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
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