is now tied for 13th place on that list. Rollins also has 62 steals this season, which ties him with Ron Harper for third on Miami’s single-season steal list.
Three RedHawks finished the game in double-digit scoring with Felder and Sullivan both posting 16 while McKnight notched 13 of his own.
Akron was led by Deji Ibitayo’s 14 points, while Demetrius Treadwell followed wth 12 points and 11 rebounds. Diggs finished with a game-high 12 boards for the Zips.
Miami hits the road for two games beginning with a contest at Buffalo on Saturday, March 1 at noon. The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3. The RedHawks return home for their season finale the next Saturday when they play host to rival Ohio University at noon in the first game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader against the Bobcats. Tickets are just $8 with a Miami Faculty/Staff price of just $5.
Bowling Green 73, Kent State 66
Bowling Green, Ohio – Bowling Green State University held the Kent State Golden Flashes to 34.9 percent shooting and only three fast break points in a 73-66 MAC East win at home in the Stroh Center on Wednesday night in which the Falcons never trailed in the entire 40 minute contest.
BGSU held Kent State to eight made field goals (8-of-27) in the first half of play and only 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) shooting for the game, while posting nine blocks in the victory.
Bowling Green improves to 12-16 overall and 6-9 in the MAC with the win, while Kent State falls to 15-13 overall and 6-9 in the league with the loss.
The win also pushes BGSU to 16-0 at home in the Stroh Center when scoring 70 points for the game.
BGSU was led by Jehvon Clarke's game-high 21 points, while the point guard also had eight rebounds and five assists, and Richaun Holmes' 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for his seventh double-double of the season. Senior Cameron Black tied his career-high with five blocks, to go along with nine points and six rebounds, while fellow starter Spencer Parker added 12 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Off the bench for the Falcons, Damarkeo Lyshe poured in a career-high eight points, while Craig Sealey hauled in six rebounds in 18 minutes of play.
For the Golden Flashes, Devareaux Manley led a trio of players in double digits with 16 points, while Kris Brewer and Mark Henniger finished with 14 and 10 points apiece, respectively.
The Falcons took advantage of its size early in the contest, as Holmes and Black combined for BGSU's first eight points of the game to put the home team up 4-0 early and then 8-5 on a second Black bucket in the paint with 16:50 to go in the opening half.
Kent State tied the score up at 9-9 on two straight free throws from Darren Goodson at the 12:44 mark, only to see the Falcons knock down back-to-back jump shots from Clarke and Holmes to push its lead back out to four at 13-9 with 10:35 to go before the halftime break.
Four straight points from the Golden Flashes tied the score up again at 13-13, yet the Falcons again had an answer, as back-to-back free throws from JD Tisdale and a layup down low from Black put the home team in front by four once more, this time at 17-13.
After a three-pointer from the right wing from Lyshe gave the Falcons its largest lead of the first half at seven at 22-15, the Golden Flashes used a 5-1 run over the next two minutes to cut the BGSU lead to three at 22-19 at the 4:59 mark on a driving layup from Goodson.
The Golden Flashes, who connected on 8-of-27 (29.6 percent) shooting in the first half, got nine of its 26 points from the free throw line over the first 20 minutes of play and got to within three points at 29-26 with less than a minute to go in the first.
BGSU finished the last five minutes of the half with a 9-7 edge in points, capped off by a cutting layup from Lyshe with four seconds to go in the half, to hold on to the lead and take a 31-26 advantage into the halftime break.
The Falcons, who shot 55 percent (11-of-20) overall in the second half of play, picked up where they left off in the first half, scoring nine points over the first 3:38 of the second period to take a 41-30 lead on a layup down low from Holmes.
Kent State's Manley would hit a three-pointer minutes later to cut the Falcons' lead back down to single digits at eight at 41-33, yet BGSU's defense continued to make stops to allow the home team to extend its lead back out to 12 at 46-34 on another Lyshe three-pointer and once more at 48-36 on a Holmes rebound and put back with 12:18 to play in the contest.
A another three-pointer from Manley kick started an 8-0 surge for the Golden Flashes who trimmed the BGSU lead down to four at 48-44 on an old-fashion three-point play from Henniger with just over 10 minutes on the game clock.
After back-to-back layups from Sealey and Clarke pushed the Falcons back out in front by eight at 52-44, the Golden Flashes again refused to go away, this time answering with three free throws and another long three from Manley to get to within three at 53-50 with 5:32 to play.
That would be as close as Kent State would get for the remainder of the contest, as the Falcons answered with a rebound and stick back basket from Parker and then back-to-back transition baskets, including an old-fashion three-point play, to cap off a 7-0 run and take a 10 point lead at 60-50 with 3:19 on the scoreboard.
A Kent State jumper from Brewer did nothing to slow down the BGSU offense, as Clarke followed with two straight free throws before a steal and breakaway two-handed slam from Tisdale at the 2:04 mark brought the crowd to its feet and put the home team in front by 12 at 64-52.
Five straight points from Kent State and three consecutive missed free throws by Bowling Green allowed the Golden Flashes to again climb back into the game, trimming the BGSU lead to seven at 64-57 with 1:21 to go in regulation.
A free throw each from Parker and Clarke over the next two offensive possessions for the Falcons kept the home team out in front, however, Kent State picked up a layup from Henniger and another three-pointer from Manley to get to within four at 66-62 with 45 seconds left in the contest.
Refusing to let the lead slip away, BGSU's Parker and Clarke combined to make 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 45 seconds of play to help seal the 73-66 home win.
BGSU shot 46.8 percent (22-of-47) for the game and was 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) from the free throw line in the win.
The 26 made free throws for the Falcons was the second most in a single game this season for BGSU.
The Falcons out-rebounded Kent State 44-31 on the night and held a 32-30 advantage in points in the paint and 11-3 in fast break points.
Bowling Green (12-16, 6-9 MAC) will hit the road to take on the Akron Zips on Saturday night, March 1, at 7 p.m. in Akron, Ohio.
Buffalo 69, Ohio 64
ATHENS, OH – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team won its third straight game on Wednesday night, defeating the Ohio Bobcats in Athens, 69-64.  The victory improves UB's record to 17-8 and 11-4 in the MAC.  The Bulls have opened up a two-game lead in the MAC East with three regular season games to play.
The Bulls brought some serious energy into the road affair and it was evident in the first half as the Bulls opened up a 42-27 halftime lead.  The Bulls led by 10 points early in the contest, but an 8-0 run from the Bobcats put them back within 16-14 with 12:05 to play.  Ohio had held two-point leads early in the contest, its only two leads of the night.  The Bulls led by four at 22-18 when they went on a 7-0 run to take a 29-18 lead with 7:20 left in the first half.  Ohio pulled back within 33-26, but the Bulls went on a 9-1 run over the final four minutes of the half, capped off on a Joshua Freelove three pointer as the buzzer sounded, which gave the Bulls a 42-27 lead into the half.
UB extended its lead to as many as 17, 48-31, just three and a half minutes into the half, but the Bobcats made a run, scoring 12 straight points and pulling within, 48-43.  Ohio pulled within two at 52-50 with 10:13 left, but a pair of free throws from Will Regan put the Bulls back up by six with 8:56 left.  While the Bulls remained on top, Ohio crept back to within one, 65-64 with 1:10 left.  However, senior Javon McCrea went to the free throw line with 39 seconds left, and despite struggling from the line, sank two free throws to give UB a 67-64 lead.  The Bobcats had one last chance, getting two good looks at three, but they couldn't convert and freshman Shannon Evans hit a pair of free throws with one second left to clinch the win.
"We knew this was going to be a difficult game because Ohio is a very good team, especially at home," said head coach Bobby Hurley.  "We were able to build a 15-point lead and we got after our guys in the locker room to stay focused. Knowing how well coached they are, we knew they would make a run, and we were able to withstand it and come out with a very good win."
The Bulls placed four players in double figures, led by 15 points and seven rebounds from McCrea.  Freelove finished with 14 points, 12 of those coming in the first half.  Senior Jarod Oldham had 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, adding four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Regan completed the double figure scorers with 10 points.  Evans had eight points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and four steals off the bench. Junior Xavier Ford had five points and five rebounds, while sophomore Justin Moss had two points and six rebounds.
Ohio dropped to 19-9 on the season and 9-6 in the MAC as Nick Kellogg led all scorers with 18 points.  Jon Smith added 11 for the Bobcats.
The Bulls forced Ohio into 14 turnovers, 11 of those coming via the steal.  UB was able to turn those turnovers into 26 points.
With the win, UB has now won 17 games for the eighth time in the last 11 years.  The victory also snaps a seven-game losing streak to Ohio, dating back to 2011.
The Bulls will return home on Saturday afternoon when they host Miami at Noon.  For those unable to attend, the game will air live on TWCS.
Eastern Michigan 64, Central Michigan 42
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — Eastern Michigan University's men's basketball team captured its eighth Mid-American Conference victory of the season with a decisive 64-42 win over in-state rival Central Michigan University, Feb. 26.  The Eagles now hold a 16-12 (8-7 MAC) record, while the Chippewas fall to 10-17 (3-12 MAC).
The Green and White was led by Karrington Ward (Lockport, Ill.-Lockport Township (Moraine C.C.)) with 18 points and a team-high three steals.  Glenn Bryant (Detroit, Mich.-Oak Hill Academy (Arkansas)) chipped in an additional 12 points. On the defensive end, Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Detroit Country Day (Syracuse)) had eight boards to go with two rejections. 
As a team, the Eagles shot 22-of-51 for a 43.1 percent clip and had 10 steals in the effort to go with an additional five forced Chippewa miscues.  Eastern dominated the paint, 24-8, and the EMU bench tallied 30 points on the evening. The squad showed why it leads the nation in defensive shooting percentage, holding Central Michigan to a paltry 24.5 percent success rate on 13-of-53 shooting. 
The Chippewas saw most of their success from three-point range, hitting 8-of-23 shots beyond the arc.  Chris Fowler came away with the most points for CMU with a 10-point effort, and John Simons was the leader on the glass with eight rebounds.
The Eagles got on the board quickly as Riley rose up to throw a missed three-pointer through the rim within 10 seconds of the tip, but the Chippewas answered back quickly with a successful trey from Braylon Rayson to give CMU its first lead of the game.  Darell Combs (Chicago, Ill.-Thornwood (Blinn)) showed his value on the perimeter by hitting two triples in-a-row to flop the score and give the Eagles a more comfortable 8-3 advantage in just over two minutes of play. 
Central Michigan made efforts to make its way to the basket, but ran into the tall frame of Riley on the inside, who forced two turnovers to put the ball back into the Eagles' hands.    Rayshawn Simmons was able to record the next pair of points for his squad after a five-minute dry spell via a high-arcing jumper on the left baseline to avoid the wide range of Riley's extensive wingspan. 
Despite ample movement to open up players on the Chippewa perimeter, the team struggled to convert on any of its shots.  A rebound by Ward thrown out to Mike Talley (Detroit, Mich.-Melvindale ABT (Duquesne) allowed him to dish out to Bryant for a two-handed slam on the other side of the court to bring the Green and White up 12-5 with 11:07 remaining.  A baseline jumper from Bryant increased the lead even further while the Chippewas suffered their fair share of shooting efficiency woes to trail by a considerable margin.
John Simons hit just the third field goal of the game for CMU with his first triple of the evening, but the Eagles retained their lead when J.R. Sims (Fort Wayne, Ind.-Snyder) drove to the hoop for a loopy shot from the middle of the rim, drawing the foul and converting on his free shot. 
A full-court scramble ended in favor of the Green and White, which opened up Ward beyond the arc to drain a trey and put the squad up 20-10, yet the team surrendered its 10-point edge as Austin Keel hit a long shot for the Chippewas.  After Head Coach Rob Murphy called a timeout, Bryant used the stall in momentum to come away with a steal.  When Ward just missed a mid-range jumper, Riley found the rebound and converted with an easy shot off the glass. 
Play remained uneventful for the ensuing two minutes, but Riley was able to fire up the team with a backboard-shaking dunk with seven seconds remaining in the half.  A buzzer-beating toss-up from Fowler found its way through the CMU rim to give the Chippewas the last word in the half, but the Eagles still held on to the lead, 24-19, heading into the locker room.
The Eagles were led by Combs and Riley at the close of the first 20 minutes, as each tallied six points for the Green and White.  Riley also paced the team in rebounding with six boards and picked up a block as well.  Central Michigan was led by a full lineup of players, as five different athletes contributed three points to the effort, all courtesy of a three-pointer, and Simons pulled down a team-high three rebounds. 
Collectively, the Eagles shot 9-of-24 from the field for a 37.5 percent efficiency and were perfect from the charity stripe, converting on all three free throws.  The team also dominated on the boards, 18-13, while holding the Chippewas to a 27.3 shooting percentage on 6-of-22 shots.  The Chippewas scored all but one of their field goals from three-point range, going 5-of-11 from beyond the arc for a 45.5 percent rate. 
Central Michigan opened up the second half with a triple from Fowler, and a handful of Eagle turnovers allowed the Chippewas to get within one point off a tip-in from Simons. Ward followed with a jumper, and Bryant made a move from the free throw line to sail through the key and drain a shot while drawing a foul. As his free throw made its way through the rim, the Eagles built up to a six-point advantage, 31-25, with 16:30 remaining.  Ward would capitalize on the offensive spark by sinking a fastbreak three before a media timeout.
Attempting to throw up a shot on a fastbreak play, Ward was fouled under the basket by Rayson.  While he sank his first shot from the charity stripe, his second effort rolled outside the rim and appeared to head into the hands of CMU's rebounders.  However, Sims used his speed to sneak through the pair of Chippewas and extend the Eagles' run to 11-0 with a soft touch off the glass.
The Chippewas mustered one point from a free throw, but their effort was immediately silenced as Combs found Bryant wide open for a high-flying alley-oop and Mo Hughley (Queens Village, N.Y.-Martin Van Buren (CSU Bakersfield) dished out to Ward in the paint for a flawlessly-executed hook shot.  The Eagles continued to hand out dimes when Combs faked a drive and threw the rock behind his head to Ward at the top of the arc, bringing the Green and White up 45-26 with 11 minutes to play.
Bryant kept up his aggression in driving to the basket, flying around the defenders in the key and extending his arm for a sidearm toss on the left side of the hoop to draw yet another foul in a futile effort to stop his offensive outburst.  The Eagles extended their lead to 19 points when Daylen Harrison (Akron, Ohio-St. Vincent-St. Mary (Wyoming)) snatched the ball in mid-air and tossed it down-court to Talley for an effortlessly easy two. 
The lead was extended to a 20-point margin when Harrison swished two from the charity stripe, putting the Eagles up 53-33 with five minutes remaining and followed up with a triple to go on an uncontested five-point run.  Central put together a 9-1 run, continued to trail by a considerable deficit entering the final minute on the clock.  The Eagles made one final play as Anthony Strickland (Ypsilanti, Mich.-Dearborn Heights Robichaud) rejected a CMU shot into the hands of Ali Farhat (Dearborn, Mich.-Dearborn), who found Sims under the rim for a pair of points to cap the victory, 64-42.
Eastern Michigan will remain at home when it hosts Northern Illinois University in a 2 p.m. tilt Saturday, March 1. The squad will look to avenge a 61-59 double-overtime setback from less than a fortnight ago.
Western Michigan 88, Ball State 81 (OT)
MUNCIE, Ind. - Connar Tava tied the game with a free throw with eight seconds left in regulation, and the Western Michigan men's basketball team out-scored Ball State 13-6 in overtime as the Broncos came back for an 88-81 win over the Cardinals. With the win, the Broncos increase their winning streak to eight games and improve to 19-8 on the season, 12-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
The win represents a number of milestones for the Broncos, the first of which being its significance on the season; the win, combined with losses by Ohio and Akron, guarantees that WMU will finish the regular season no lower than the third seed in the MAC Tournament, and will open the tournament no earlier than the quarterfinal round. In addition, the win was the 200th for head coach Steve Hawkins as head coach of the Broncos, making him just the eighth coach in MAC history to win 200 games at a MAC school.
Shayne Whittington recorded his fourth straight double-double and 11th of the season with a career-high 28 points and 14 rebounds, and also contributed three blocked shots. David Brown finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and four assists, and Connar Tava added 23 points, six rebounds, and two steals.
WMU trailed Ball State at halftime for the second time this season, falling behind 39-30 after 20 miinutes of play. The Broncos out-scored the Cardinals 45-36 in the second half, though, playing a highly efficient period in which they turned the ball over just one time while forcing nine BSU turnovers. Tava tied the score with eight seconds remaining by making one of two free throws, and WMU forced a Zavier Turner turnover before the end of regulation to send it to the extra session.
The Cardinals scored the first basket of the extra period when Majok Majok made a hook shot in the paint, but the Broncos scored the next 10, capping a 10-0 run with a pair of free throw makes from Austin Richie with 29 seconds remaining. Turner cut the lead to six points with a pair of free throws, but Jared Klein re-upped the lead to three possessions with two free throws, and the Broncos held on for the win.
The Broncos trailed Ball State 68-60 with 4:55 remaining in regulation time, after Tyler Koch made one of two free throws to give his team a three-possession lead. Shayne Whittington cut the lead to six points with a lay-up make, and David Brown cut eventually cut the lead to just two points with a three-pointer from the head of the key at the 3:07 mark. Whittington completed an old-fashioned three-point play by making a hook shot and drawing contact from Franko House, making it 71-70 with 2:21 remaining, and the Broncos took the lead when Tava drove on the Cardinals and laid it in to make it 74-73. Chris Bond gave the Cardinals the lead with a baseline lay-up, but Tava tied the score with a free throw to send it to overtime.
The first half was controlled thoroughly by the Cardinals, who opened the game on a 9-5 run that was capped by a lay-up from Majok. The lead jumped to 15-8 after Mading Thok made a 15-foot jumper from the foul line at the 12:24 mark, and the closest the Broncos got was four points after Tava made a pair of free throws to make it 25-21. Ball state's lead ballooned to 12 points when Thok made two free throws with 30 seconds left, but Brown drilled a three-pointer as time expired in the half to cut the lead to 39-30 at the break.
Northern Illinois 74, Toledo 66
DEKALB, Ill. -- Four players scored in double figures, led by 17 points from sophomore Travon Baker (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Consortium) as the Northern Illinois University men's basketball team knocked off Toledo, 74-66, on Wednesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. The Huskies held the Rockets to just 34.4 percent (11-of-32) shooting in the second half to overcome a one-point halftime deficit. More to come. 


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