MAC Tournament: Day One
The No. 7 seed Eastern Michigan beat No. 10 Ball State 59-55 to put the Cardinals out of their misery and moved into the semifinals against No. 2 Western Michigan at noon. Justin Dobbins led the Eagles with 21 points, including a put-back that gave them a 45-44 lead and led to an 8-0 run to pull away from Ball State.
“We expected them to play well. They had nothing to lose. They are a much better team than that record indicates.”
- Eastern Michigan coach Charles Ramsey
It was a three game sweep as No. 6 Central Michigan whipped No. 11 Northern Illinois 83-71. Senior guard Giordan Watson led the Chippewas with 20 points. Central Michigan led by as much as 22 in the second half before a late comeback to make the score respectable. CMU plays Akron at 2:30 pm.
“I know we have good shooters. When you have good shooters, they make shots.”
- CMU player Giordan Watson
The No. 8 seed Toledo beat arch-rival No. 9 Bowling Green 52-48 to avenge a regular-season loss to the Falcons. The Rockets shot a meager 33.3 percent from the field and 5.9 percent (1-17) from 3-point land. Jonathan Amos led the Rockets with 15 points. Toledo plays Kent State at 7 p.m.
“We bogged down on offensively. We had open shots , we just couldn’t convert. At one point they had nine offensive rebounds and I was pretty disappointed with that.”
- Toledo coach Stan Joplin
No. 5 Miami, took a lead with three minutes thanks to the shooting of Kenny Hayes and the RedHawks made 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute to hold off No. 12 Buffalo 69-68. Michael Bramos led Miami with 23 points. The RedHawks were out-rebounded 38-22 and had just four offensive rebounds. Miami plays Ohio at 9:30 p.m.
“We were getting frustrated because they were playing a lot harder than us. We had to come in the second half and match their intensity.”
- Tim Politz, Miami player