MAC Tournament Quarterfinals: #3 Akron vs #6 EMU

#3 Akron will face #6 Eastern Michigan in the second game in the 2010 MAC Basketball Tournament quarterfinals. Akron comes in 22-9 and 12-4 in MAC play losing out on the MAC regular season championship on the final day of the regular season. EMU is 17-14 and 8-8 in MAC play.

My colleague Luke is calling for an Akron 15 point + romp in this one. I love the trio of Medlock, Dobbins, and Bowdry on EMU, but this is going to be a tough sledding for the Eagles who will need to commit few mistakes to beat Akron in their home-away-from-home in Cleveland.

Fan section report - Akron fans behind the AK bench have huge cutouts of player/coaches heads (imagine the roleplay segment on PTI, only jumbo-sized). Very sharp.

Attendance report - Let’s just say it’s looking like the decision to go back to playing 1st round games at home sites was probably a good one.

19:24 - Less than a minute in and there’s a double technical on some post whistle pushing. From my vantage point Hitchens instigated it, Bowdry and Dobbins both have a personal now, not ideal.

16:46 EMU up 7-6, Akron has looked sloppy so far… their usual style in these quarterfinal games has been to come out so-so and turn it up in the 2nd half. Wonder if we’ll see more of the same this year.

15:41 - Lotsa fouls early in this one with Akron commiting 5 of the 7 team fouls so far. EMU up 10-9.

12:23 - Dobbins and Bowdry both have 2 fouls. Both teams racking them up with aggressive offense and sloppy defense. Akron up 16-12.

11:12 - EMU not going away yet… down 2, 16-14.

8:25 - Chris McKnight with 3 fouls, Dobbins airballs the and-1. 20-19 EMU leads.

7:00 - McNees with his second timely 3 and Akron is back up 24-20. Things are still a little chippy as Carlos Medlock crashes into Brett McKnight after the whistle and some slight unpleasantness is exchanged.

5:29 - Medlock with a big 3, he had been having a pretty poor game with 3 TOs and 2-6 shooting. Akron up 26-23.

5:03 - Dobbins with his 3rd. Maybe we can get a couple of quick touch fouls on Conyers and Bowdry so all the best players can be on the bench in foul trouble.

3:40 - It’s been the Carlos Medlock show on both ends of the floor for the past few minutes, knotted up at 29.

3:31 - EMU +5 on the boards.

2:19 - Now Medlock with his second foul too… This could get ugly for either team foul-trouble wise if the 2nd half is cleaner. AK up 33-31.

1:02 - 35-31 Akron leads… is that the score or the foul differential, I’m not sure.

Halftime - EMU with some awful ball movement around the trap, McNees runs the clock down before finding Conyers for a fade away 3 in the corner as time expires. Akron is up 40-32, suddenly looking somewhat comfortable dispite struggling for a lot of the half. Akron shooting 55% from the field but only 5-10 at the line. Stats like that could keep Eastern in it.

Both teams are boardering on foul trouble… Dobbins and C McKnight have 3; Bowdry, Medlock, Green, Cventinovic and B McKnight all have 2. Gotta hope for a cleaner 2nd half.

18:16 - 46 - 32 Akron pulling away, Eastern has not looked good out of the locker room.

16:09 - EMU sloppy with the ball. 46-32, but get bailed out as Bowdry takes a nice charge on Conyers. Higgins hits a 3 and EMU is back within 11.

15:35 - Akron with a travel and now we’ll take the media timeout.

Atmosphere update - Akron’s band, cheerleaders, and dance team are all the best groups we’ve seen in the early session today.

I’m being told I failed to appreciate the Western and Central bands… guess I’ll have to pay more attention to the Bronco music makers tomorrow.

13:41 - 51-40 Akron up and looking to take control. Eastern’s trading punches with them for now.

11:21 - Medlock feeling it with 15 points. Since we’re in Cleveland he takes a LeBron-style heat check that airballs… Lotsa airballs in this game. Akron up 52-44.

11:08 - Bowdry and Medlock doing their jobs, Dobbins doing very little for Eastern… he has 4 points and 0 boards. That’s a problem.

9:25 - Dobbins finally gets a bucket then Bowdry with a nice And-1 opportunity… Hits the freebie 52-49. Akron tightening up on offense, should be looking for ball movement here.

9:08 - Dobbins with a terrible 4th foul on the inbounds, Akron will be going to the line the rest of the way. Hitchens badly misses, B McKnight rebound, back to Hitchens, misses another 3. Medlock clobbered on a runout to the hoop, no call, AK runs back down and Hitchens lays it in. Frenzied minute there… 54-49.

8:23 - Now Brett McKnight with 4 fouls. Bowdry misses the front end… not the way to score an upset. Both of these teams building a brick fort at the line, 5-11 for Akron, 6-12 EMU.

7:32 - Chris McKnight buries a step-back 3 and Akron is pulling away again 57-49. EMU needs to get back in the flow offensively, and if I’m Ramsey I put Dobbins back in now, he was heating up with 3 quick buckets before getting his 4th and they’ve gotta stop the run and score some points if EMU has any hope of staying in this.

7:25 - And Dobbins is back. And Cvetinovic just fouled out. Bowdry just missed a 3-point-play opportunity and is at the line for 2… And wow, someone made 2 FT’s in a row. Minor miracle for the way things are going for these two teams.

7:10 - Eastern looks to set up the press but then lets C McKnight catch the ball unmolested about halfway to the timeline. That was easy. 58-51 Akron.

6:28 - Chris McKnight, open, corner, nylon. Too easy. Akron up 10 again.

5:58 - Uh oh, Chris McKnight just fouled out, and it was a questionable call, but I’ll say this… If you’re one of the best players in the league like McKnight why are you ripping the ball out of a guy’s hands when you’ve got 4 fouls. Gotta be smarter than that. 61-54 AK, Eastern with the ball…

5:15 - Sloppy ball handling Eastern keeps the ball, a bucket here would get some major momentum… even better, Hitchens with a dumb reach on Medlock who’s headed to the line well into the double bonus. Swish, Swish. 61-56.

4:42 - Akron running the clock way down without getting into anything remotely resembling an offense. Bailout foul call on Medlock with about about 4 on the shot clock. Roberts makes 2 freebies, up 7.

4:00 - EMU with about 4 offensive rebounds and putback tries before finally hitting one. Great determination by Bowdry and Dobbins there. Akron scores, EMU with a three, and now Ramsey got T’d up… for some reason. He’s mad, but I really don’t know what happened there. A shame to see at this point with 3:30 left and two teams who were trading punches.

3:32 - Roberts laces both freebies and Akron’s up 67-61 with the ball. The Zips really needed that, they were reeling to an extent. Now we’re at a media timeout and everyone can catch their breath to an extent.

3:00 - Good defensive stand there for Eastern and they take a TO before Medlock does something risky. Need a good possession here… And before we can inbound Akron with a 30 second timeout. Chess match.

2:55 - Medlock draws a foul, he’s been good at that and from the line - now 8-8 down 4.

2:22 - Hitchens with an excellent take, Medlock counters with a ridiculous 3. EMU down 3…

2:01 - Conyers called for a hip check, EMU getting it back down 3…

1:40 - Bowdry takes it to the hoop, miss, rebound, shot… swirls around the rim twice… sinks it. EMU down 1, Akron time out.

1:06 - Brett McKnight with a pretty take, but he can’t get it to fall. EMU ball only down 1 here. 1st option has to be Medlock trying to draw a foul, has been working all half.

0:56 - Medlock nails an open 3 and Akron almost loses the inbounds before recovering. This place is getting quiet as Dambrot takes a TO to talk it over. Press row is having flashbacks of Akron vs Toledo in the first round last year when Hitchens bailed them out of what looked like a sure choke job.

0:38 - McKnight gets to the hoop, lays it off the glass and EMU goaltends it going for the block. Tied at 71.

OVERTIME

With only a 2 second differential Medlock dribbles it all the way down to about 8 seconds before getting in the offense. He acts like he’s going to drive but pulls back at the 3 point line. He tries to draw a foul in mid-air, realizes he’s not going to get the call and passes off. EMU misses a 3, Dobbins grabs the board while falling down, and tries to throw up a shot that gets blocked out of bounds as the horn blows.

Akron can put up points quickly, but Chris McKnight and Cvetinovic are already fouled out and Brett McKnight and Hitchens have 4. Could go either way.

4:37 - They’re still trading buckets as McKnight makes it look easy and Bowdry makes it look hard, 73-73. Btw, since Chris McKnight is fouled out I feel like I can now refer to Brett McKnight by last name only… because typing a B is that hard to do.

Clock malfunction, we wait.

4:01 - Brett McKnight, very open… misses a 3. Medlock gets inside and scores it. EMU up 2…

McNees can’t hit a 15 footer and EMU walks it up… 3:19 left.

2:57 - EMU with a hard time getting into an offensive flow (they didn’t make the extra pass) and after an airball have a shot clock violation.

2:25 - McNees hits one from a good foot behind 3. EMU bricks a shot. Akron up 76-75.

1:59 - Harris swats the ball, it hits the glass then he blocks it again. The whole Akron radio team in front of us goes crazy… that’s not goaltending guys, he’s the one who put it off the glass in the first place.

1:49 - Tied up at 76. EMU ball. Bowdry with an excellent rebound on a missed second FT there.

1:30 - Eastern gets inside, but can’t hit it… Zeke rebounds, Dobbins fouls him, he’s done.

Marshall misses both… WAIT lane violation… Oh, and he hit it, that hurts. AK by 1.

1:20 - Conyers with one of the dumbest, hip check 5th fouls of all time 30 feet from the hoop and he’s done. Medlock who’s been accurate to the line. He hits both, now Roberts to the line at the other end.

1:06 - Roberts splits, tied again… Akron with a big steal, McNees on a run out… Blocked! Loose ball, floor scramble. Akron gets it and calls a timeout.

:35 - just like the first half EMU running it all the way down… ball movement like crazy… 3! 6 seconds left, McNees runs it down, cuts through the EMU D, step back THREE!!! 0.6 seconds left. Pandemonium! (ok, not exactly, but it just got exciting)

0.8 - Not sure why the timeout there… everyone was all over the place, just inbounding and trying to fire something up would have been their best chance there.

And after coming dangerously close to taking a 5 second violation Bowdry just rifles it in at Medlock so he’ll touch it and Akron won’t get the ball back under their own hoop.

DOUBLE OVERTIME!!!

4:30 - Akron misses a jumper. Medlock takes a really long ill-advised jumper that bounces out of bounds.

4:00 - Hitchens with a 3. Not sure how he got that over Harris. Bowdry is left open for 3, thinks about it, shoots it, clank. AK ball up 3.

3:07- Brett McKnight with a scoop layup. EMU with a miss. AK ball up 5. Crowd getting loud. Can Akron dodge this giant bullet?

2:23 - EMU gets it back but Medlock with a bad TO trying to do too much. Can’t really fault him, he’s had an excellent game.

1:30 - Medlock’s legs look done as he misses another 3, then fouls Hitchens at the other end. AK at the line up 86-81. Hitchens splits at the line.

1:05 - EMU turnover. This is pretty much done. Now an off the ball foul on Harris… and an intentional one. Bad just got worse.

0:43 - Someone’s about to get T’d. Lots of chippyness. Hitchens with his 2nd tech, and Bowdry gets called for a personal. Also Harris on EMU with a Tech, which gives him 5 so he’s done while Hitchens goes to the showers with 2 Ts. Akron 88-81. And after all that McNees is on the line with the personal foul shots.

0:32 - 90-83, McNees gets tied up on the inbounds, and Dambrot calls a timeout before he coughs up the ball. Akron looking comfortable here, despite how hot/cold they are at the line.

0:25 - 92-86 after Medlock nails a 3. He has 39 points. Heckuva performance by Carlos Medlock today.

And nearly at the end of the TO Ramsey gets T’d up again. He can go party with Humpty Hitchens… This should be a good presser.

Apparently it’s because the refs were looking at the tape and they called a flagrant on Bowdry and tossed him. Honestly this has been an abomination from the refs. They’ve been bad both ways and you can’t blame the EMU loss on them, but talk about not letting the players play.

22 left, McNees going to the line. Akron’s student section believes they have won, and I agree. Akron moving on. I’ll be back from the PM games in about an hour.

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