Important tournament seeding is still at stake for many teams as they head into their final regular season game this weekend. Could there be yet another “upset” or two before heading into tournament play? This is the MAC, so anything goes, and the same might be said of our MAC Report Online Power Rankings for this week. In fact, there is something of a surprise at the very top. Click Read More to continue . . . )
Bobcats down BG to reach 20 wins
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The Ohio University Bobcats (20-10, 10-7) continued their strong road play Tuesday during a 72-61 win over Bowling Green (12-18, 6-11) at the Stroh Center.
Ohio led for the majority of the game and never let the Falcons climb closer than seven points in the second half. The win was Ohio's ninth on the road this season, which is the most by a Bobcat team since the 1985-86 squad earned 10 road victories.
The win also gave Ohio 20 victories on the year for the third-straight campaign and fourth time in five years. It's the 15th time the `Cats have reached the 20-win mark in school history.
With the victory, Ohio continues to hold the No. 5 seed in the conference leading into the team's final regular season game Saturday at Miami.
Ohio put together an impressive shooting performance in the game, earning season highs in both field goal percentage (.578, 26-45) and 3-point field goal percentage (.556, 10-18). The `Cats also held a 29-22 edge on the glass and distributed 16 assists on 25 made baskets.
Akron Diggs deep for win over Bulls
AKRON, Ohio – A 26-8 run in the second half and 25 points from Quincy Diggs pushed Akron to an 83-71 victory over Buffalo on Tuesday night in a Mid-American Conference East Division showdown at James A Rhodes Arena.
Diggs led all players in scoring with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting (4-of-8 from 3-point range). His points came along with five boards, four steals and a team-high three assists.
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell finished the night with 17 points off a 9-for-12 showing from the free throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds. Nick Harney rounded out the Zips' scoring with 14 points after going 6-of-9 from the field and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe. He ended the game with four boards.
Buffalo's Joshua Freelove led the Bulls (18-9, 12-5 MAC) in scoring with 17 points.
Eagles’ depth too much for Ball State
YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan’s bench outscored the Ball State reserves 45-2 as the Eagles overcame a big night by BSU’s Majok Majok to post a 72-58 victory at the Convocation Center. It was the third consecutive win for EMU, which raised its record to 18-12 (10-7 MAC). The Cardinals fell to 5-26 (2-15 MAC) after winning for the first time in 12 games last Saturday.
The win capped off a regular season sweep of the Cardinals and marked the most wins in a single season for the Eastern Michigan program since the 1997-98 season.The Eagles also assured themselves no worse than a sixth seed in the upcoming FirstEnergy Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Majok, a 6-9 senior center from Australia, scored 23 points and pulled down 14 caroms as BSU won the rebounding battle, 45-37. Chris Bond added 11 for the Cardinals.
Eastern Michigan, however, got 12 points apiece from Ray Lee and Darrell Combs. Mike Talley netted 11 points, while starting forwards Daylen Harrison and Glenn Bryant each added nine markers.
As a team, the EMU bench outscored Ball State's bench, 45-2. The Eagles made 26-of-64 from the field for 40.6 percent. Eastern's defense also forced 18 turnovers that led to 20 points on the other end of the floor.
Broncos slip past NIU and into top spot
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan Broncos rallied from a late deficit to earn a key victory in their final home game of the year, defeating the Northern Illinois Huskies 61-56 at University Arena on Tuesday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 20-9 overall on the season, 13-4 in Mid-American Conference play. Coupled with a Buffalo loss earlier in the evening, the Broncos move into a tie for first place in the overall MAC standings with Toledo. However, WMU holds the tiebreaker with UT due to a better divisional record this year.
The win also marks the 10th 20-win season in program history, with the majority of those coming under head coach Steve Hawkins. Hawkins has recorded six 20-win seasons in Kalamazoo, including two in a row for the second time in his career. It also wraps a 13-2 home record for the Broncos this season.
Playing in what could be the final home games of their careers, the pair of Bronco seniors delieveredin the game's tensest moments. Shayne Whittington finished with a game-high 21 points, including an 11-of-12 mark from the free throw line. David Brown finished just behind him with 18 points. Connar Tava, meanwhile, filled up nearly every column on the stat sheet. He finished with five points, five rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Jared Klein and Austin Richie each contributed five points.
Rockets eclipse record with win over CMU
MT. PLEASANT, MI – Toledo won its school-record 25th game and clinched a spot in the conference semifinals with a 73-69 road triumph over Central Michigan on Tuesday evening in McGuirk Arena. The victory improved the Rockets’ record to 25-5 overall and 13-4 in league play, while the Chippewas fell to 10-19 overall and 3-14 in the MAC.
UT’s win combined with Buffalo’s loss at Akron means the Rockets will finish with either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the 2014 MAC Tournament. Toledo will host Eastern Michigan (18-12, 10-7 MAC) on Saturday, March 8 at 2:00 p.m. looking to gain at least a share of the 2013-14 MAC regular-season title.
Junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon paced the Rockets with 17 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 36 minutes. He was 6-of-9 from the field, burying both of his three-point attempts to give him a 62.5 3-point field goal (5-of-8) over his last four contests.
Joining Weatherspoon in double figures were junior guards Justin Drummond and Julius Brown with 13 and 12 pts., respectively. Drummond tallied seven of UT’s last nine points, including a pair of free throws with 4.8 seconds left, to thwart the Chippewas’ comeback bid.
Sophomore guard Chris Fowler paced a balanced CMU attack that saw four players score in double digits with 15 points and six assists.
RedHawks pull reverse on KSU
By MIKE SMITH
KENT, Ohio – Senior Will Felder tied his Miami career high with 26 points Tuesday as the RedHawks avenged a 12-point loss to KSU in Oxford two weeks ago with a 12-point win over Kent State at the MAC Center. It was the third win in four outings for Miami (12-16, 8-9 MAC) since losing to the Flashes (16-14, 7-10 MAC) Feb. 19.
Not only was the final score a 180-degree difference from the teams’ first meeting, other stats supported the dramatic change of fortune, as well. Kent State guard Kris Brewer, for example, seemed nearly unstoppable in the first meeting as he connected on 9 of 11 overall and all seven of his trey attempts in a 28-point evening. This time around, Brewer went 1 for 6, finishing with two points.
As a team, KSU converted 15 of 26 (57.7%) from beyond the arc in Oxford. With Miami challenging perimeter shots all night, the Flashes went 5 of 20 from distance in the second meeting.
By JACK CARLE
There weren’t any audible groans when Dino Babers told the Bowling Green Falcon football team they ‘‘would never be this slow again’’ near the end of the first spring workout Thursday morning.
Babers, the Falcons’ new head coach, likes to run an up-tempo offense, but the concept doesn’t really sink in until you actually experience it.
‘‘Today we were all hurting, offensive linemen, wide receivers, running backs, defense, quarterbacks; we were all on our knees, tired,’’ said Matt Johnson, who started 13 games at quarterback last season. ‘‘We’re going to get better with it as we practice. We’ll get to a level where it’s not so dragging for us.
‘‘It’s something that is going to come in time. We understand that. We just have to push through it right now,’’ he added. ‘‘Right now we think we’re moving, but we’re not. When we do get moving, it’s going to feel great.’’
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The Mid-American Conference on Monday announced its Men’s Basketball Players of the Week.
MAC East Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
Joshua Freelove, Buffalo, Guard Senior
North Lauderdale, FL
Freelove averaged 19.0 points as he helped lead the Bulls to a pair of wins this past week at Ohio and against Miami. In the victory over the RedHawks, Freelove finished with a career-high 24 points, including 21 of those in the second half. In fact, Freelove nearly outscored the entire Miami offense in the second half. He was extremely efficient from the floor, shooting 8-of-12, including 6-of-10 from three point range. In the second half, Freelove was 7-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-6 from three-point range. The six three pointers were the most by a UB player this season. In the win at Ohio, Freelove was one of four players in double figures with 14 points. The victory helped snap a seven-game losing skid to the Bobcats.
MAC West Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan, Center Redshirt Senior
Paw Paw, Mich. (Lawrence)
Whittington was utterly dominant in the Broncos’ two games last week, scoring 25+ points and notching double-doubles in each as the Broncos defeated Ball State on Wednesday and fell to Toledo on Saturday in overtime. Whittington tied a career-high with 28 points to go with 14 rebounds in WMU’s 88-81 overtime victory against the Cardinals, shooting 12 of 22 (.545) from the field while also recording three blocked shots and one steal. He was even more dominant in the game against Toledo on Saturday, scoring 25 points on a sterling 11 of 14 (.786) shooting from the field, while also recording 13 rebounds, three assists, and three blocked shots. Whittington has now recorded a double-double in five straight games, the second-longest streak in program history behind Booker James’ six double-doubles during the 1986-87 season. It also gives Whittington 12 double-doubles in 2013-14, the third-highest total for a MAC player this year and tied for the third-highest single-season mark in WMU history; Whittington also recorded 12 double-doubles last season.
Demetrius “Tree” Treadwell, Akron, Forward Senior,
Euclid, Ohio (Euclid High School)
Treadwell closed last week averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while averaging 4.0 assists. On Wednesday at Miami (Ohio), he posted his 14th double-double of the season with a 12 point, 11 rebound performance, in addition to three dimes. On Saturday vs. Bowling Green, he became the 41st player in Akron history to score 1,000 career points. He closed the night with 17 points, nine rebounds and a career-high five assists.
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Kent State defense keys road win at Ohio
ATHENS, Ohio – Kent State clamped down on defense while spoiling Senior Day at Ohio University's Convocation Center with a 75-61 victory over the Bobcats Saturday afternoon.
Following the defensive game plan to perfection, the Golden Flashes limited Ohio to 34.5-percent shooting (19-of-55) while shutting down star guard Nick Kellogg to two points on 0-for-6 from the field in his final home game. The Bobcats inside production was also limited by 1-for-7 nights by both Maurice Ndour and T.J. Hall.
Kent State's junior trio of guards came up big on the offensive end, as Devareaux Manley scored 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the three-point arc. Derek Jackson added 14 points and Kris Brewer chipped in 12 in a stat line that included eight assists and seven rebounds in 35 minutes.
"This was a great team win for us on a day when we knew coming down here and winning was going to be difficult," said Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff, whose Flashes improved to 16-13 overall and 7-9 in Mid-American Conference play while inching closer to securing a first-round game at home in the upcoming MAC Tournament