Archive for the ‘MAC Basketball’ Category

Buffalo tops Quinnipiac to advance in CIT

Monday, March 14th, 2011

The 2011 college basketball postseason is officially underway with the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, more commonly referred to as the CIT Tournament, having tipped off earlier tonight. In the first game of the 2011 postseason, the Buffalo Bulls traveled to face Quinnipiac in the first round of the CIT in the lone game played on Monday night. Buffalo did the MAC proud in winning on the road 75-68 as three players scores over 15 points in the win. With the win the Bulls (19-13) will advance to the Quarterfinals of the 2011 CIT as the season for Quinnipiac (22-10), a member of the NEC, is now over.

Six MAC teams continue their seasons

Monday, March 14th, 2011

While the Akron Zips won the 2011 MAC Tournament title, Akron is not the only MAC school playing in a postseason tournament this March. On Sunday night it was announced at Kent State received a #7 seed in the NIT Tournament resulting in a trip to St. Mary’s to continue their season as well. Shortly thereafter it was learned that four other MAC schools also will continue their season with Ohio, Western Michigan, Miami and Buffalo all accepting postseason invites. The CBI Tournament selected the Miami RedHawks which we learned around midnight on Sunday night. Miami will play @ Rhode Island. Meanwhile in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, more commonly known as the CIT, Ohio is at Marshall, Buffalo is Quinnipiac and Western Michigan hosts Tennessee Tech. Here is a look at this week’s calendar of games for MAC teams:

Monday, March 14th

Tuesday, March 15th

Wednesday, March 16th

  • CBI - Miami (OH) @ Rhode Island - 7 pm - MAC release
  • CIT - Tennessee Tech @ Western Michigan - 7 pm - MAC release

Friday, March 18th

2011 MAC Championship: #1 Kent State vs. #6 Akron

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The 2011 MAC Tournament Championship was set last night when #1 Kent State topped #4 Ball State and #6 Akron defeated #2 Western Michigan making it an all-Ohio final in Cleveland. To add to the good fortune, the Mid-American Conference office had to be happy that the two teams most geographically close to Cleveland are playing in tonight’s title game.

Kent State comes in the #1 seed at 23-10 (12-4 MAC) and an RPI of #71 while rival Akron is the #6 seed at 22-12 (9-7) with a RPI of #117. The two teams played each other twice in the regular season with Akron winning their home game 65-62 on January 8th and Kent State winning in Kent on March 4th by a score of 79-68. Kent State has had to knock off #8 Buffalo and #4 Ball State to get here while Akron defeated #11 Eastern Michigan, #3 Miami and #2 Western Michigan.

Tonight’s contest tips off at 6 pm ET and will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with a local Cleveland radio broadcast on ESPN 850. Fans can follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

The opening tip-off goes to Kent and we are underway. Kent strikes first with a 3-ball by Randal Holt. The refs are letting them play early as Kent State now leads 5-0. Cvetinovic answers before a 3-ball by Porrini. Porrini, my Player of the Tournament, then gets a steal and assist, 10-2. It’s 12-2 as Manns scores again and Akron calls a 30 second timeout. Back from the TO and a Kent block send the ball into the hands of a fan in front of me in the courtside seats and we have reached our first media timeout.

15:54 - Kent starting strong again tonight now leads 14-3. After several empty possessions Sherman picks up a foul and McNees nails a 3-ball shortly thereafter. Then the fans sitting courtside block my view, yet again, and something happened, I just do not know what. Ahh, a Kent 30-second TO with 11:47 to play in the half. McNees another 3-ball and it is 14-9 with 11:02 left.

Media Timeout - Kent’s student section just got loud! The t-shirt cannon came within distance and the fans seemed awake. About time.

11:02 - After 2 Kent FTs from Holt it is 16-9 before Bardo scores for Akron. Akron gets it back and McNees scores and is fouled, but misses the FT. We have a 18-15 Kent lead at the media timeout.

Kent State’s dance team just performed. Compared to the rest of the conference they’re middle of the pack at best. I’ll give them a C, and Cs earn degrees…

Stats - Both teams shooting 6-18 early. 6-6 points in the paint. Porrini has 3-3-3 (pts, reb, ast).

7:44 - McKnight for 3 and it is 22-20 after Kent FTs. Greene with the hook shot and the big man has 4 points. Abreu grabs a loose ball and improvises which results in a bucket and it is 24-22 Kent. A foul on Marshall leads the Kent students to chant “you can’t do that” which is so faint I could barely tell what they were saying. After Akron ties the game Sherman answers, but Marshall knots it at 26 with less than 3 to play in the half. Guyton nails a jumper and Abreu walks but it is not called. However after 3-4 steps and a layup attempt, Marshall touches the rim to wave off a definite hoop. Media timeout is here with Kent leading 28-26.

Akron’s dance team performing now and another uninteresting performance from a dance team tonight. Sorry, Miami already got my “best of the tournament” award on Thursday and these two are nowhere close.

Stats - McNees the top scorer in the game with 8 and Abreu providing an offensive spark for Akron on the past few possessions with 3 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast.

2:22 - Abreu fouled hits 1-2 for a 28-27 game before Guyton nails a 3-ball, but McNees answers with a 3 of his own. Now 31-30 we are inside of a minute in the half. Cvetinovic finds McNees for a heavily-contested 3-ball in the corner in front of us and he drills it for an Akron lead. Kent misses their final shot of the half and it’s 33-31 at the half.

Halftime - Akron 33 - Kent State 31

Halftime Hamster Race - The fans have to slalom through the cheerleaders. Brooke from Kent State is your winner.

Halftime Stats - McNees the high scorer with 14, McKnight with 7 for Akron and Guyton leads Kent with 7. Both teams have 7 players who have scored already. Akron shooting 50% from the field to Kent’s 40.7%. Akron’s bench winning the battle of the benches 15-9.

Halftime Dance Team Performances - Neither team looks good tonight. Slight edge to Kent State.

Crowd - Solid crowd tonight. Jeff @ MACReportOnline.com and I were guessing around 9,000 before the game, but that was a pregame estimate. From panning the crowd I would say something like 7,500 - 8,000, but I hope I am underestimating things…

2nd Half - Porrini ties it at 35 before Greene gets the foul to send Marshall to the line for a 3-point play and he hits. Bodies flying around as the refs are letting them play in the early going of the second half. Manns with a big dunk and Kent has tied it up at 38. Marshall with an awesome block off the glass leading to a fast break and foul on Kent on the other end. free throws when we return from the media timeout.

Abreu and Guyton trade 3-balls as Akron leads 44-43 with 11:35 left in the game.

Stats - McNees with 14 the high scorer, Abreu has 9 for Akron. Kent paced by Guyton’s 10 and 8 for Greene.

11:35 - Roberts from the corner for a 47-45 lead for Akron. Roberts scores his first points of the night on only his second shot. Greene scores to tie it and we have a media timeout.

7:47 - Roberts scores two more hoops and Kent is forced to call a timeout with Akron leading 54-48. Kent with 5 straight after the TO and Akron is forced to use a 30 second TO at 54-53.

58-56 Akron leads with 2:10 to play and my All-MAC Tournament team is in place. I’m not in love with my picks at all as Akron’s annual balanced attack once again leads to some tough decisions.

Back to the game, Akron can’t score and Roberts gets the foul on the other end sending Guyton to the line. Clank. Clank. Guyton misses a pair and McKnight gets the rebound and is fouled by Greene. A wasted opportunity by Kent, can Akron capitalize? Nope. McKnight with an air ball on the FT attempt. Greene gets the ball in the post and SWAT! Little Steve McNees swats it out of bounds, but Sherman scores seconds later to tie the game at 58. On Akron’s side of the ball Marshall gets an offensive rebound and with a foul on Greene will head back to the line.

Poor free throw shooting today as Kent is 10-19 and Akron 4-9 prior to Marshall’s trip to the line. Zeke hits 1-2 and it is 59-58 with under a minute to play. Feed in to Greene and McNees gets whistled on a bad call. Green at the line ties it at 59-59 with 42.0 seconds left and has another shot. Greene misses the second and Guyton gets the board in a tied game. Geno Ford wants a timeout.

32.0 seconds - regulation - Here we go. Porrini dribbling out the clock gives it up and Kent takes a terrible shot. Roberts scores his first points of the night on only his second shot. McNees tries to dribble up the court but loses the ball and Kent nearly gets a good look, but time runs out and we have overtime.

End of Regulation - Kent State 59 - Akron 59

Overtime - Fitting that we have OT between these two teams. You know, Kent State and Akron are just 14 miles apart and they do not like each other. So says the TV announcers. Kent grad Steve Urcheck texts in to tell us Greene’s legs are tired. He hasn’t been great tonight, but I think Greene will still have a major impact on this one.

Holt nails a 3-ball to open OT scoring and Kent leads 62-59. Greene whistled for foul #5 as Marshall heads to the line. Greene obviously disappointed. Marshall hits 1 of 2 and is 3-6 at the line tonight. A pass to Manns down low sees Marshall get his 6th block of the night before Manns gets it back and draws the foul and hits 1 of 2. 63-60 Kent leads and Dambrot wants a TO with 3:11 to play in the first OT.

3:11, OT 1 - McKnight with a fade-away jumper and the lead for Kent is one. Sherman takes two 3-point shots from the corner in front of me and looks like a middle school kid shooting. UGLY. Marshall gets a couple of blocks and a rebound and Akron gets the ball back in a 63-62 game with 1:17 to play.

1:17 - Akron ball with Kent up a point, Roberts scores inside and Akron is up 64-63. Geno calls a TO and may be considering a 2 for 1 with 56 seconds left. Guyton with a long jumper is good and Kent is back on top.

34.0 seconds, OT 1 - Kent leads 65-64, Akron ball. The shot clock reads 31 seconds, the game clock 34.0 seconds. Both teams are in the double bonus and neither has a timeout left. McNees loses the ball momentarily and finds McKnight under the hoop who is fouled by Porrini. Great job by the Kent fans on getting loud, but McKnight makes the first for the tie. FT #2 is good with 12.8 seconds left, Kent ball. Kent to the lane and Marshall gets a big block, Kent cannot get a good shot off and Akron is your winner.

Final Score - Akron 66 - Kent State 65 - OT

Official Attendance - 8,926

2011 MAC Tournament: Kent State vs Ball State

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The final game of the night will feature the #1 Kent State Golden Flashes against the #4 Ball State Cardinals tipping off around 9:55 pm ET. Kent State comes in the top seed at 22-10 (12-4 MAC) and topped #8 Buffalo in the quarterfinals 73-62. Kent is ranked #79 in the RPI, the only MAC team in the RPI Top 100. Ball State defeated #5 Ohio in the late game last night by a 76-73 score and is 19-12 (10-6) and ranked #164 in the RPI. Ball State has the most MAC Tournament titles in MAC history with seven, but the Cardinals have not won a MAC title since 2000.

Kent State is off to a hot start but Ball State is not backing down as Kent leads 17-13 after nearly 5 and a half minutes.

14:32 - Ball State hits a pair of free throws then Perry ties it with a layup. Sherman drives for Kent and gets whistled for the charge. At the 11:50 media timeout it’s 21-21.

Quite an offensive performance by both teams as we’re under 9 minutes to play with Ball State up 30-29. This looks like a game that ends in the 70s or 80s… Ball State now 11-16 from the floor as Kent gets a 3-ball and is back on top 32-30 @ 7:57 in the half.

Porrini’s put back gives Kent a 36-30 lead as the Flashes look to open up some breathing room, but Ball State does not seem interested in letting this one get away. Greene gets the 3-point play and Kent is now up 41-34, but Ball State draws a foul on the other end as Perry goes to the line where he makes 1 of 2. Ball State calls the TO after Kent scores a fast break hoop to make it 43-35 Kent State with 3:58 to play.

Kent leads 48-41 after a Ball State triple and the Cardinals get the ball back after a Kent turnover. Ball State scores to make it a 5 point Kent lead and the Flashes turn it over again with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Halftime - Kent State 48 - Ball State 43

Kent State leads by 7 as the media timeout is here. 15:56 left to play and the fast-paced Golden Flashes are keeping the pressure on Ball State. Kent leads by 4 with Ball State at the line and with 1-2 FTs it’s 54-51, but Porrini nails a 3-ball and it’s back to a 6 point game. Kent continues to lack the ability to put the Cardinals away and with a 4-point lead the Flashes turn it over again with less than 13 minutes to play.

Stats - Porrini having a good game - 10 pts, 5 reb, 5 ast

Under 12 minutes to play and Kent leads 59-53, but Greene picks up the offensive foul, his 3rd of the game. Bond scores and the lead is just four. Not a comfortable feeling if you are rooting for Kent State as they cannot put the Cardinals away. Porrini gets a rebound and on the other end draws a foul and heads to the line. Porrini hits 1 of 2 and Jones answers to cut it to a 3 point lead. Davis with a steal and hoop and it’s 60-59.

Guyton hits a floater to push the lead back out to 3 points and The Q seems way too quiet with a 3-point game and a ton of Kent fans in attendance.

Under 8 minutes to play and Guyton turns it over and Ball State’s Jarrod Jones heads to the line after a offensive rebound and hits 2-2 FTs. 62-61 Kent leads and the fans seem lame still. Kent turnover and BSU can take the lead with a score. Kent gets it back and Porrini finds Sherman with a sweet pass and the Flashes are back up 3. Now less than 6 to play and Porrini gets a big block but a charge on Kent State infuriates Geno Ford. Ball State’s Berry misses a 3-ball and Porrini continues his big night drawing the foul. He hits 1-2 and it is 65-61 with under 5 minutes to play, but Jones puts it in, 65-63. Greene on the other end for Kent, 67-63 with 4 minutes left. Sherman with the steal and layup and Kent State is now up 69-63 as Ball State calls a timeout with 3:43 to play.

Just over 2 minutes to play and Kent leads 71-65 and Porrini gathers a board for Kent. Sherman drives to the hoop and Ball State made it easy for him as the lead is 8. Davis no good from long range and Ball State starts the barrage of fouls at the 1:08 mark, down 8. Now 74-65, Ball State misses another 3-ball and Porrini gets another rebound. Porrini hits them both and the lead is 11 at 76-65. A BSU turnover gives Kent and easy bucket to make it 78-65, but Davis nails a 3-ball making it 78-68 with 29.0 seconds left in the game.

Final Score - Kent State 79 - Ball State 68

#1 Kent State advances to the Championship game to face their rivals, the #6 Akron Zips.

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

2011 MAC Tournament: #2 WMU vs. #6 Akron

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The 2011 MAC Tournament semifinals will tip-off at 7 pm ET tonight from The Q in Cleveland, Ohio tonight as #2 Western Michigan takes on the #6 seed Akron Zips.

Western Michigan draws first blood as Whitfield scores a put-back. McNees and Roberts start raining 3-balls and Akron leads 9-6 early before a Marshall dunk and Akron scores 5 straight to take a 11-6 lead. Subs bring Juwon Howard, Jr. for WMU and Brett McKnight for Akron. A foul on Akron sends Whitfield to the line where he hits one and Abreu dunks on the other end. WMU misses on their end and Roberts hits a long two for a 15-7 lead. At the first media timeout it’s Akron 15 - Western Michigan 7.

Respect. Diversity. Integrity. Teamwork. Service. Perseverance. These values guide the U.S. Marines. Oops, I mean the Mid-American Conference.

Akron looking great early on with the hot-shooting. If they do this all night WMU has no chance, so the Broncos better dial up the defense.

14:50 - Western scores the first hoop after the TO and it’s 15-10. Diggs at the line for Akron after the steal where he hits 1-2. More Akron hot shooting and defense with a Marshall block leading to a 3-point play for Diggs and Akron leads 23-10 with 12:38 to play in the half. Now 9-13 from the floor, Akron leads 23-10 with 11:54 in the half.

11:54 - After Howard scores for WMU, Diggs drills a 3-ball for a 26-12 lead. WMU answers scoring 5 straight to cut the lead to 9 as Howard and Whitfield miss opportunities down low to cut into the lead even more. Media timeout and it remains Akron 26, WMU 17.

The scoring has slowed down considerably as with 5:25 to play Akron leads 30-18. Bardo misses two at the line with a shooting form that makes Division III high school bench warmers feel good about themselves. It’s a good thing he is tall. McClanahan from deep makes it 33-18 and WMU calls a TO.

While WMU scores the last bucket of the half, the Akron Zips’ hot-shooting is the story of the first half. Akron has shot over 50% from the field for a 41-27 lead.

Halftime - Akron 41 - Western Michigan 27

Western scores first in the second half making it 41-29 but Cvetinovic answers. Douglas then comes back and hits a 3 for WMU and it is 43-32. A few possession later after a WMU steal Ward scores on the other end and the foul cutting the lead to 9. The FT is no good as it stays 45-36 Akron. Diggs answers then WMU travels and Akron will have the ball up 47-36 with 15:46 to play.

Marshall assists a Cvetinovic layup to make it 51-38 Akron, but on the other end Zeke Marshall gets whistled for his 4th foul with 13:00 left on the clock. It appeared that Marshall had all ball which I am sure has Mr. McKnight screaming “integrity of the game, ref!” It’s 56-42 with 11:13 to play and we have a media timeout.

Akron continues to control this game up 61-48 after a WMU hoop. With 6:46 to play we have a media timeout.

WMU needs to make a run. Hawkins calls a timeout down 11 at 63-52 with just over 5 minutes to play. Akron runs a little clock and Roberts hits a nice jumper. After some sloppy play, WMU keeps the ball down 13 with 4:38 left. Ward gets the lay in and a Akron turnover gives WMU life. Howard can’t finish but Whitfield crashes the offensive board and is fouled. At the line Whitfield hits 1 of 2 and it is 65-55 and WMU gets the ball back after the media timeout.

3:52 - Ward scores making it 65-57 Akron as the crowds get louder. McNees gets inside and answers among the trees, back to a 10-point lead then Diggs fouls out with 3:04 to play. Two FTs and it’s back to 8 points between the two teams. Mcknight air ball and WMU gets it back then draws a foul on the offensive end. Ward gets the roll on the first FT, swish on the second.2:15 to play and Akron throws it away under pressure. Ward no good, gets the rebound then tied up, but WMU keeps it on the possession arrow. 1:59 left.

1:59 - Hawkins calls a timeout. Ward drives to the rim and gets fouled, back to the line where he is 6-9. Ward hits both and has 22 points, the score is 67-63 Akron, 1:54 to play. Akron uncomfortable with the WMU pressure, but McNees finds McClanahan for 3 and WMU misses a quick shot. Douglas then fouls McNees in what looks like an attempted punch and Douglas gets the T. WMU is done and the stupid play seals the deal here. Pure cheap shot by Douglas and he shows an immense amount of immaturity. I hope that Hawkins disciplines his player for this dirty play.

After the dust clears the end result is Akron winning. It is 74-63 as WMU misses and McNees is headed back to the line with 1:02 to play. A lot of possessions, a lot of missed shots followed by Akron free throws. WMU had a chance to cut it to 6 around the 40 second mark but missed their chance. It would not be a Akron MAC Tournament game without a ton of controversy and refs on video screens. Where’s Doug Penno when you need him? Stainbrook sets a moving pick up 11 with 35.6 seconds left and everyone watching this game live and on TV is annoyed as heck. End it already. Somehow WMU kept the ball and Stainbrook scores to make it 77-68. McClanahan hits 2 FT and it’s back to 11 point. A nice block by Zeke Marshall adds salt to the Bronco wound.

Final Score - Akron 79 - Western Michigan 68

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

2011 MAC Tournament: #4 Ball State vs #5 Ohio

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The 2011 MAC Tournament quarterfinals continue with the final game of the night as #4 Ball State takes on #5 Ohio. The Cardinals 18-12 (10-6) are the RPI’s #177 team in the nation while the inconsistent Bobcats 18-14 (9-7 MAC) are #159 in the RPI. Ohio won the only match-up this year between the two, topping Ball State in Muncie.

Pregame - OU’s band enters dancing - fitting. You cannot question their enthusiasm and the crowd reaction they get. Several fans from Kent State are standing around watching the 110. Ball State’s band is one of the better ones I have heard today, on-par with Western Michigan, Buffalo & Akron, three that I thought were pretty impressive today.

The expected starting lineups are Cooper, Kellogg, Freeman, Baltic & Washington for OU and for Ball State it’s Perry, Davis, Scaife, Bond & Jones. Both teams have 2 seniors starting and Kellogg is the lone freshman starting tonight.

As the snow comes down outside The Q, inside we see Ball State control the tip to start the game. Early on it is 9-8 Ball State as we hit the first media timeout.

Berry drills a 3-ball for Ball State and it’s 15-8 Cardinals with 14:40 left in the half. Keely’s put back makes it 15-10 then he pulls down a board on the other end. A few empty possessions before Davis hits a 3-ball for Ball State. A Cooper carry stops the clock at 18-10 with 11:17 to play in the half.

Stats - Ohio outscoring Ball State 10-4 in the paint but hasn’t hit a jumper. OU has 4 turnovers to BSU’s 2, but no other stats really stand out yet.

11:17 - Foul on Hall as Jones scores the bucket and it’s 20-10 Ball State. DJ Cooper answers with a 3-ball for his first points of the night but Ball State comes back with a bucket, 22-13. Cooper skies for a rebound and it’s Ohio ball where Washington scores to cut the lead to 7. berry misses, Freeman board and pass to Cooper, back to Freeman from deep and bang, 22-18 Ball State’s lead is down to four. After a miss and Ohio rebound the Bobcats get it back with Washington scoring another layup to cut it to 2 at 22-20. A 10-2 run for Ohio.

7:41 - OU ties it with a Baltic basket and a Kellogg foul stops the clock for the media timeout with 6:52 to play in the half.

Stats - Ohio 16-8 advantage in the paint, and a 15-9 edge on the boards. Cooper for OU 3 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast.

6:52 - Ball State scores 7 straight and it’s 29-22 Cardinals with 4:14 left in the half.

Stats - Ball State 5-10 from deep, OU just 2-7. OU has yet to shoot a free throw.

3:34 - Freeman gets all ball but the call goes Ball State’s way. The OU fans are not high on Jerry Sauder. TJ Hall drives the the basket and is fouled by Jones putting him at the line for Ohio’s first free throws of the night. Hall hits a pair and it is 30-24. Cooper gets a steal and layup and Ohio is back within 4. Davis scores for BSU and on the other end Baltic draws a foul and heads to the line in a 32-26 game.

1:05 - Freeman’s 3-ball cuts it to 3 at 34-31 and Ball State gets Bond scores inside. Cooper called for the push off, his 2nd foul, and Ball State will likely take the final shot of the half up 36-31. Ball State’s final shot rims out and the Cardinals lead by 5 at the half.

Halftime - #4 Ball State 36 - #5 Ohio 31

Dance Teams - Ball State’s dance team is up first and they’re good, one of the better ones I have seen today. Ohio is up next and they’re good too, but neither is on par with Miami’s performances. Miami wins the 2011 MAC Tournament top dance team award.

The first score of the second half is a FT from Washington but he misses the second and it is 36-32. OU comes out playing solid D and the foul that sent Washington to the line was on Jones, his 3rd. Ohio ball and Cooper drives to the hoop and draws the foul. Cooper nails both FT and it’s 36-34 Ball State leading with 18 to play. After a BSU miss and Baltic rebound Cooper drives the lane and dishes to Washington who dunks it home and draws the foul. Now tied at 36, Washington will look to give Ohio the lead from the line when the timeout is over.

17:48 - Washington at the line and it’s good. 37-36 OU. Ball State scores two straight but Baltic finds Washington for another rim-rocker. 40-39 Ball State under 16 to play as Baltic shows some low post moves and puts the Bobcats back on top. Timeout on the floor with Ohio up 41-40.

Stats - Rebounds even. Points in the paint 24-22 Ohio. Both teams shooting about 40%. A very evenly-played game statistically.

14:46 - Cooper grabs the errant BSU pass and scores a layup, 43-40 Ohio, but on the other end a dumb foul on Ricardo Johnson puts Ball State at the line for 3 shots. Now 43-42 after hitting 2 of 3 from the line. Kamieniecki picks up foul #4 and Keely is at the line but misses the first and makes the second. 44-42 OU leads. We have a timeout on the ball going out of bounds as the OU fans are outraged at the lack of a foul call. They’re right, but it remains Ohio’s ball anyway.

The Ball State band busts out Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. Not bad.

Stats - Washington for Ohio has 14 points and 2 rebounds. Not sure why he isn’t on the boards more. Baltic has a double-double at 10 pts, 11 boards. Berry has 18 for Ball State.

11:18 - Hall hits a 3-ball to get play underway and Ohio has a 5-point lead, their largest of the game. With Ohio up 49-43 moments later, Scaife nails a 3-ball to cut the lead to 3 again. Cooper at the line hits 1-2 and the teams trade possessions before Keely is whistled for a foul, his second, and we have a media timeout with Ohio up 50-46.

7:52 - Washington drills jumper after a pair of Cardinal free throws, then Freeman nails a 3-ball and it’s 55-48 Ohio. Ball State comes up empty and Washington scores in the paint and suddenly Ohio has a 57-48 lead, their largest of the game. Under 6 minutes to play, TJ hall is whistled sending Perry to the line. Cooper hits a floater and it’s 59-51 with 5:20 to play.

5:04 - Freeman called for his 3rd foul and Perry at the line. Perry hits both and has 20 on the night as Ball State trails by 6. Another interesting call goes against Ohio’s Ivo Baltic draws the ire of the Ohio crowd and the refs head to the video screen. Apparently nothing changes as Jones is at the line and goes 1-2, but baltic answers in the paint and Ohio is up 7 again at 61-54 with 4 minutes left. Media timeout @ the 3:37 mark, 61-54 Ohio.

Stats - Ohio 36-30 on the boards, 32-24 in the paint.

3:37 - Freeman a steal which leads to an OU score then Ball State answers. Cooper then hits a floater to make it 65-56 matching Ohio’s biggest lead at 9. Bond completes a 3-point play to cut it back to six again and then Ball State hits a 3-ball to cut it to 3 points. The score leads the Western Michigan coaches/players in the media row to show more emotion about a basket than I have seen in 6 years of covering the MAC Tournament.

1:49 - Ohio ball, up 65-62. Ohio can’t score but Ball State blows a bunny and Baltic is fouled by Kamieniecki who fouls out. Baltic will be at the line.

1:09 - Baltic, adding to his double-double, misses the FT and BSU ball with a minute left. Ball State calls a timeout with 51.6 seconds left, down 3. Bond scores and the foul, 1 point game with Bond shooting 1 FT. FT is good. Tied up. Crazy exchange and OT. Wow.

OT 1 - The Q does not want my money. Concessions are closed. Ball State up 68-67 but Freeman ties it at the line with 3:52 remaining. Now 3:13 to play after a 3-ball by Ball State, Ohio calls a timeout down 71-68.

3:13 left, OT 1 - The Bobcats get a couple of chances but no points, but a Ball State turnover leads to Cooper to Kellogg who lays it in and gets fouled. Kellogg hits the FT and we’re tied at 71 with 2:10 to play. Ball State scores and Washington hits 1-2 at the line and Ohio trails 73-72 with over a minute to play.

52.3 seconds, OT 1 - OU fans are irate after a Jerry Sauder call. Not the first time, won;t be the last time. Timeout Ball State, with the ball up 75-72. 17 seconds left on the shot clock. Ohio gets the ball back but DJ Cooper misses a 3-ball and Ohio is forced to foul. 7.8 seconds left and Ball State will be at the line, up 3.

7.8 seconds, OT 1 - Cooper fouled with 4.4 to play, hits FT #1 and misses the second. Kellogg gets the shot off but misses the last gasp effort for Ohio.

Final Score - Ball State 76 - Ohio 73

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

2011 MAC Tournament: #1 Kent State vs. #8 Buffalo

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

In the first game of the evening session and third game of the day, the #1 seed Kent State Golden Flashes face the #8 Buffalo Bulls. Kent State had a first round bye and at 21-10 (12-4 MAC) also had the MAC’s top RPI ranking at #85. The Bulls, meanwhile, went 18-12 (8-8 MAC) and have a RPI ranking of #161. Buffalo beat Kent State 79-54 in Buffalo on January 19th but the Golden Flashes won the rematch 72-69 in Kent on February 24th.

Mitchell Watt for Buffalo picked up two fouls in 50 seconds and is already on the bench in foul trouble. Kent looking good with 8 points in two minutes opening up a 8-2 lead already. At 17:30 mark Kent led 10-2 but both teams are crashing the boards and playing an up-tempo style. At the 15:30 media timeout Kent leads 12-6.

15:30 - Kent State band with the Blues Brothers music. Back to basketball. Back and forth battle as the teams trade possessions and it stays close. 14-8 Kent as UB gets whistled for a foul sending Kent to the line when the media timeout is over.

11:59 - Stats - 5 players have scored for Kent State in the early going and Kent leads the points in the paint tally 12-6. Javon McCrea skies for a dunk and it’s 16-10 before he does it again, this time on a missed shot. It’s nice to see some high-flying action after the afternoon session saw nothing of the like. After a Kent State basket, McCrea scores and draws the foul but misses the FT. 18-14 Kent with McCrea scoring 10 early for UB. At 9:33 we have a 20-14 game, Kent leading. Kent goes on a 7-2 run and we’re looking at a 11 point lead for the Golden Flashes,

7:17 - As athletic as Buffalo is, Kent State is more fundamentally sound and just plain good. Kent comes out of the gate scoring a hoop to make it 29-16 before a foul on KSU send McCrae to the line where he now has 12, a point higher than his season average. Buffalo runs off 6 straight and suddenly it is 29-22 Kent. Per the last stat update, Sherman has 13 for Kent to lead all scorers. After UB cuts into the lead, however, Kent builds it back up taking a 13-point lead at 36-23 with under 4 minutes to play. A foul on UB with 2:22 finally gets us to a media break, Kent State still leading 36-23.

Stats - Kent 8-0 on fast break points. Sherman 13 for KSU, 15 for McCrea of UB. Kent 10-2 in second chance points.

2:22 - Porrini heads to the foul as Mulkey picks up the foul for Buffalo. Porrini, from Massilon, hits 1 of 2 FTs and it’s 37-23, then Justin Green adds a bucket and it is 39-23 with less than a minute remaining in the half. McCrae scores again to give him 17 points and it’s 39-25. Sherman hits a fall-away jumper to end the scoring and it is 41-25 Kent State at the half.

Halftime Stats - McCrae has 17 of Buffalo’s 25 points. The freshman averages just 11.0 ppg and a team high 6.2 rebounds per game but his scoring is hot and cold. His career high came @ Miami in January in a 26-point effort, but Buffalo will need an even better effort to win this one if you ask me. Buffalo is 0-4 from deep and Kent is shooting 47.2% (17 of 36) overall.

15:26 - We’re back with Kent leading 46-36 and under 15 minutes remaining. Kent State has seen Buffalo cut into their lead, but the Flashes add a couple of baskets and we’re at 50-37 with 13:23 to go.

13:23 - With bodies flying all over the court Kent scores again and Buffalo adds a FT to make it 52-38 with 12:28 to play. The second half is not nearly as fast-paced and exciting as the first half was. After Buffalo scores we have a foul and a media time out.

11:49 - McCrea now has 18 for UB while Sherman has 17 for Kent State. Kent’s Justin Greene is the only other player in double figures scoring 10 points. Now 52-41, Buffalo gets another foul as we approach the 10 minute mark. With Watt picking up foul #3, Gaines hits both FTs to extend the lead to 13 again. McCrea continues his big scoring adding a bucket and after a Kent turnover it’s 54-43 Kent State with Buffalo having the ball. The freshman adds two FTs giving him 22 for the night to cut the lead to 9 at 54-45. If UB is going to make this interesting they better do it now.

9:22 - Porrini at the line for Kent misses two at the line and Kent gets the foul on the other end. UB to the line down just 9 points. Now 54-48, the Bulls are in business, comeback business.

7:51 - Media timeout with Kent’s lead down to 4 points at 56-52. Both teams have 9 fouls and while UB has 4 timeouts left Kent has just 2. The high scorer for the night remains McCrae with a career high-tying 26 points. In the Miami-esque stat of this game, UB is shooting over 64% in the second half. Kent adds one for a 5-point lead and a McCrae block gives UB the ball back before Watt is whistled for traveling. Holt with a runner makes it 59-52 as UB calls a 30-second timeout.

5:41 - A little Lady Gaga from the UB band - they sound good tonight. Better than I have remembered in the past. Back to basketball, Oldham’s offensive rebound and put-back cuts the lead to 5 again before a foul on Robinson on the other end putting Porrini at the line for two shots. Swish (applause). Clank, clank, swish. Porrini makes them both and it is 61-54.

3:21 - Down 10 UB gets a jumper from Mulkey to make it 64-56. UB down to a single timeout left. After getting a fast-break chance UB travels to give the ball back to Kent. Porrini scores a bucket and we’re back to 10 points at 66-56 as Kent State looks to salt this one away.

1:22 - McCrae scores a put-back and has had an amazing night with 28 points and 11 rebounds in under 30 minutes of play.

50.6 seconds - Sherman at the line for Kent hits 1 of 2 and it is 68-58. McCrae gets a foul the next time down as this one is almost over. 25.7 seconds left, let’s hope Reggie calls off the dogs.

15.2 seconds - No luck there - a quick score by UB and foul send Porrini to the line in a 8-point game. However Porrini scores both FTs and extends the lead back to 10. Alston to the line with 6.4 seconds left as we will soon watch the end of this one.

Final Score - Kent State 73 - Buffalo 62

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

2011 MAC Tournament: #3 Miami vs. #6 Akron

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The #3 Miami RedHawks and #6 Akron Zips are set to tip-off around 2:30 pm ET in the day’s second game. With no MAC teams worthy of an at-large bid into the 2011 NCAA Tournament, both teams need a win to keep their Cinderella dreams alive. Miami is 16-15 (11-5 MAC) with an RPI of #103 while Akron is 20-12 (9-7 MAC) and #132 in the RPI having defeated #11 seed Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night to get here.

Akron lost @ Miami 84-76 on January 19 and defeated Miami in Akron 72-55 on February 23rd.

Akron controls the opening tip with a fan-base that easily outnumbers Miami’s 5:1. Feeding off their crowd the Zips open up an early 7-2 lead with a Cvetinovic layup adding to it to make it 9-2. Akron’s intensity is high contesting Miami shots and getting good lucks at the basket on offense. Under 16 minutes to play and Akron gets the ball back as a foul is called on the RedHawks to send us to the first media timeout.

Now 11-2 Akron, Miami seems rattled throwing the ball out of bounds with a little over 14 minutes to play in the first half. Miami gets the ball back and hits a driving layup to make it 11-4 which is followed by several empty possessions for both teams. With just under 12 minutes to play a traveling call stops the clock with Akron still on top 11-4.

Akron is winning 8-2 in the paint with a 2-0 steals advantage as neither team is shooting well at all. Akron is 5-14 from the field and Miami just 2-9. Miami players seem content to stay out along the 3-point line and settle for jump shots. Four different Zips have scored already.

After a 10 minute delay waiting for the refs, we have just under 10 minutes to play in a 11-6 game but Nick Cvetinovic has picked up his second foul for the Zips. Miami still can’t shoot and Quincy Diggs scores a layup to make it 13-6 Akron in quite a barn burner of a game. Another Miami jump shot makes another Miami brick as with 7:38 to play in the first half Akron leads 13-6.

After Miami’s band plays Crazy Train for the second time today we get stats. Points in the Paint: 10-4 Akron. Akron shooting 6-17 (35.3%), Miami 3-14 (21.4%). Rebounds 13-6 Akron.

Back to the game, we’re at 6:41 to play in the half with a 15-6 lead for the Zips but Miami scores a bucket to make it 15-8. A foul on Allen Robers for Miami gives him three for the game meaning a lot of bench time sitting beside Charlie Coles. The teams trade misses before Akron’s Brett McClanahan nails a 3-ball to make it 18-8. Now 5:00 to play Abreu picks up the foul for Akron. Miami drives to the hoop and another whistle, much to the dismay of the Akron crowd. Miami ball down 18-9 with 4:03 to play and apparently Julian Muvunga thinks he is a point guard. 3:50 to play and we’re at a media TO with Muvunga headed to the line when we get back.

3:50 - Muvunga hits 1 of 2 to make it 18-10. Both teams still under 31% shooting. Zzzzzz. Muvunga gets called for a charge and Akron has the ball again. Akron shot didn’t draw rim, looks like me in a pickup game. Cvetinovic taks a nice pass and lays it in to push the Akron lead to 20-10 and a Miami foul gives the Zips the ball back as Miami is looking fortunate to have rwached 10 points by the half. Ouch.

2:13 - Brett McKnight passes up a rim-rocking dunk for a layup and Akron now leads 22-10. Roberts scores and draws the foul with under a minute to play and it is 26-10 Akron. Miami ball, 52.5 seconds left and they let the shot clock wind down before an off-balance jumper clangs off the iron. Akron ball, 19.5 seconds to play in the half and Diggs drives to the hoop with 6 seconds left. Layup is blocked and McNees gets the board but misses a fade away to send it to halftime with Akron leading 26-10.

Time for the battle of the dance teams. Akron looks good, much improved from years ago. The biggest roar from the crowd comes when the backpedaling cameraman lands on his butt. Miami’s dance team is up now and the difference is clear. Harder moves, more attention to detail, faster routine. Give Miami a clear win in this contest. MAC dance team reviews - only on the VanDelay Sports blog.

Now 29-10 Akron, Allen Roberts scores for Miami after two missed FTs for Zeke Marshall. On the other end NcNees to the line after Roberts picks up foul #4 for the game. Back to the bench Al. McNees hits 1-2 and it is 30-12. Miami getting killed on the boards with Akron’s guards beating the Miami bigs to the ball. With 17:58 to play Miami calls a timeout down 30-12.

17:58 - Marshall makes it 32-12 before 2 Miami FTs puts Miami on a 2-0 run over the last 2 seconds. Akron turnover opens the door for Miami to cut it to 16, maybe 15… No luck for Miami as they miss a layup and Cvetinovic nails a jumper, back to 20 at 34-14 and a media timeout.

15:58 - Cvetinovic picks up his 3rd foul and gets subbed out as Miami nails a 3-ball. Could Charlie’s team put together a run? Foul on Miami at 15:04 sending Diggs to the line for the Zips. Swish (clapping). Swish (clapping). 36-17 Akron. Nick Winbush single-handedly tries to give the RedHawks hope hitting the 3-ball moments ago and a driving layup to make it 36-19 as he has 7. Boom, 3-ball by Miami and it’s 36-22. Akron turnover leads to a Orlando Williams layup to cut it to 12 at 36-24 with 14:03 to play…

14:03 - Marshall hits a shot in the paint but picks up a foul on the defensive end, his 4th foul. Muvunga at the line. Swish (light clapping). Swish (more light clapping). Daryl Roberts quickly scores on the other end for Akron and a Coles TO stops the clock. 13:09 to play an Akron up 40-26.

13:09 - Cvetinovic scores and Miami foul as 4-foul Roberts is back in the game for Miami. Cvetinovic misses the FT. Now 11:59 to play and it’s 44-29.

11:59 - Miami getting back into this game and despite a brief daydream I’m still here. Sorry folks. 9:48 to play, 44-33 Akron, and Miami at the line. Swish (clapping). Swish (clapping). Miami down just 9 now as the Akron fans start a “Let’s Go Zips!” cheer. It does not help as Abreu misses a layup and then fouls Muvunga in disgust with 9:21 to play, but Muvunga misses the FT and Akron gets the ball and a Miami foul. Now Marshall at the line shooting a 1 and 1. Swish (loud cheers, clapping). Swish (louder cheers & clapping). Foul on the other end on Roberts, his first, but the team’s 10th foul. Rollins at the line for Miami. Clank (loud cheers). Swish (light claps). 46-36 Akron with the ball. Loose ball and Orlando Williams dives into the crowd kneeing a lady in the face. Add a cage and we have MMA. Cvetinovicgets the offensive foul with Akron up 10 and 8:13 to play. Muvunga’s near travel results in a 3-ball for Orlando Williams and it is 46-39 with 7:40 to play.

Battle of the Bands - Since I weighed in on the dance teams earlier, I’m going to state that Akron’s band sounds much better than Miami’s today.

7:40 - Akron fans look nervous, and they should be. Miami has turned it on in the second half. Miami was over 54% in the half per the last update, and the last few minutes should add to that. McNees picks up a foul and Muvunga hits two more FTs as the crowd gets as loud as we have heard them today with the score 46-41. Marshall hits the bucket and the foul on Harris gives Marshall the and one. Marshall has 6 points and 3 rebounds with 6:42 to play - how? How does this guy not do more on the boards at the very least? Free throw good, Akron back up 8 at 49-41 and Miami misses. A Muvunga miss is followed by Allen Roberts and it’s 49-43 with 5:22 left.

5:22 - Muvunga gets the foul sending Brett McKnight to the line where he hits 1 of 2. Roberts scores on the other end for a 5-point game at 50-45. Miami gets the ball back and Roberts drills a 3-ball - 50-48 Akron. Wow!

4:22 - Akron scores then we head to a media time out. It’s hungry out - hope the food is good… Williams at the line for Miami hits 2 FT and it’s 52-50 Akron. No call on Akron’s possession and a goaltending call on Akron ties it at 52.

3:16 - Tied at 52, a missed 3-ball is rebounded and tipped in by McKnight with Winbush getting the foul. Winbush is done and the FT is no good. 54-52 Akron, Miami ball. Miami 3-ball by Williams and the Redhawks have taken the lead at 55-54. What a comeback!

2:41 - Down 1, Akron has the ball and calls a TO with 2:35 to play.

Stat Check - Akron consistently unimpressive shooting 33.3% in the first half and 30.8% in the second half. Miami 0-7 from long range in first half, 5-10 in second half.

2:35 - McKnight nails a 3-ball and he wants to win. 57-55 Akron as McKnight gets the defensive rebound on the other end. Akron timeout with 1:47 to play, with the ball, up 2.

1:47 - McKnight assists McClanahan on a 3-ball and it’s suddenly 60-55 Akron after it appeared the wheels were falling off moments ago. But on the other end, with 1:20 to play, Zeke Marshall fouls out sending Muvunga to the line for Miami. Muvunga is 6-9 from the line with 8 pts, 12 boards. Hits bots FTs and it’s 60-57 Akron as Miami calls a timeout.

1:20 - Akron running clock and a travel call is made with 52.1 seconds left. Miami ball down 3. Muvunga gets a offensive board and Bardo gets the foul sending the Miami big man to the line. Muvunga hits 1 of 2 and it’s 60-58, shot clock is off.

24.9 seconds to go - Williams foul send McNees to the line with Akron up 2. Swish (loud cheering). Swish (more loud cheering). Miami scores a quick two and we do it all over again…

18.7 seconds - McKnight gets the inbounds pass and makes the first man miss to run a few seconds off the clock before the Muvunga foul. Clank. Swish (loud applause). 63-60 with 15.3 remaining. Muvunga thinks he is a point guard again and apparently he is. Muvunga drives the lane and kicks it out for 3 - swish! Miami ties it at 63-63. McNees for the win on the other end…clank. Overtime folks. This boring game got real good!

OT - A quick bathroom break and I am back. 68-65 Miami up 3 before a McClanahan hoop makes it 68-67 with 2:44 to play in OT number one. McKnight strips the ball but loses it out of bounds as Miami keeps possession. Jumper no good and Akron ball as Diggs misses a layup, gets his rebound and scores. Now up 69-68, Akron fans are cheering loudly and Charlie Coles calls a TO. Brett McKnight just went face-first into the floor. Unfortunately the floor won. Miami foul on Orlando Williams with Miami up 70-69 sends McKnight to the line, but it appears the officials are checking to see if the foul was intentional or flagrant.

47.8 seconds, OT 1 - Refs checking the video and it appears there was nothing excessive with the foul. McKnight hits both free throws to give Akron a 71-70 lead and the Zips call a 30 second timeout. Diggs foul means 3 shots for Miami, down 1. Roberts hits 1 of 3 and we are tied at 71-71.

27.8 seconds, OT 1 - Akron calls a 30 sec TO with the ball. Here we go. Akron layup off the iron and Miami misses the 3-ball - double overtime folks.

OT #2 - Hopefully you’re home from work by now and catching this on SportsTime Ohio. If not, we’ll update as much as possible. Muvunga scores with just under 4 minutes but McNees answers. 74-73 Akron now at the 3:30 mark. Robert scores for Miami then McNees fouls Muvunga to send him to the line. Muvunga is having a big game with a double-double but after missing 2 FTs is stuck at 14 points. On the other end Abreu nails a 3-ball to make it 77-75 Akron. Now under 2 minutes left in OT #2, Akron had the ball but turns it over.

1:41, OT 2 - Miami TO stops the clock with Akron up 77-75. Akron band playing a little “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey during the timeout. Akron’s band sounds good today. Back to the game, Akron foul on Bardo is his 5th with 1:07 to play in a 77-75 game. Roberts at the line for Miami continues his struggles missing both shots. Akron’s McClanahan nails a 3-ball and Akron up 80-75. Akron gets it back and heads to the line and this one is nearly over. 15.7 seconds left, McKnight shuts the door giving him 16 points.

Final score: Akron 82 - Miami 75 in 2 OTs. Akron will face #2 Western Michigan tomorrow night.

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

MAC Tournament Final: WMU tops BG 67-56

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The first game of the 2011 MAC Tournament in Cleveland is in the books with the Broncos of Western Michigan advancing to the semifinals after a 67-56 win over #7 Bowling Green. WMU used a balanced attack that saw 8 different players score led by Flenard Whitfield’s 12 points and 10 boards. The Broncos outscored BG 14-5 off turnovers and shot much better from long-range, 6-16 versus BG’s 1-12, en route to the win.

#2 Western Michigan will next face the winner of #3 Miami vs. #6 Akron which will tip-off within the hour.

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.

WMU’s lead now at 12

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The Western Michigan Broncos appear focused in this year’s MAC Tournament. After taking the MAC West and the #2 seed that came along with it WMU has opened up a 12 point lead on #7 Bowling Green.

Follow @VanDelaySports on Twitter for additional updates on the 2011 MAC Tournament.