BALL STATE 70, AKRON 63
TOLEDO, Ohio – Senior JT Shumate scored 23 points and junior Tyler Cochran added a season-high 20 points to lead the Toledo men's basketball team to a dominating 102-74 victory over Western Michigan on Friday evening in Savage Arena. The victory was the Rockets' 12th in a row over the Broncos (4-11, 0-2 MAC) and improved their record to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in Mid-American Conference play.
"This was a great way to respond to our loss to Ball State," Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "Our defensive intensity and togetherness were back to normal. It wasn't on Tuesday and that's on us and me. Having Tyler Cochran back on the court makes a huge difference for us. It's a good win because Western Michigan has been playing well and is extremely well-coached."
Senior Setric Millner Jr. and junior RayJ Dennis also finished in double digits with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Sophomore Ra'Heim Moss topped Toledo with eight rebounds and helped limit WMU's leading scoring Lamar Norman Jr. to 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Dennis paced the Rockets with five assists.
Toledo was efficient offensively, shooting 52.4 percent from the field, a season-high 54.2 percent from three-point range and 79.3 percent at the free-throw line. The Rockets' 13 three-point field goals were one shy of their season best vs. Oakland on Nov. 16.
UT also turned in a strong defensive outing, limiting the Broncos to a 38.7 shooting mark. The Rockets performed even better in the opening 20 minutes as WMU hit just 31.3 percent of its shots.
BALL STATE 70, AKRON 63
MUNCIE, Ind. – Jarron Coleman and Payton Sparks tied for a team-high 15 points as Ball State (11-4, 2-0 MAC) defeated Akron (9-6, 1-1 MAC), 70-63, Friday inside Worthen Arena. The Cardinals extended the winning streak to seven games.
Ball State improved to 11-4 and 2-0 in Mid-American Conference play. The Cardinals' seven-game winning streak is the longest since the 2017-18 team won nine in a row. The win also snapped a five-game losing streak to the Zips. In its first two MAC contests, Ball State defeated the tournament champions in Toledo and the regular season champions in Akron.
Sparks tied for a team-best 15 points and brought down a team-high eight rebounds. He made seven free throws and added two assists, a steal, and a block. Coleman dropped 15 points and has scored in double-figures in 14-straight contests. He collected six rebounds and produced one steal. Jaylin Sellers led the team with three blocks and tallied 13 points along with two rebounds. Basheer Jihad finished in double figures with 11 points with four rebounds and one assist. Demarius Jacobs dished out a team-high four assists and tied for a team-high two steals. He added eight points, three rebounds, and two blocks. Darian Owens-White tied for a team-best two steals.
The Cardinals came out of the gates fast and opened on a 7-0 run. The Zips answered with a 4-0 run as the game was 7-4 at the first media timeout with 15:59 left in the opening stanza. Akron added a 5-1 run and took its first lead, 9-8, with 13:38 left in the half.
With 11:40 on the clock, Ball State outscored Akron, 12-7, over the next 4:34 of play and claimed a 20-16 lead with 7:06 until the half. The game continued to be a back-and-forth battle as Akron held a 31-30 lead at the half.
The Zips opened the second half on a 5-2 run and extended their lead to 36-32. Ball State was resilient and battled back with a 5-0 run. Coleman knocked down a 3-pointer with 17:24 in the second half as the Cardinals regained the lead, 37-36.
The next 3:51 of play was a back-and-forth affair as both teams produced 10 points, which gave the Cardinals a 47-46 lead with 13:10 left in the game. The Zips rattled off an 8-0 run and took a 54-47 lead. Ball State was unfazed and responded with a 16-7 run, capped off by a Sellers' 3-pointer as the Cardinals took a 63-61 lead with 4:07 left on the clock.
BSU ended the game on a 7-2 run and claimed a 70-63 victory. During the final 10:25 of play, the Ball State defense was stout and held Akron to 0-of-7 from the field. All 11 of the Zips final points came from the free-throw line.
The Cardinals were strong on the glass again as they outrebounded the Zips 37-33, with 17 of them on the offensive side of the court. The offensive rebounds led to 16 second-chance points. Ball State capitalized on turnovers and scored 26 points off turnovers to Akron's 11.
Enrique Freeman posted a double-double for the Zips with 23 points and 14 rebounds, both a game high. He also led the team with two blocks, two steals, and one assist. Greg Trimble was the only other Akron player in double figures with 14.