OHIO 90, BALL STATE 70
KENT STATE 76, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 57
AKRON 101, BUFFALO 77
By MIKE SMITH
CLEVELAND, OH -- The Toledo Rockets made it 16 straight wins Thursday as the MAC Tournament's top seed knocked off No. 8 seed Miami 91-75 to open quarterfinal action at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. With the win, UT will move on to face Ohio, which beat Ball State 90-70, in a Friday (5 p.m. ET) semifinal matchup.
Toledo, which averages a MAC-best 85-9 ppg, was on target early, connecting on 62.1 percent from the field on the way to 48 first half points. The RedHawks (12-20) managed 33 points in the first stanza and were unable to pull within single digits after intermission. ... CONTINUE . . .
CLEVELAND, OH -- AJ Brown erupted for 28 points in 29 minutes off the bench to lead Ohio past Ball State 90-70 Thursday in MAC Tournament quarterfinal action at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
With the victory, Ohio (19-13) moves on to face No. 1 Seed Toledo (26-6) in Friday's semifinal opener (5 p.m. ET). Ball State, meanwhile, dropped to 20-12.
The Bobcats and Cardinal met once during the regular season, with Ohio claiming a 76-71 triumph in Athens. The two teams were close early Thursday, but Brown hit a triple at 12:20 to put Ohio in front for good.
It was still a two-point game (21-19) midway through the stanza when the Bobcats went on a 29-7 run. They took a 54-32 lead to intermission and led by as many as 33 during the second half.
Joining Brown in double figures for Ohio were Jaylin Hunter (13), Elmore James (11) and Dwight Wilson III (11 points, 10 rebounds). Devon Baker added nine points for Ohio, which connected on 48.5 percent from the field overall and 44.0 percent outside the arc. The Bobcats also owned a 45-30 rebounding advantage.
Ball State was paced by Payton Sparks (21 points). Demarius Jacobs netted 11, while Jarron Coleman and Jaylin Sellers registered 10 apiece. The Cardinals hit 40.3 percent from the field overall and 27.3 percent on treys.
CLEVELAND, OH -- Malique Jacobs tallied 19 points to led five KSU players in double figures as Kent State dumped Northern Illinois 76-57 Thursday in quarterfinal action of the MAC Tournament at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The No. 2-seeded Flashes never trailed as they advanced to Friday's semifinal, when they will meet arch-rival Akron in the 7:30 p.m. ET matchup. The Zips cruised by Buffalo 101-77 in Thursday's final quarterfinal game. Kent State and Akron split their two regular season games, with the Flashes winning 89-84 at home in overtime last Friday.
Joining Jacobs in double figures for KSU were Cliron Hornbeak (16 points, 9 rebounds), Sincere Carry (13 points), Jared Sullinger (11 points) and Miryne Thomas (10).
Zarique Nutter paced the Huskies (13-19) with 13 points. Anthony Crump and David Coit added 10 points each, while Harvin Ibarguen contributed eight points and 11 caroms.
Northern Illinois struggled offensively in the first half, connecting on just 6-of-27 (22.2%) from the field overall and 2-of-13 outside the arc. Although KSU was only 2-of-12 itself from long distance, the Flashes nontheless hit 12-of-28 (42.86%) from the field overall before intermission.
Kent State never trailed and was up 11-5 midway though the first period. It then outscored NIU 17-6 to grab a 28-11 advantage. The Flashes led 31-18 at the break.
Huskie shooting improved in the second stanza, when NIU hit 12-of-22 (54.5%). However, Kent State connected on 50 percent after intermission. With the Flashes holding a 28-8 edge in points off turnovers for the evening, KSU maintained a relatively comfortable lead throughout the second half.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Third-seeded Akron jumped out to an early lead and didn't look back, dispatching sixth-seeded Buffalo, 101-77, in the Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals action at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Thursday evening.
Akron's 101-point performance represents a single-game program record for points scored in a MAC Tournament tilt.
By virtue of its third triumph of the season past the Bulls, the Zips (22-10) advance to battle rival Kent State in the semifinal round of the MAC Tournament on Friday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Senior Xavier Castaneda scored a game-high and Akron MAC Tournament record 31 points, while junior Enrique Freeman, junior Sammy Hunter and graduate student Trendon Hankerson added 19-, 13- and 13-point performances for the Zips.
Akron finished the contest shooting 59 percent from the field, including making 13 three pointers, while holding Buffalo (15-17) to a 37.1 percent shooting mark in the second half en route to a 24-point victory.
Yazid Powell paced four Bulls scoring in double figures with a 25-point performance. Joining him in double figures were LaQuill Hardnett (18 points, 10 rebounds), Curtis Jones (12 points) and Armoni Foster (11 points)
The Zips opened the game on an 11-4 run through the first media timeout, led by eight points from Freeman.
After Buffalo cut its deficit to two, 13-11, at the 13:21 mark, Akron went on an 11-2 run to extend its margin to nine, 22-13, following a layup by Freeman with 10:15 left in the half.
Following a basket by the Bulls, the Zips went on a 15-4 run over the next 4:45 to stretch their lead to 37-19 after a three pointer by Hankerson at the 4:51 mark. Hankerson connected on a pair of triples in the run.
Akron stretched its lead to as many as 18, 45-27, with 1:40 left before halftime before going into the break holding 45-31 margin.
The Zips shot 48.4 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, including four three pointers, while Buffalo connected at a .419 clip in the first half.
Akron continued its offensive execution in the second connecting on 70 percent of their shots to stretch the margin to as many as 30 points before exiting with the Zips fourth straight tournament victory