MAC Men's Basketball East Division Player of the Week
Xavier Ford, Buffalo, Forward
Senior, Colorado Springs, CO/Harrison
Ford had a career week for the Bulls as he averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game in wins over Western Michigan and Kent State. On Friday night in front of a national TV audience, Ford recorded a career high 25 points, scoring 17 of those in the first half. Coming into the game, Ford had just three career three pointers, but he doubled that total with three 3-pointers against the Golden Flashes. He also added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 25-point win over MAC leader Kent State. Earlier in the week, he entered the starting lineup in a victory over Western Michigan, where Ford finished with 16 points and four steals. For the week, he shot nearly 70% from the floor (16-23) and shot over 83% from the free throw line. Ford is averaging nearly 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in conference play.
MAC Men's Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Mike Talley, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Redshirt-Senior, Detroit, Mich./Melvindale ABT
Talley led the Green and White to the sweep of a pair of Mid-American Conference games this weekend. On the back of Talley, the Eagles moved to 3-5 in MAC play after a 76-40 win over Ohio and a 69-63 victory versus Western Michigan. Overall on the week, the point guard averaged 20 points per game, shooting at a 52.2 percent clip, knocking down 4-of-8 three point attempts and missing just one free throw in 13 attempts, good for a 92.3 free throw percentage. In addition, the Detroit, Mich. native averaged 5.5 assists per game, while pulling down two rebounds and stripping the opponent once per game. In the Eagles' win over Western Michigan, Jan. 31, Talley led Eastern with a career-best 24 points, connecting on 6-of-12 from the floor, while knocking down a career-high four three-point baskets.
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Pat Forsythe, Akron, Center
Junior, Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick High School
Forsythe had a dominating week for the Zips in the paint, helping Akron to two wins. Forsythe closed the week averaging 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 blocked shots per game. He connected on 75.0 percent of his shots from the field (12-of-16) and 81.3 percent at the charity stripe (13-of-16). In Akron's 59-47 win over Ball State on Tuesday, Forsythe scored a then-career-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. He also grabbed five rebounds and posted one assist and one blocked shot. In Akron's key 69-68 road win at Bowling Green on Saturday, he poured in 20 points, also on 6-of-8 shooting, and was an impressive 8-of-10 at the free throw line. He added six boards, two assists and a blocked shot in the game. Twelve of his 20 points came in the second half, including four free throws. His pair of freebies gave Akron its first lead of the game with 3:15 to go in the game (62-60).
Richaun Holmes, Bowling Green, Forward
Senior, Lockport, Ill./Lockport
Holmes led the Falcons in scoring in both contests last week, as BGSU went 1-1 in MAC play. Holmes has now scored in double figures in eight straight games. In the home win over NIU, Holmes posted a team-high 18 points, on 8-of-14 shooting, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals to lead the Falcons to a 56-46 win. He followed that performance up with 11 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block in a one-point loss to Akron on Saturday night. Holmes averaged 14.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting overall. He also averaged 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per contest. Holmes leads BGSU with 14.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game on the year. The third-year player at BGSU now sits with 899 career points.
Chris Fowler, Central Michigan, Guard
Junior, Southfield, Mich./Detroit Country Day
Fowler continued his standout season by leading Central Michigan in scoring in each of its MAC games, as the Chippewas earned a split last week. On the road against MAC East leader Kent State on Tuesday, Fowler posted 15 points to go along with 3 assists, rebounds and steals. In a win over Ohio on Saturday, he helped keep the Chippewas undefeated at home (12-0) by recording 17 points, dishing out 6 assists, pulling down 3 rebounds and recording 2 steals. Fowler, who averages a team-best 14.4 points per game, has scored in double figures in 16 of 19 games and led CMU in scoring in six. A starter of all 81 games of his career, Fowler ranks No. 1 in the MAC in assists (6.1 apg), No. 3 in assist/turnover ratio (2.6) and No. 7 in field goal percentage (.522) and steals (1.5 spg). Entering play this week, he is just 35 assists shy of becoming CMU's all-time leader in assists.
Jimmy Hall, Kent State, Forward
Sophomore, Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Anthony's
Hall averaged 15.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game for first-place Kent State last week. Hall notched his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds in a showdown with West Division leader Central Michigan on Tuesday, as the Golden Flashes held the Chippewas to 30 points below their season average. Hall's outstanding work on the defensive glass helped limit CMU to just 4 second-chance points and give the Flashes a +18 advantage in rebounds vs. the conference's leader in rebounding margin. In a nationally-televised matchup with Buffalo on Friday, Hall paced the Flashes with 16 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Eric Washington, Miami, Guard
Junior, Columbia, S.C./Keenan
Washington led Miami in a pair of hard-fought games as Miami went 1-1 last week. Washington had a game-high-tying 15 points and helped Miami evaporate a 13-point, second-half deficit against Ball State en route to a 79-73 win against the Cardinals. During a 10-2 Miami run with under 2:30 to play that put the RedHawks up six with 23 seconds left, Washington found Will Sullivan who sunk a crucial triple and then the 5-foot-10 guard recorded his first blocked shot on the season on the ensuing BSU possession. Washington also was a catalyst behind a late surge at Toledo. With the RedHawks trailing eight points with 2:40 to play, Washington accounted for four points and added a steal during an 8-0 Miami flurry to knot the game with 1:11 to play. For the week Washington averaged 15.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.0 rpg and 1.5 spg while shooting an impressive 66.7 percent from the field. He also posted 2.75 assist/turnover ratio amassing 11 assists while committing a mere four turnovers.
Jonathan Williams, Toledo
Sophomore, Southfield, MI/Southfield-Lathrup
Sophomore guard Jonathan Williams averaged 14.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg to help the Rockets to a pair of victories last week. Williams also shot 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from three-point range and 83.3 percent (5-of-6) from the free-throw line. Williams opened the week by registering his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-high 10 rebounds in a 70-65 home victory over Miami. With the score tied at 65-65, Williams hit three of four free throws and ended the game with a dunk at the buzzer. In Toledo's 80-69 win at Northern Illinois, Williams broke open the game with a pair of three-point field goals to put the Rockets in front 70-58 with just over eight minutes remaining. He tallied 11 points and four rebounds vs. the Huskies and was 3-of-5 (60.0 percent) from three-point range.
David Brown, Western Michigan, Guard
Sixth-Year Senior, Roscoe, Ill. / Hononegah
Brown continued his recent scoring barrage with a strong efforts against Buffalo and Eastern Michigan on the road, averaging 21.5 points per game and shooting 51.7 percent from the field – 47.1 from three-point range – in both games. The sixth-year senior started the week with a game-high 29 points against the Bulls, going 11-of-18 (.611) from the field and 5-of-9 (.556) from beyond the three-point arc while also hauling in four rebounds and a steal. Brown also had a strong game against the Eagles on Saturday afternoon, scoring 14 points against the Eagles.