BOWLING GREEN 99, BALL STATE 86
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By EVAN MEYER
CLEVELAND- Northern Illinois pulled off the first upset of the 2019 Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament as the Huskies shot 56 percent from the field and 58 percent from three-poinbt range to defeat the Toledo Rockets 80-76 Thursday evening at Quicken Loans Arena
Northern Illinois (17-16) entered tourney play as a seventh seed and now has won two MAC Tournament games for the first time since 2003. NIU defeated Ohio on Monday night at home 80-61 and now advances to meet Bowling Green in the semi-finals riding a four-game winning streak
“It was an unbelievable gamet.” NIU head coach Mark Montgomery said. ”Both teams played at a high level. I thought our defensive pressure threw them off rhythm, and we made a few more plays down the stretch
Sophomore Eugene German led all scorers in the contest with 27 points and also grabbed seven rebounds. His three-pointer with 2:23 remaining proved to be the winning margin.
Dante Thorpe added 18 with two assists and two steals, while Levi Bradley added 13 and hit three crucial free throws in the final moments to seal victory for the Huskies.
Toledo (26-6) entered tournament play riding a five-game win streak that helped the Rockets claim a MAC West Division title and No. 2 seed, but the hot-shooting Huskies punched their own ticket to advance.
Obviously a tough loss for us.” Rockets head coachj Tod Kowalczyk said. “ It wasn’t from a lack of effort, that’s for sure. I thought we played exceptionally hard, as did Northern. I thought it was a really good college basketball game for the most part. (We) had a really good start, got up seven or so and had three consecutive turnovers, which really kind of hurt a run for us.”
UT placed five players in double figures, led by sophomore Marreon Jackson. He scored 17 points and had a layup in the final 10 seconds to pull Toledo within a single point.
By EVAN MEYER
CLEVELAND- Bowling Green claimed the fourth and final ticket to the 2910 Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinals as it defeated the Ball State Cardinals 99-86 Friday evening in quarterfinal action Thursday evening at Quicken Loans Arena.
As a three-seed, Bowling Green (21-11) saw its first tournament action. The Falcons used their high-scoring offense to end a two-game losing streak and stretch of four losses in five games at the end of the regular season. BG will face the Northern Illinois Huskies in the second semi-final as the Huskies upset second seeded Toledo 80-76 in the night session’s opener.
“It was a very good game.” said Falcons head coach Michael Huger, who cited making stops at the end and scoring baskets in transition as keys to the victory
The game was a high scoring affair with the Falcons holding a 54-51 halftime lead. BG then managed to get some separation with 7-2 spurt within the first minutes of the second period and were never headed.
Senior Demajeo Wiggins led five BG starters with a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds. Dylan Frye added 20 points. Caleb Field had 14, while Eugene Plowden and Justin Turner owned 10 apiece.
As an 11th seed, Ball State (16-17) was the lowest seed in this year’s tournament to reach Cleveland. The Cardinals were led by Tayler Persons, who led all scorers in the game with 25 points. He also contributed seven assists and three rebounds. Trey Moses and Zach Gunn came off the bench to score 12.
Bowling Green heads to the semifinals for the first time since 2016 when it lost to Akron and will face an NIU squad who they defeated in DeKalb back on February 16, 87-67.