Ball State 88, Buffalo 68
Ohio 74, Eastern Michigan 68
Central Michigan 68, Northern Illinois 67
Bowling Green 78, Miami 76
Akron 84, Western Michigan 69
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By EVAN MEYER
AKRON, OHIO – The Akron Zips improved to 2-0 in Mid-American Conference play as they ran out to an early first half lead and never looked back in defeating the Western Michigan Broncos 84-66 Tuesday night at Rhodes Arena.
The victory was number 12 on the season for Akron (12-3, 2-0 MAC) as UA is tied with Kent State for the most overall wins in the conference. The Zips also remained perfect (9-0).at home.
“Offensively we were really good in both halves. I though we executed real well.” Zips head coach John Groce said. “When they cut it to seven e have great poise.”
Junior Loren Cristen Jackson scored 26 points connecting on four shots from beyond the arc along with seven assists. Fellow Junior Tyler Cheese added 25 with five rebounds while Junior transfer Zeyruis Williams had 11 with eight rebounds.
“We were just feeding off of each otjher and made plays at the end.” Cristen Jackson said of his play with Cheese.
Western Michigan (8-7, 1-1 MAC) has dropped two of its last three games
“We weren’t ready. Our young guys got a lesson in MAC road basketball.” Broncos head man Steve Hawkins said. “We did not play (well) without out point guard (freshman Artis White) . We also turned the ball over 22 times and they converted (that into) 32 points.”
Junior guard Brandon flowers led all scorers in the contest with 30 points going 8-of-14 from the field including 5-of-7 from three-point range. Junior Rafal Cruz Jr added 16 and fellow junior Brandon Johnson scored 11.
Similar to its win on Saturday at Eastern Michigan, UA got out strong hitting four of their first six shots with three of them, coming from three point range to open a 14-2 lead at the 15:02 mark on a fade away jumper by Cristen Jackson who had 11 in the opening half.
UA’s lead fluctuated between 10 and 15 points before opening its largest lead of the game 37-20 when Cristen Jackson made a pair of free throws and went into halftime with a 37-23 advantage.
The Zips shot 40 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes (12-of-30) while holding WMU to just 7-of-22 from the floor.
The Broncos came out in the second half and scored the first five points of the period to close to 37-28 when Cruz Jr. split a pair of free throws.
After UA pushed the lead out to 42-28 on an and-one free throw by Cheese, WMU closed to within eight at 42-34 with 15:09 remaining on a baseline jumper by Johnson. It would be the closest the Broncos could get for the remainder of the contest.
“We challenged them in the second half but it was way too little and far too late.” Hawkins said.
Over the 40 minutes, UA shot 51.6 percent in the second half from the floor. However WMU shot a sizzling 70.8 percent in (17-of-24) and 52.2 percent for the game. Akron won the battle of the boards 32-30. It has 13 assists and 15 second chance points.
The key to the Broncos in the second half was Flowers, who scored 23 points going 7-of-10 from the floor with 4-of-5 from three point range.
Both teams get back into action over the weekend, UA hosts Ball State who are 2-0 after defeating Buffalo at home while WMU travels to Toledo to face the Rockets who lost at Kent State 84-77
KENT, Ohio- Kent State picked up an 84-77 victory over Toledo Tuesday night, as all five Flashes scored in double figures inside the M.A.C. Center.
Kent State improves to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The Flashes also remain perfect at home at 8-0.
Senior Philip Whittington led the Flashes recording his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Antonio Williams and junior Danny Pippen also added 16 points, while senior Troy Simons and sophomore Anthony Robert rounded out the double-digit scoring with 15 and 11 points.
Marreon Jackson had a huge night for UT, hitting a game-high 32 points. Willie Jackson added 17 for the Rockets.
Kent State started the game off strong taking a 10-2 lead, but the Rockets were able to answer throughout the opening half and took a 5-point lead, 31-26, with 2:45 remaining. A putback at the buzzer from CJ Williamson evened the score at 33 at the break.
The Flashes took advantage of Toledo's center Luke Knapke's foul troubles and scored repeatedly inside during the second half. Kent State dominated the paint scoring 42 points to the Rocket's 16.
The Flashes broke the tight game at the six-minute mark with the use of an 11-0 scoring run that put the Flashes ahead for good. Kent State shot lights out in the second half connecting on 20-of-32 (62.5 percent) from the floor and hitting 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range.
Ball State 88, Buffalo 68
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Buffalo has been the unquestioned standard bearer in the Mid-American Conference for some time now. Back-to-back conference champions. NCAA tournaments in four of the past five years.
Tuesday night inside Worthen Arena it was all Ball State.
The Cardinals started fast, opened up a double-digit lead and never looked back on the way to an 88-68 victory in front of more than 4,800 fans.
Tahjai Teague led the way with a season-high 25 points and nine rebounds as BSU (9-6) improved to 2-0 in conference play with wins over both reigning division champions.
"It was one of those games where we were clicking on a lot of levels," Ball State head coach James Whitford said. "We made a lot of shots. There were stretches in there where Buffalo defended well and we made some hard shots."
The first half, especially, is when the Cardinals made a lot of those shots. A 56 percent performance from the floor and 6-of-14 from 3-point range over the opening 20 minutes put them in control. It was the opposite of Friday night's MAC-opening victory over Toledo when BSU dug out of an early double-digit hole.
Teague was the offensive catalyst from the beginning, hitting his first four shots from the floor on his way to an 11-for-16 night. He scored in the post, he made two 3's, and he got a couple contested looks to go, too. His corner 3 at the halftime buzzer sent the Cardinals to the locker room leading the Bulls (9-6, 0-2 MAC), 48-34.
"His post move was ridiculous," Whitford said. "It's something he's been working on. Coach (Matt) Crenshaw has been working with him on a couple new moves in the post to add a little versatility to his game down there. It was good to see him do it. He can score in all those different parts of the court, but him scoring in the low post is a big part of it for us."
Ball State came out of the break on a 9-2 run to stretch its lead to more than 20. The Cardinals answered every time Buffalo tried to rally in the second half. The Bulls pulled as close as 13 points at 76-63 with 5:22 to play, but Kyle Mallers immediately drilled a 3 on the other end, and the lead was soon 20 again.
Mallers scored 11 points, as did Ishmael El-Amin. Four other BSU players were close to double figures, including the freshman backcourt of Luke Bumbalough and Jarron Coleman with nine each. KJ Walton returned after missing the Toledo game with a sore ankle to score nine, and Brachen Hazen added eight.
The Cardinals were able to get out and run in transition while taking care of the basketball. BSU turned it over 18 times in last year's loss at Buffalo. In Tuesday's win, the Cardinals gave it away just seven times, matching their second-lowest total of the season.
"If you turn the ball over against Buffalo, it's a layup at the other end so fast," Whitford said. "For us to keep the turnovers to seven was a big part of the story tonight."
Buffalo finished the game shooting 46 percent from the floor but made only 3-of-18 from 3-point range. Ball State finished 10-of-27 from beyond the arc. Antwain Johnson scored 16 points for the Bulls, while Jeenathan Williams and Jayvon Graves also reached double figures.
Ohio 74, Eastern Michigan 68
ATHENS, Ohio – Led by a 26-point performance by redshirt senior guard Jordan Dartis, the Ohio men's basketball team (8-6, 1-1 MAC) helped secure first year head coach Jeff Boals' first Mid-American Conference win, defeating Eastern Michigan (10-5, 0-2 MAC), 74-68, Tuesday night inside the Convocation Center.
With his performance, Dartis also passed DJ Cooper to move into second all-time in Ohio history in career made three-pointers.
"If he plays against Campbell, we probably win the game," Boals said about Dartis. "He did it against Middle Tennessee State and Detroit Mercy. When teams play zone, he's going to find the open area. More importantly, the other guys are going to find him. They were in the huddle talking about feeding him the ball. We continued to do that and we trust him. He's in elite shooter and when you go 8-of-15, the game is a lot smoother."
Dartis finished the game with 26 points, going 9-of-19 from the field, 8-of-15 from three-point range, while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out two assists.
Freshman guard Lunden McDay finished with 13 points, going 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range, while sophomore guard Jason Preston finished with 13 points and six assists.
Redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while freshman center Nolan Foster finished with 10 points and redshirt junior forward Connor Murrell finished with a career-high eight rebounds.
Overall, Ohio shot 46 percent from the field, 48 percent from three-point range and 53 percent from the free throw line, while Eastern Michigan finished the game shooting 44 percent from the field, 38 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the free throw line.
Ohio out-rebounded the Eagles, 35-33, while the Bobcats forced 22 turnovers and scored 21 points off of them. Ohio also dished out 19 assists to EMU's 12.
"Hitting shots is the key to beating the zone," Dartis said. "Whenever I got free, I was looking to knock shots down. However, the other guys did a good job of playing good basketball today."
Eastern Michigan opened the game with the first three of the game, however McDay followed it up immediately with a three of his own. The Bobcats and EMU traded baskets over the next few minutes, which included three more three pointers from Dartis, giving Ohio a 12-11 lead going into the first media timeout.
Out of the timeout, EMU went on a 9-2 run before a layup from Foster stopped the run. However, another EMU jumper gave the Eagles a 22-16 lead entering the next media timeout.
After a layup from Vander Plas cut the lead to four, EMU went up seven after draining a three. However, a three from Vander Plas sparked an 11-0 run for the Bobcats that included more three pointers from McDay and Dartis give the Bobcats a four-point lead. However, the Eagles hit two free throws, cutting the Ohio lead to 29-27 going into the final media timeout of the half.
Out of the timeout, Foster hit a jumper followed by a layup from McDay and another jumper from Foster that put the Bobcats up eight with 56 seconds to go.
After the Eagles hit two free throws, Foster hit another jumper at the buzzer, giving the Bobcats a 37-29 lead at the half.
At the half, the Bobcats shot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and were 2-of-4 from the free throw line, while EMU shot 48 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and were 4 of-7 from the free throw line.
The Bobcats out-rebounded the Eagles, 15-14, while Ohio forced 10 turnovers and scored 13 points off of them. The Bobcats also dished out 12 first-half assists to EMU's five.
EMU opened the second half on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 37-37, forcing the Bobcats to call a timeout with 17:41 left in the game. Out of the Bobcats' timeout, Preston stopped the run with a jumper, giving Ohio a two-point lead going into the under-16 timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Bobcats and Dartis caught fire. After a Preston jumper, Dartis hit three-straight threes before another layup from Murrell. With the Bobcats leading by six at that points, Dartis then drained his eighth three of the game to give Ohio a 53-44 lead going into the media timeout.
A jumper from Dartis and a three from Preston gave the Bobcats a 14-point lead – their largest of the night. Ohio and EMU then traded baskets, with EMU cutting the Ohio lead to 10.
Ohio and EMU continued to trade baskets, with the Eagles getting to the line and hitting four free throws before a dunk from Vander Plas gave Ohio a nine-point lead. However, EMU hit a corner three to cut the Ohio lead to 65-59 with 2:58 left.
After a free throw by McDay put the Bobcats up seven, the Eagles were able to cut the Ohio lead to three with 1:16 left. However, McDay sealed the game with a corner three with 44 seconds left to secure the Bobcats' 74-68 victory.
Central Michigan 68, Northern Illinois 67
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A buzzer-beating victory.
Stay in the game, keep working, and good things are bound to happen.
Kevin McKay scored the go-ahead basket with 0.2 seconds to play as Central Michigan came back from a 12-point second-half deficit to claim a thrilling 68-67 victory over Northern Illinois on Tuesday in a Mid-American Conference men's basketball game at McGuirk Arena.
The Chippewas, who improved to 9-6, 2-0 MAC, won despite trailing for almost the entire game and improved to 9-0 at home. NIU is 8-7, 1-1.
With the Chippewas trailing, 67-66, CMU's David DiLeo rebounded a missed free throw by NIU with 6 seconds remaining. DiLeo got the ball to guard Devontae Lane, who raced up court and found McKay. McKay scored going to the basket, putting CMU in front for the first time since late in the first half.
"Devontae came down the floor, they double teamed him, he saw me, I was open, and that was pretty much about it," said McKay, who hit nine of his 12 field goal attempts for a game-high 21 points. "This team, we have a lot of people who are going to show up on any given night, tonight happened to be my night.
"When you're feeling it, you just go with it. Coach (Keno Davis) did a good job when he saw I was feeling it tonight with getting the ball in my hands. I was able to finish some plays, which helped me on defense and rebounding. Next few games, whoever's hot, that's who we're going to give the ball to."
How It Happened
The Chippewas trailed by 12 points, 53-41, with under 13 minutes to play. But they continued to dig, getting it to a two-possession game on several occasions over the final 12 minutes.
NIU led, 67-63, after Trendon Hankerson hit two free throws with 15 seconds remaining. Lane answered with a three-point play with 9 seconds left, drawing CMU to 67-66.
The Chippewas then fouled NIU's Mateen Zaire, who had not attempted a free throw all season. He missed, DiLeo rebounded, and the remaining five seconds became a memorable highlight reel for CMU.
"As it was a live situation out there, we've talked about, 'This is what we're going to do at the end of a game,'" Davis said. "Although we've might not have executed the right play, the spacing was really good, and that's what's so important in basketball, especially on a fast break."
"While our spacing might not have been good for a majority of the game, it was really good down the stretch, and I think that last play resembles it. We had a shooter open, we had McKay open, we had options. Devontae gets better every day, being able to pass and distribute the ball."
The Chippewas overcame a poor shooting night as they finished just five for 22 (22.7 percent) from 3-point range. The Huskies entered the game holding opponents to 29.1 percent from long range, second best in the MAC.
The Chippewas limited NIU to just three triples on 13 attempts.
NIU held a 48-30 advantage on points in the paint, but the Chippewas outrebounded the Huskies, 35-32. McKay led CMU with eight rebounds.
DiLeo scored 12 points, while Lane added 11 and led CMU with five assists.
Bowling Green 78, Miami 76
The Bowling Green Falcons earned a 78-76 victory over Miami on Tuesday evening inside the Stroh Center.
The Falcons move to 10-5 (1-1 MAC) on the campaign with the victory, while Miami drops to 7-8 (0-2 MAC). Bowling Green was down by as many as 14 points. BGSU outscored the RedHawks by a 42-31 margin over the final 20 minutes to overcome a nine-point deficit at the half.
Four Falcons scored in double figures, led by senior guard Dylan Frye’s 22-point effort. Sophomore center Taylor Mattos (18 points / 11 rebounds) and junior forward Daeqwon Plowden (13 points / 12 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles in the win. Redshirt-junior guard Justin Turner added 16 points.
BREAKING DOWN THE FINAL MOMENTS
• The Falcons trailed by three points with 3:02 to play. Dylan Frye hit a pair of free throws at the 3:01 mark to trim the MU lead to a single point at 70-69. Tayler Mattos then split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 70-70 with 2:46 to play.
• After a Miami bucket, Caleb Fields grabbed a huge offensive rebound and scored the layup, knotting the game at 72-72 with 2:12 left in regulation.
• Miami again took a two-point lead, but Justin Turner drew a foul on Bowling Green’s ensuing possession. He then drilled both shots at the charity stripe to tie the game at 74-74 with 1:39 left on the clock.
• The Falcons then got a stop, and it was Fields again down low. The sophomore converted a tip-in layup to give the hosts a 76-74 lead with 1:04 left in the ballgame.
• With BGSU up by one point, Miami called a timeout with 12.3 seconds remaining. Fields locked up MU’s Nike Sibande and blocked Sibande’s shot with four seconds to play.
• Frye got the rebound and made both free throws. However, on a desperation play, the RedHawks were fouled shooting a three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left in the game.
• MU’s Mekhi Lairy missed the first free throw. He then made the second, and missed the third on purpose. As the ball jumped off the rim, the Falcons batted the ball away as time expired.